Sustainable Development Conference: ‘Pakistan on track for UN’s 2030 agenda’

Sartaj Aziz calls for South–South collaboration for regional peace, prosperity


News Desk December 06, 2016
Zahid Hamid, Sartaj Aziz & Abid Suleri. PHOTO: FILE

The government’s Vision 2025 – consisting of seven pillars and 25 goals - are fully aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which means Pakistan is now in line with the United Nations 2030 agenda.

This was stated by Climate Change Minister Zahid Hamid – the chair of the inaugural session of the three-day 19th Sustainable Development Conference, organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday.

Sustainable development: ‘Urgent efforts needed to tackle Pakistan’s energy, environmental issues’

With its overarching theme of ‘Sustainable Development:  Envisaging the Future Together’, the conference serves as a forum for exchanging dialogues on sustainable development issues. Development practitioners, social scientists academia, civil society, and policy makers from across the world are participating in the conference.

Hamid said implementation of the development agenda is possible with global and regional cooperation, and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an example of this cooperation. He suggested that South-South cooperation should be examined further to improve outcomes.

“Systemic monitoring machinery as well as capacity building is also required to implement SDGs,” he maintained.

Hamid said that work on establishing two high level bodies in the country such as the Pakistan Climate Change Council and Pakistan Climate Change Authority is afoot.

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz highlighted the importance of regional and international cooperation for the implementation of SDG targets.  He proposed more investment, adoption of new technologies, capacity building, and identification of barriers to achieve the targets.

In the backdrop of Brexit and the US presidential elections, Aziz said that after the formation of nationalist governments in the north, the north-south collaboration is in danger, therefore, there is a need to strengthen south-south collaboration for the promotion of peace and prosperity in the region. In this regard, he termed CPEC a right step in this direction.

He said SAARC was a big opportunity to see regional challenges, but its postponement was a great loss. Sustainable development of the country is hidden in trade promotion and not in financial assistance, he said, adding that Pakistan is on the path of peaceful coexistence for the betterment of coming generations.

SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri said the conference provides a platform to evaluate and learn what we have done wrong to avoid these mistakes in future. Furthermore, he added, “we have gathered here to reiterate and reaffirm our commitment to a shared and sustainable future.”

Published in The Express Tribune, December 7th, 2016.

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