Published Date: Dec 14, 2011
CRISES IN WEST NECESSITATE LOOKING TOWARDS EAST FOR DEVELOPMENT: MOOT
Given the multiple crises in the West, daunting challenge of poverty at home and the emerging needs to look towards East, paradigm of sustainable development in South Asia needs to be redefined, said the speakers at the inaugural session of 14th Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) ‘Re-defining Paradigms of Sustainable Development in South Asia’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday.
The region, which hosts the half of the poor of the world, needs to redefine its approach towards poverty reduction.
Its orientation towards development also needs to be redefined with greater regional cooperation and integration.
Dr Sabina Alkire of the Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative said, the measurement of poverty needs to take into account multi-faceted nature of deprivations faced by the poor.
According to Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2011 with particular reference to South Asia, as many as half of the population of Pakistan is poor and the country needs to adopt its national multidimensional poverty line so as to take into account the multiple deprivations in education, health and living standards that 82.7 million MPI poor face.
Naveed Qamar, Minister for Water and Power said the South Asian region has a common history and shared future, instead of embroiled with the different kinds of conflicts tormenting the lives of billion of people, we should cooperate and promote feelings of one region as it would benefit all the regional countries with regard to poverty alleviation, social development, social justice and natural resource management.
He said the region has always followed the policy of ‘looking at the West’ for development but it missed where it wanted to go and now the time has come to adopt a policy of ‘looking at the East’ keeping in view the regional economic cooperation and neighborhood.
He said cooperation and partnership between the countries in the region was of utmost importance, which would enable to resolve issues and challenges. Dr Saeed Shafqat, Chairperson BoG, SDPI said the body itself struggles to re-set its goals and re-interpret its institutional mandate, defined as the enhancement of peace, social justice and well-being, within and across generations.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI launched the SDC 2010 Anthology, ‘Peace and Sustainable Development in South Asia: The Way Forward’.
He said prevalent development paradigms in developed world have not been able to take care of the current generations what to talk of future generations. He said the conference would help us to analyze as to whether the Western prescriptions prescribed to us so far were relevant, financially viable, their relevance with countries’ political will, capacity to meet the demands at grassroots level and expertise at implementers level to deliver, and also whether all of the abovementioned factors or none of these factors were responsible for poor recovery of our patient-the underdevelopment.
Gayarthi Lokuge from Sri Lanka said rivalries amongst ethnic groups was a major cause of non-cooperation in the fishermen community and could be tackled if the government provided a working support system for all fishermen.
Richard Mallet from the United Kingdom and Dr Ashfaq Hasan Khan, Safal Ghimire from Nepal highlighted the use of information, technology and communication as a means to increase livelihood options.
Ameena Hussein, writer and publisher, Sri Lanka, Sushma Joshi, writer and film-maker, Nepal, Ayesha Salman of SDPI, Harris Khalique human rights activist and development practitioner, said the literature works as a means of expanding minds and providing deep insights on social and political issues that should be expressed to attain the greater goal of human development.