India may miss UN’s development targets: Chidambaram


New Delhi : India will play a major role in global development but may miss its targets set as part of the Millennium Development Goals at the United Nations, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said here Sunday.

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“Not only India, many countries have fallen behind on the Millennium Development Goals,” Chidambaram told the three-day India Economic Summit organised by the Davos-based World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

“The world set these goals and it is in the world’s interest that this cut-off date is not exceeded,” he said during an interactive session following a talk on “The Shifting Power Equation”.

The United Nations General Assembly had identified eight areas in September 2000 that it thought required urgent global attention.

It had set some concrete goals and a timeframe of 15 years to reach them.

They range from halving extreme poverty in developing and least developed nations to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education, all of this to be achieved by the target date of 2015.

According to the latest UN report on how India was progressing on these goals, the country’s 10th Five-Year Plan that ended March 31, 2007, had some ambitious targets on human development.

Similarly, the next five-year plan till March 31, 2012, also proposes several large programmes, consistent with the Millennium Development Goals in areas like fighting poverty.

“Areas that require redoubled efforts include literacy, nutrition, maternal mortality and child mortality. The responsibility of implementing most of the social sector programmes relating to the goals lies with provincial governments,” Chidambaram pointed out.