INTERNATIONAL GUEST LECTURE

INTERNATIONAL GUEST LECTURE BY DR. ABRAHAM JOSEPH

Amity School of Economics was privileged to have Prof. Dr. Abraham Joseph with us on the 16th of January, 2017 to speak on ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of 2030: Ownership as a Key to Success’ and to address the faculty and students on the theme of the importance of sustainable development and the challenges involved in its fostering in the present day and age.

Dr. Abraham Joseph is an international expert on International Economic Development Policy and Practice with over 30 years of experience as a United Nations Advisor. As Senior Socio-Economic Adviser of the United Nations, he actively contributed to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and also contributed inputs to the formulation of the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals that was later adopted by the 193 countries in 2015. A highlight of Dr. Joseph’s career has been an extended relationship with Timor-Leste as Senior Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Timor-Leste in 2011. Prior to this assignment, he was Chief Socio-Economic Affairs Advisor of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste.

Dr Joseph’s presentation featured an analysis of the world around us and the importance of sustainability to cultivate a better future. He addressed the students on five key issues that were elucidated as: the background of the global programme on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their final review by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 (as well as the outcome of the review), the distinct contrasts between MDGs and SDGs, the factors that posed a challenge in implementation of the SDGs, and finally, the key factors necessary to achieve the 2030 Agenda on Sustainability and SDGs.

Before his tenure at the United Nations, Dr. Joseph worked in Government of India’s Planning Commission under leadership of Dr. Manmohan Singh, and at India’s Ministry of Finance’s Department of Economic Affairs in New Delhi. Dr. Joseph’s vast knowledge of the intricate functioning of the Indian financial system allowed him to speak specifically on India’s role as a rapidly emerging economy in the promotion of sustainability and the contribution the nation can make to ensure that the SDGs are attained by the year 2030.

Dr. Joseph conveyed that while our nation has made significant efforts in improving the quality of life of people over time and has managed to achieve the targets of reducing poverty by half, ensuring gender parity in primary school enrolment, as well as controlling the spread of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, the nation’s performance in other welfare indicators has not been satisfactory. Dr. Joseph elucidated how India continues to lack behind on targets for empowering women through wage employment and political participation, reduction in infant mortality, as well as improvements in access to adequate sanitation to eliminate open defecation.

Dr. Joseph went on to state that while it was conventionally believed that the United Nations was a “far-off” organization responsible for making decisions that did not directly concern the students that were being addressed by him on the day, he genuinely felt that the implementation and performance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals eventually were the responsibility of the students as they constituted the working populace of the future. Additionally, he declared that students of Amity University are the leaders of the future and thus their contribution to the working of the goals laid out for 2030 by the United Nations is imperative.

Dr. Joseph also patiently answered several questions put forward by the students of ASE. The questions posed to him included doubts ranging from the challenges faced by the United Nations (through the UNESCO) in attaining reliable empirical data due to varying definitions and thresholds of poverty and educational levels in different nations, to the fact that while BPOs provide large scale employment to masses of Indians, they also restrict the innovative and research capacities within the domestic economy as they generally retain productive resources for their home countries. Dr. Joseph elucidated that he was impressed with the level of knowledge showcased by the students of ASE and comprehensively tackled each question presented to him.

Dr. Joseph further stressed on the fact that sustainable development is the key challenge of our times as Earth is presently under a great strain. While poverty continues to plague communities and families, climate change threatens livelihoods, and conflicts continue to arise across the world, Dr. Joseph believes that there exists a good reason for optimism as real solutions exist for the global fight against these dire yet prevailing issues. Dr. Joseph ended his presentation by quoting former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban-Ki Moon by saying “…Success will rely on a renewed partnership for development among all actors including Governments, parliaments, local authorities, international institutions, civil society, academia and the private sector”.

Dr. Joseph’s words truly provided invaluable insights and inspired the students and faculty members immensely. Moreover, Dr. Joseph’s vast knowledge and experience on the issues plaguing our world and the real-time solutions necessary to alleviate them shall also surely help Amity School of Economics shape our own conference on ‘United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of 2030’ to be held in March 2017 in an enormous way.


GUEST LECTURE

India is one of the fastest growing economies of the 21st century. It has thriving opportunities for development and prospects of greater growth. It thus makes the country an attraction for the economic players and development firms around the world. Organization For Economic Co-operation and Development founded in 1961 is one such firm that provides platform for countries to compare policy experience and seeking awareness to common problems. On 21st August, 2015 the ASE students engaged in an important discussion with Advisor to GMBH representing OCED, Ms. Lisa Peterskovsky , the guest speaker of the conference . The session discussed the problems faced by the developing countries of the East. It dealt with the aspect of inclusive growth and environment sustainability. The young aspiring economist were informed with the intricacy of the Micro, Mezo , Macro level of working in the capitalism. The importance of private world and the need of the developing countries to promote the private sector was the highlight of the event. The lecture was made more interactive through the question hour by the students which proposed the on ground difficulties faced by the market oriented companies. The questions discussed about the problems of government policies and license, technology and issue of sustainability faced by the private firms and startups. The conference ended on an informative note, solutions to the questions and a hope for stronger economies and co-operation keeping in mind the various environmental issues that are drawbacks of unsustainable growth in the capitalist countries and private sector initiatives.