UNDP Advocates for Inclusive Development in South Asia
23 February 2011: During the inaugural session of the World Conference on Recreating South Asia: Democracy, Social Justice and Sustainable Development, being held in New Delhi, India, from 24-26 February, Ajay Chhibber, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, highlighted that South Asia is at a critical turning point in its history, well placed to address inequalities and promote inclusive development to enable pro-poor growth and sustainable human development.
Noting the recent floods in Pakistan, the vulnerability of Maldives and the Bangladesh coastlines to rising sea levels, and the melting of the Himalayan mountain range, Chhibber stressed that "Climate change is no longer a distant threat; it is a reality." He noted that although economic growth continues to accelerate in the region, South Asian countries are impacted by climate change due to their vulnerability. Chhibber called for win-win strategies to build synergies against poverty and climate change.
The World Conference on Recreating South Asia aims to explore new policy perspectives for development, democracy and peace to transform South Asia. Other speakers included President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives and Nobel Laureates Amartya Sen and Muhammad Yunus. The conference was organized by the South Asia Centre for Policy Studies, UNDP and the Asian Development Bank (ADB). [UNDP Press Release]