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World needs new awakening to tackle rich-poor divide: Salman Khurshid

Thursday, 6 February 2014 - 7:18pm IST | Agency: PTI

Observing that disparities between the rich and the poor are growing, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid today pitched for a new global awakening and a means to meet the needs of the poorest "effectively and adequately".

"We are living in a complex world where disparities between the rich and the poor, as just being told, are wide and continue to grow. The world population continues to grow and increase globally," he said during the inaugaral address of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit.

"Consequently, the needs also grow exponentially. We, therefore, need a new global awakening to be able to deal with disparities and means by which the needs of the poorest can be met effectively and adequately," Khurshid said.

He said this was not just a political imperative, as has been reminded due to important and dramatic changes taking place in several countries of the world, but also a moral obligation. He asked the global community to take urgent steps to anticipate future challenges and start dealing with them right away in the wake of growing problems of energy, water and food.

"Problems of energy, water and food are likely to become more acute over time unless we take urgent steps globally to anticipate future challenges in this regard and start dealing with them right away," Khurshid said. He said while large number of people in this world do not have access to electricity, there are others who are living under the shadow of water shortages, hunger and malnutrition.

"Continuation of these conditions will lead to global tensions and threats to lasting peace. The global community and international organisations in particular have to be at the forefront of efforts -- to change directions if need be -- and take such initiatives as are required to solve these problems," Khurshid said. He said India has placed great emphasis on food, water and energy and no global efforts to live in peace together will be possible unless we ensure sustainable development. 

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