UNDP Administrator Helen Clark: Pursue both Equity and Environmental Sustainability

Mar 17, 2012

New Delhi - Reiterating that the Rio+20 conference can play a significant role in rebalancing and resetting the global development agenda UNDP Administrator Helen Clark called for more integrated policymaking that would address the three pillars of development – economic, social and environmental. Not only is it possible to grow and to include, protect, and conserve at the same time, but also truly equitable and sustainable human development requires that we do so. It will be critical to pursue policy solutions which address equity and environmental sustainability together.

This was the main message of the 12th D.T Lakdawala Memorial Lecture on, ‘Why Equity and Sustainability Matter for Human Development‘ that Helen Clark delivered, in New Delhi today on the last day of her visit to India.

During her visit, Helen Clark witnessed the signing of the Government of India – UNDP Partnership Agreement which will leverage India’s vast development experience to accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in other countries through intensified south‐south cooperation. At the signing of the agreement Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator said, “I am delighted that the idea first raised during my meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on my last visit to India in 2010 has been realized in the agreement signed today. India has vast and rich experience in designing and implementing development solutions, engaging citizens, and strengthening local capacities which are valuable to other developing countries”.

To commemorate India’s leadership in embracing the human development approach Helen Clark presented the inaugural India Human Development Awards instituted by UNDP and the Planning Commission. Titled Manav Vikas, the awards are in recognition of India’s rich body of work in national, state and district Human Development Reports (HDR) and its emergence as the world’s largest producer of sub‐national HDRs.

Helen Clark also interacted with a group of Indian women activists, local leaders and social entrepreneurs from across the country. The main message that emerged from the discussions was that women can be a powerful force for transforming society provided they are politically and economically empowered.

Helen Clark, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand was appointed UNDP Administrator in 2009. This is her second visit to India in her current capacity. During her five‐day visit she also met with senior officials including Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Minister of Rural Development, Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, Ms. Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister of Tribal Affairs and Panchayati Raj, Mr. V.Chandra Singh Deo, Minister of New and Renewable Energy, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, and Mr. S.Y. Quraishi, Chief Election Commissioner.

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Contact information

Surekha Subarwal – +91 9810153924; surekha.subarwal@undp.org

Nandita Surendran – +91 9810084776; nandita.surendran@undp.org