Lasbela University students to help achieve SDGs

Published: March 17, 2018
Sustainable Development Goals. PICTURE: UN

Sustainable Development Goals. PICTURE: UN

QUETTA: Lasbela University Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Ghulam Jilani has said that the varsity has 2,000 highly-qualified students and a faculty of 50 PhDs in different fields.

“I am proud of the fact that the university has achieved new heights in such a short time,” said Prof Jilani while addressing the ninth seminar on ‘Engaging Youth for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)’ at Lasbela University on Friday.

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The seminar was organised by Bargad, a national-level organisation working on youth development, in collaboration with Lasbela University and Oxfam Pakistan. Three hundred students were in attendance.

The seminar was organised to provide orientation and awareness to youth about the SDGs on climate change, gender equality, peace building, and institutional development with Pakistan’s Vision 2025.

The seminar was a part of Bargad and Oxfam’s nationwide campaign on SDGs which involves a series of similar seminars and mainstream and social media campaigns in 12 universities across Pakistan.

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The panellists of the seminar included Prof Jilani, Faculty of Social Sciences Dean Dr Syed Manzoor Ahmad, Faculty of Language and Literature Assistant Professor Dr Dolat Khan, Faculty of Water Resource Management dean Dr Nadeem Nawaz, while the moderator was Salma Butt.

The panellists shed light on specific SDGs relevant to their work in context of Pakistan and made presentations, followed by discussion with the students.

Prof Jilani welcomed Bargad and Oxfam for choosing Lasbela University from among the 12 selected universities.

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Lasbela University students Zara Qayum and Muhammad Masood gave their presentations on the background of SDGs and focused on SDGs five, six, 11 and 16 and talked about how important it was for the youth to be engaged in order to meet the challenges.

Human rights expert Saima Jasam gave a briefing on the overall background of SDGs and reflected on the performance of Pakistan in achieving SDGs.

She said that Pakistan was ranked at 122 among the SDGs index in 2017.

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She said, “SDGs are a universal set of 17 goals with 169 targets which all UN member states, including Pakistan, are expected to use in framing their national development agenda.”

The Federal Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform and the Punjab Planning and Development Department had established special units to align national and provincial development processes with the SDGs supported by task forces formed by the members of national and provincial assemblies, she added.

Dr Syed Manzoor Ahmad briefed on SDG eight – Economic Growth and Decent Work – and shared a few suggestions for Pakistan’s progress.

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Dr Nadeem Nawaz spoke on SDG six – Ensure Access to Water and Sanitation for All. He shared various statistics on water issues around the world and also talked about the present situation in Pakistan in relation to clean water and sanitation.

Dr Dolat Khan spoke on SDG five – Gender Equality.

Taking over the podium, Bargad Executive Director Sabiha Shaheen expressed her happiness to see many young women sitting in the university.

“They can become role models for many others who do not have opportunities,” she added.

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The framework of SDGs provides an avenue to the youth to be part of the development process. It calls for Pakistani youth to participate in achieving the SDGs, she added.

Qaisar Roonjah shared his experiences with students that how he had been groomed by youth organisations, including Bargad, and now he was so confident that he was invited to national and international level seminars to speak on developmental issues.

Oxfam Pakistan’s Imran said students should engage research work and take the initiatives themselves.

Bargad was not only involved in conducting such seminars but also was very active on social media. Bargad social media team successfully made the Twitter trend #youthforSDGs in Pakistan.

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