To fight terror, other ills: Asian assembly seeks to wage anti-poverty fight

Calls on member countries to direct more resources towards clean energy projects

Maryam Usman July 28, 2016
According to the United Nations Multidimensional Poverty Index, about half of Pakistan’s population lives below the poverty line. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Poverty alleviation is vital to combat international terrorism, drug abuse and trafficking, arms smuggling, sea piracy and transnational crimes.

This was stressed in a resolution adopted by members of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) on Wednesday at the concluding day of a meeting of its standing committee on economic and sustainable development affairs.

In the APA meeting delegations participated from Bhutan, Turkey, Iran, Thailand, Kuwait, Bahrain, the Maldives, Indonesia, Russia, Cambodia, Afghanistan, Jordan, Sri Lanka and Lebanon.

The APA, an offshoot of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace (AAPP), is formed by a group of Asian parliamentarians to join forces toward promoting peace and human rights in Asia.

A proposed amendment of Iranian delegation on poverty eradication called for increase in efficiency of working women and removal of discrimination in the wages of men and women.

The amendment further laid stress on empowering the poor to improve their living conditions; enabling them to participate in decision-making on issues which affect their lives; helping working women to increase their efficiency and removing discrimination in the wages of men and women.

“We acknowledge that poverty continues to be the biggest challenge of our time,” said Tjatur Sapto Edy, member of the House Commission VII that oversees energy, natural mineral resources, research and technology and environment in Indonesia.

Edy suggested that efforts to eradicate poverty should be holistic and integrated into the national strategy, calling for local and global participation.

The Indonesian delegation proposed calling on the APA member countries to work together towards sustainable peace and security in the region by addressing the root causes of violence and building resilient institutions and peaceful societies as enabling factors for economic growth and development.

They asked member countries to review their governments’ budget allocation, procurement and policy implementation.

They called on the APA countries to direct more resources and provide incentives towards clean energy projects to generate power from renewable energy resources.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2016.

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