Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) Karnataka, India, organised a two day event on 20- 21 March 2023, where eminent speakers representing government think tanks, non- governmental organisations (NGO), industries, and academia, gathered to address important conversations on some of the most pressing issues, including Interlinking G20 and SDGs in a Multi- Polar World Order, Pandemic Treaty at the intersection of “One Health” approach, global health governance in the context of conflict, and the dynamics of geopolitics.
The Think 20 (T20) is a well-established official engagement group of the G20 which serves as an “idea bank” for the G20 to bring together the educational institutions, research organisations and high-level experts to discuss policy issues relevant to the G20. The T20 side event was organized in cooperation with the T20 Secretariat, Observer Research Foundation (ORF) and Research and Information System for Developing Countries (RIS) as part of Aazadi ka Amrut Mahaotsav and India’s taking over the Presidency of G20. India aims to prioritise global economic and developmental parameters, promote the agenda of equitable and inclusive development along with a shared future highlighting the principle of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” (One Earth, One Family, One Future).
During this event, Smt. Uma Mahadevan, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary- Panchayat Raj, Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR), Government of Karnataka was the chief guest of the event followed by Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor, MAHE, Manipal as the guest of honour.
Smt. Uma Mahadevan, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary, RDPR, Karnataka addressed the two-day T20 Side Event on Interlinkage of G20 and SDGs: Challenges, Solutions and Way forward which was organized by the Prasanna School of Public Health (PSPH) and the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations (DGIR), MAHE, Manipal to facilitate the urgent need of implementing localized solutions for SDGs at the Panchayat level by the Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj (RDPR). Smt Uma Mahadevan said: The RDPR department played a vital role in conducting science-based awareness programmes during the COVID-19 crisis, referring to SDG 03. Lauding the efforts of MAHE, she further laid emphasis on the importance of the transformational nature of education across generations, and the alignment of the expertise in academia, universities, practitioners, state, research, and private sector to achieve the SDGs.
Lt. Gen. (Dr.) M.D. Venkatesh, Vice Chancellor of MAHE stated: In the past three years, MAHE has published more than 10,000 articles in reputed journals, out of which, 5770 articles are published in journals with direct relevance to SDGs and more than 30 projects are ongoing in diverse areas pertinent to SDG. He further quoted Dr. T.M.A Pai’s vision for youth stating “Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders” emphasizing the need to internalise and prepare youth to take leadership positions.
In this event, numerous eminent speakers provided insights into the challenges, gaps, and potential avenues that the G20 can act as a platform for cooperation and dialogue in the work towards SDG.
Dr. Seshadri Chari, Member of the Planning and Monitoring Board of MAHE and Member of the Governing Council, RIS emphasised on Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s point on thinking globally and acting locally by addressing the importance of linking G20 agenda and the SDGs.
Prof. Dr. Srinath Reddy, Distinguished Professor and Past President of the Public Health Foundation of India, stressed on the role of equity and inclusivity of policies in achieving SDG.
The two-day event served as an excellent platform to express emphasis on collective commitment to ensure cooperation in ongoing discussions which involved prevention of future pandemics, diverse areas of climate security, data security and cooperatives, cyber security, responsible Artificial Intelligence, digitalization of health infrastructure, and strengthening health systems and governance in conflict settings. Ms. Eenam Gambhir, Joint Secretary, G20 Secretariat in her concluding remarks stated “In the context of India’s Presidency of the G20 and the need to integrate SDGs with the agenda, India has to emerge as the voice of the Global South, work on aspects of sustainable development, policies and commitments.”
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