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UN Secretary General urges India to become an exemplary global leader

New Delhi, Oct 19 (EFE).- United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged India on Wednesday to become an example of global leadership while addressing issues such as climate change, peace and terrorism, underlining its “unique opportunity to shape the global agenda.”

Guterres, on the first day of his two-day official visit to India, underscored the importance of the Asian nation as “the home of one-sixth of humanity and the world’s largest generation of young people” as a key factor in achieving or failing the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda.

The Secretary General made these statements at an event attended by students from the Indian Institute of Technology in the western city of Mumbai, as part of a visit to mark the 75th anniversary of the start of India’s relations with the UN, a period coinciding with the country’s independence from the British Empire.

“India’s success in translating the SDGs into action will mean the difference between success and failure for up to half of the global SDG targets — far more than any other country,” he said.

Eradicating poverty, access to quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, clean and affordable energy, reducing inequality, climate action, and peace are among the targets of the 2030 Agenda.

“The devastating impact of climate disruption is more apparent by the month. You have felt this across India, from heatwaves in the graingrowing heartlands to flooding in the northeast and coastal states,” he said, adding that we were already halfway through the deadline for the target, and several key objectives were going backwards.

As India is set to host the G20 Summit (group of countries with the most developed and emerging economies) next year and assume its presidency, it has an important opportunity to “successful model of equitable development.”

“India can shift the conversation and drive multilateral action on the SDGs at this critical mid-way point,” he said.

On the first day of his visit, the first since Guterres took office for a second term, the UN chief also underlined the importance of the fight against terrorism and paid tribute to the victims of the 2008 Mumbai attack, in which some 166 people were killed by terrorists at a train station, a Jewish center, and several restaurants and hotels.

On Thursday, Guterres will join Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the launch of LiFE (Lifestyle for Environment), India’s flagship initiative at the United Nations for climate action and SDGs.

The LiFE mission is intended as a mass movement for the conscious and deliberate utilization of resources, to protect and preserve the environment, according to the Indian government. EFE

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