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Stand By The Promises You Make, Omar Tells Delhi Leaders

SRINAGAR: Omar Abdullah has said that if the politicians are not held responsible for the promises they make, blood would continue to spill in Kashmir. The National Conference Vice President was speaking at a weekend function in Delhi.

“One way to Reimagine Kashmir is to stand by the words uttered and commitments made by political leaders,” Indian Express quoted Omar saying to the United Nations Young Changemakers Conclave at the US Consulate. “Former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao had said that short of azaadi the sky is the limit. Atal Bihari Vajpayee had said the issue of Kashmir needs to be dealt with insaaniyat, jamhooriyat and Kashmiriyat. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said in his Independence Day speech that we need to win people’s hearts. If we can only put these words into action and hold political leaders responsible, then it won’t be too hard to find a resolution.”

Reimagine was the theme of all the speakers at the 2018 conclave. Omar was asked to speak on Kashmir.

Omar, according to the newspaper, has warned that if people do not hold political leaders responsible for their promises “we will keep talking about militancy even 20 years from today — the problem will fester and blood will continue to be spilled”.

Omar, the newspaper said has criticised sections of the broadcast media for painting every young Kashmiri as a militant and a stone-pelter. “There cannot be more than 500-600 militants… Television news channels paint all of them with the same brush,” he said.

A statement issued by United Nations Young Changemakers said 2000 students attended the main function at Siri Fort Auditorium. It had a long penal of speakers from the government, non-profit, corporate, media and entrepreneurship. The focus of the event was on the “Business of Change”, the role of business, government and social entrepreneurs in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Beginning with an introduction by UNYCC co-founders Samyak Chakraborty and Ira Trivedi, the inauguration ceremony opened with an address by Derk Segaar, Director of the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan. Addressing the SDGs and encouraging the youth to take ownership of the Goals, he said “These are your Goals. These are our Goals.” He expressed the opportunities for growth and change, such as in renewable energy and climate adaptation, facilitated by a changing global paradigm.

UN Resident Coordinator in Delhi Yuri Afanasiev introduced Ashok Amritraj, the newly appointed SDGs Ambassador for India, and engaged with an interesting conversation with him focussing on how India’s progress with the SDG agenda could be highlighted internationally.

In an engaging address, India’s Union Minister for Law and Justice and Electronics and Information Technology  Ravi Shankar Prasad outlined the goals and accomplishments of the Government of India in expanding access to technology and overcoming the digital divide.

A wide variety of speakers from backgrounds as wide as education, health, marketing, advertising, dating apps, and condom companies connected their work with achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Representatives from large corporations like Coca-Cola, Nestle, Indigo and others, discussed their companies sustainability policies and efforts towards giving back to the communities they work in. The Ambassador of Canada Nadir Patel also addressed the Conclave.

The event aimed at sparking interest and ideas by sharing existing activities around the SDGs, connecting the global agenda with local actors who must come together to make it a reality. As a massive outreach event witnessing youth participation and engagement, it was a roaring success.

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