THREE PRESIDENTS CONFER SUSTAINABLE LEADERSHIP AWARD TO INDIAN PRIME MINISTER
President James Michel together with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Dominican President Leonel Fernandez Reyna conferred the TERI Sustainable Leadership Award 2011 to the Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, at the inauguration of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit (DSDS).
Dr Singh was awarded the honour for ‘his leadership and impetus to confront climate change and leading his government to make the issue a central facet of his government.’ He is credited with the formulation of the Indian National Action Plan on Climate Change in 2008, which structured a developmental pathway in synchronization with ecological sustainability.
"India has to develop rapidly to ensure a reasonable and respectable level of existence of its citizens. Growth of the Indian economy will benefit other nations too through the instrument of international Cooperation. However, we all have to ensure that is made progressively. Technology, Research and environmental conscience thus holds the key, said Prime Minister Singh during his inaugural address, following the receipt of the award.
President Michel congratulated Prime Minister Singh for this achievement, and commended India for the steps it has taken to develop technology that would enable the developing world to construct its own path towards a renewable energy future.
“This award is symbolic of the great strides India is taking to tackle climate change and the sincerity of the Indian Government in providing a conducive framework for making renewable energy technology available to all,” said the President.
During his address to the DSDS, the President also noted that summit is an example of the drive that can be generated from within the developing world.
“ It should become the Davos of the developing world! In this summit we can bridge the gap between promises and pledges and achievable action. We can breach the inertia. We can drive sustainable development. We can address climate change without affecting the economies of the developing nations….India has achieved phenomenal growth in recent years which is also driving the world economy. It has assumed the mantle of an economic giant with grace and humility. Seychelles is proud to be able to stand with India as it strides across these new frontiers,” said President Michel.
The issue of climate change and its disastrous impacts, which need immediate attention, was echoed by the President of the Dominican Republic, Dr. Leonel Fernandez Reyna.
"There is much work to be done around the world in order to define and implement policies and practices that allow us prevent the negative impact of natural disasters. The world of the future should not be one of irresponsible development, at the cost of fossil fuels, uncontrolled logging and other predatory actions, but sustainable progress, through the use of renewable resources," said President Fernandez.
The President of Afghanistan, Mr Hamid Karzai spoke of the great development challenges his country is facing, in the view of continuing security problems as well as climate change.
“We have an important challenge ahead of us, and that is dealing the impact of climate change on the habitat and livelihoods of our people. Some counties in our region have become energy deficient while others have enormous untapped energy resources. Though we recognize that energy security is important for sustained growth in our region, we have made slow progress in power transfer, grid connectivity, and the construction of gas and oil pipelines. Afghanistan believes that the time has come for the much discussed regional energy projects to become realities. We also believe that it is time that we collaborate more effectively to tap renewable sources of energy, which our region has in abundance."