By Richa Sharma, IANS,
Singapore : Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) must be high on priority of the international community to achieve human wellbeing, social equity and reducing environmental risk, experts said here Thursday.
A group of experts, including scientists and members from social organisations held discussions on a roadmap to SDGs on the lines of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that come to an end in 2015.
Organised by the Asian-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum), the seminar 'Sustainable Development Assessment: Towards Measurable Goals' took into account Asian and European perspective to address issues under SDGs.
"SDG is the overarching goal of the United Nations and to achieve that goal we need forums to bring experts and institutions to add value to our knowledge on sustainable development," said Surendra Shrestha, Director, Focal Point for Sustainable Developments, UN.
He said the SDGs are necessary for human wellbeing, social equity and reducing environmental risk.
Nicholas Hanley, Director General, Environment in the European Commission, highlighted the need of SDGs and said they will be universal actions to address social, economic and environment issues while MDGs are actions to be taken by developing countries for social issues.
"The main aim of the seminar was to initiate the Post-Rio discussions (Earth Summit held in June) on SDGs and their indicators under the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ASEF). The programme will empower countries' leadership towards a bottom-up approach consultation process," said Theirry Schwarz, ASEF director for intellectual exchange.
Members from the Asian countries expressed their apprehensions about the SDGs and emphasised that their right to development and poverty alleviation should be the core of any documents.
"It is important to hold discussions on SDGs to ensure that reservations and concerns of developing countries like India are heard. We have to ensure that sustainable goals should not hamper our growth and development," said Ritu Mathur from The Energy Research Institute (TERI).
The Rio+20 conference in Brazil in June this year saw countries arriving at a consensus on SDGs to address the issues of sustainable development and environment conservation.
(Richa Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)