General Assembly General Assembly

57th Commission on Population and Development

General debate

 

STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR RUCHIRA KAMBOJ

Date: 1 May 2024

 

 

Thank you Chair.

 

Given the paucity of time, I will make the following quick points.

 

Significant strides have been made in India in improving maternal health, evidenced by a notable reduction in the Maternal Mortality Ratio from 167 in 2011-13 to 97 in 2018-20, and an Infant Mortality Rate at 28, showing progress towards the SDGs. Through the ASHA program, India has enhanced frontline healthcare, resulting in almost 89% of births now occurring in medical institutions.

 

The Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana has financially supported over 33.1 million mothers, fostering recovery and rest post-childbirth. Additionally, India’s elimination of taxes on sanitary napkins and the reduction of their price to about one pence per pad has improved access to menstrual health products.

 

The innovative POSHAN Tracker monitors the well-being of over 101 million children and mothers, further supported by the Ayushman Bharat Yojana, which offers extensive medical packages, particularly aiding disadvantaged women.

 

The Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, the world’s largest health insurance scheme, targets the poorest 40% of the population. It provides up to Rs. 5 lakh per family annually, covering hospitalizations, and has facilitated over 22.7 million hospital admissions. The scheme integrates state health initiatives and a digital platform through the Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission, creating a unified health ID system. This initiative not only reduces out-of-pocket expenses, which impoverish millions annually but also advances universal health coverage, setting a model for other developing nations.

 

India’s Universal Immunization Programme has significantly expanded vaccine coverage for children and pregnant women through the Intensified Mission Indradhanush, vaccinating 38.6 million children and 9.68 million pregnant women.

 

In education, our current focus is on improving quality, expanding secondary and tertiary education, and skills development to enhance the employability of youth and close the gender gap. The Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (Save the Girl Child, Enable her Education) programme promotes women’s empowerment through awareness generation and by advocating for girls’ education.

 

India has been strengthening its global partnerships for sustainable development through South-South and Triangular Cooperation. Through the India-UN Development Partnership Fund, India supports projects that improve the availability of data for tracking progress of the ICPD agenda within the framework of the SDGs.

 

Effective development planning requires adapting to demographic trends, identifying regions needing expansion to accommodate growing populations, and recognizing areas with potential for rapid sustainable development, ensuring efficient resource allocation.

 

A collaborative approach to executing the ICPD Programme of Action alongside the 2030 Agenda establishes a strong foundation for action. In conclusion, let me reiterate our firm commitment to the ICPD agenda, in the context of the review and implementation of the SDGs.