Pakistan’s First National Conference on Sustainable Development Goals held

Islamabad, July 11, 2018 (PPI-OT): Federal SDGs Support Unit, Ministry of Planning Development and Reform organised Pakistan’s First National Conference on Sustainable Development Goals in collaboration with UNDP-Pakistan. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, and Finance Dr. Shamshad Akhtar was the Chief Guest. Addressing the conference, she stated that there are decent accomplishments in terms of advocacy and socialisation by the Ministry of Planning and Federal as well as provincial governments, however, SDGs must be advocated at much broader levels also.

Pakistan is going through unprecedented macroeconomic set of challenges where our fiscal deficit current account deficit is above our target level. In wake of that, stated Dr. Akhtar, given resources constraints, all stakeholders including development partners, private sector, CSOs, and all tiers of the government pool resources have to join hands to achieve most critical and prioritised SDGs targets.

The Minister proclaimed that we will not be able to implement SDGs agenda until we adopt a strategized and high priority approach to it. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar stressed that there must be partnerships with different groups of development entities inclusive of research and academia with proper terms and references to proceed further for SDGs agenda implementation.

She also asserted that partnerships at local government level should be well thought out encouraging the start-ups, using power of micro finance to galvanise implementation at local level through NGOs and other private partners. Partnerships with corporate sector can also be used as means of implementation. She advised Ministry of Planning must pick up very critical SDGs and should sort out their needs and financing requirements. The prioritised SDGs may further be mainstreamed with the development agenda making them feasible for implementation.

In the welcome remarks, the Secretary MoPDR, Mr. Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui welcomed the worthy guests and noted Pakistan’s strong commitment for the implementation of SDGs agenda. He remarked that SDGs are integrated with country’s National Development Agenda and that the Minister of PD and R also attaches high importance to it by placing it in her top three priorities. The Secretary stated that Government of Pakistan also wants to engage the private and corporate sector, civil society and research and think tanks for SDGs agenda implementation. He hoped that the Conference would help to understand the mechanics related to the coordination and partnership component of SDGs.

Mr. Neil Buhne, Resident Coordinator United Nations highlighted the key interventions made by UNDP since the adoption of the Global Agenda. Mr. Zafar ul Hassan, Chief SDGs, MoPD and R highlighted the unprecedented hard work done by the SDGs Section and Federal SDGs Support Unit teams at the Ministry to formulate Data Reporting Gaps and National Framework on SDGs in consultation with stakeholders including development partners, government ministries and line departments, data reporting agencies, civil society, academia and think tanks he also discoursed the salient features of SDGs and its implementation roadmap in Pakistan.

Later to this Chief SDGs shared progress being made in localising the SDGs agenda at federal level so far and provincial SDGs Support Units representatives also presented their progress emphasizing the need of partnerships between all stakeholders.

In the middle half stakeholders of multiple sectors had very fruitful panel discussion. Dr. Stephanie Burri, Head of Swiss Development Cooperation shared that how in Switzerland the Global Agenda is being implemented and SDC has just now signed a contract between Government of Pakistan and UNDP Pakistan to support for next National Human Development Report, which will help youth of Pakistan to share their views, challenges and understand their strengths to further localise the Agenda 2030 in a better way.

Mr. Salman Malik, Vice President – Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs, JAZZ Pakistan stated that though the SDGs agenda seems very ambitious in Pakistan’s context but we can achieve noticeable progress through building partnerships at multiple levels as well as goals wise with teleco’s, corporates, private sector and business communities.

Ms. Samita Khawar, Country Manager UNOPS Pakistan, Dr. Asad Zaman, Vice Chancellor at PIDE and Mr. Harris Khalique the Poet, Columnist and a Civil Society Representative were also participated in the panel discussion and shared their views, enlighten the SDGs coordination, partnership and implementation mechanism. Participants from various government departments, civil society, private sector, data collecting agencies, academia and think tanks participated in large number at the conference to further distil the roadmap for next five years strategy of localising the Global Goals.

For more information, contact:
Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms
“P” blocks Pakistan Secretariat,
Phone: 051-9206639
Fax: 051-9201777