Vice Pres Ansari presents awards to SAARC debate winners

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New Delhi, Dec 7 (UNI) Vice-President Hamid Ansari today said it was not only the responsibility of governments but individuals also to look for appropriate solutions to confront the global challenge of climate change.

Presenting awards to the winners of the SAARC round of the Dr Mahbub ul Haq Memorial Inter-school Debate Competition which took place at the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation on December 3, Vice-President Ansari said, ''It is not just governments, but individuals too will have to look for appropriate solutions to confront the global challenge of climate change.'' He added there was very little awareness of the problem and it was upto the governments to ensure that people knew of the dangers associated with global warming.

Speaking on the occasion, UNDP Resident Representative Maxine Olson said the effects of climate change would be felt more by the poor than the rich. Making a reference to the recently released Human Development Report by the UNDP, she said the world would be confronted with stark choices.

The Annual Debating Competition was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Contemporary Studies (RGICS) in the memory of Dr Mahbub ul Haq- the father of the UNDP commissioned Human Development Reports and Human Development Index.

The topic of the debate was 'Unchecked consumerism and industrialisation has led to global warming, which affects the poor. Rich are responsible.' Participants dwelled on issues about the effects of climate change on the lives of people of South Asia-on their livelihood, food security and health. Winning teams from six neighbouring countries participated in the debate.

Team Pakistan was declared as winners while hosts India received the runners-up trophy.

The participants met Chairperson of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Sonia Gandhi, on whose suggestion the national debate was extended into a SAARC competition.


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