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India at UN: There is no 'one size fits all' approach for localization of SDGs

New Delhi: India on Thursday said there is no "one size fits all" approach for localization of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but can certainly share experience and learn from each other to implement the 2030 Agenda at United Nations.

2030 SDG Agenda is the global effort to mobilize actions and commitments to achieve clean, affordable energy for all by 2030. Permanent Representative of India to the United Nations, TS Tirumurti speaking at High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on the issue of "How can localization of SDGs contribute to Leaving no one behind?" said that the global pandemic is threatening to disrupt the "Decade of Action". "It goes without saying that we need to work together collectively to ensure that all countries, especially vulnerable ones, stay their course on the 2030 SDG Agenda."

"I am convinced that due to the localization efforts we are undertaking, our path to implementing the 2030 Agenda will be relatively smooth even in the face of the pandemic," added Tirumurti.

Speaking at the Forum, Tirumurti stressed the localization of SDG goals. "Breaking down goals and implementation to sub-national and local levels is the only way to succeed in achieving SDG targets. Localization also allows developing local solutions to local challenges by empowering provincial and local levels of government."

"SDG localization process is not limited only to government interventions, but also includes civil society organizations," said the Indian envoy.

He gave the example of successful implementation of localization of SDGs has been the Aspirational Districts Programme which focuses on 112 of India's most developmentally challenged districts across five sectors such as health, education, agriculture, infrastructure, and skill development.

The program involves real-time monitoring of 49 indicators across the five focus areas on the 'Champions of Change' dashboard, with a monthly ranking of the best-performing districts. It has also strengthened the technical and administrative capacities of the districts through collaboration with development partners for providing technical expertise and skills training.

In June 2021, UNDP's appraisal report has pointed out that the programme is a very successful global model of "local area development" by leveraging local structures of governance with multi-stakeholder partnerships, to ensure that localization of the SDGs becomes a reality.

"In spite of the pandemic, we have seen remarkable progress in some crucial goals, for example in Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), Goal 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) and Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)," said Tirumurti in a statement.

The overall coordination for implementation of SDGs in India is handled by the National Institution for Transforming India or NITI Aayog, which is driven by the mandate to work in a spirit of cooperative and competitive federalism and has been extensively engaging with governments at national and local levels as well as civil society organizations.
The crucial aspect of SDG localization is the fine-tuning of the monitoring and data system. The first major breakthrough was the development of the State Integrated Framework (SIF). (ANI)

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