Syeda Shehrbano Kazim
Published Date: Dec 12, 2014
Luminaries attend closing plenary of SDPI conference
ISLAMABAD: The concluding plenary session of ‘Pathways to Sustainable
Development’, a conference organised by the Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI), drew a host of eminent panellists who shared
their views on the need for political and executive leadership that had a
commitment to strategise for peace and human security and establish
tangible safeguards for the political economy of the region while
engaging with the primary stakeholders; the people.
address was delivered by former finance minister, Dr Hafeez Pasha, who
said that Pakistan had no option but to follow the path of inclusive
growth and sustainable development in the current scenario.
inflation and rising fl our prices, which have actually risen by 50 per
cent in real terms over the last few years, are the issues which require
the immediate attention of the government,” he said.
stated, “The past seven years have been particularly hard for the people
of Pakistan, with inflation in the double digits, a growth rate of
barely 3 per cent and unemployment at 12%.”
Dr Hafeez Pasha delivers keynote address; Pakistan Data Portal also launched
He discussed the drivers of increasing inequality, which he identified as increasingly skewed
agricultural land ownership, the banking sector’s heavy lending to the rich and rampant tax evasion,
with only 16 per cent of large companies paying their taxes.
his opinion, an inclusive development strategy would include policies
where the benefits of falling international commodity prices would
trickle down to consumers, where the ineffi-ciencies of the power system
would be addressed and tax reforms would eliminate privileges for the
Former federal minister Dr Sania Nishtar said, “The
environment and context in which the Millennium Development Goals were
articulated and where we find ourselves today are very different.
The MDGs were developed for the aid system, when the world had a lot of fiscal space. But the world is very different today.
The SDGs are not designed for the aid system, but for countries to strategise and achieve complex
SDPI Executive Director Dr Abid Suleri
summed up the proceedings of the conference and stated with pride, “This
year the was attended by 170 delegates from 19 different countries,”
adding, “Sustainable development is not possible without the active
support from communities.”
Federal Minister for Commerce and
Industry Khurram Dastgir Khan, took a more macro perspective and spoke
of regional economic connectivity.
“South Asia has become a region
of democracies but it remains one of the least integrated regions of
the world and the advantages of cooperation cannot be fully attained.”
Azmat Isa, CEO of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund, said, “We are
all aware of the challenges our country faces – and the response boils
down to two simple actions: commitment and courage – we all need to walk
the talk regarding the values that we uphold, which are inclusion,
participation, transparency, sustainability – from the men and women who
are members of community institutions to ourselves as individuals first
and as members of the development sector, private sector,
SDPI also launched the Pakistan Data Portal, a
joint project with Alif Ailaan, which is an online tool for the sharing
and dissemination of all data on education in Pakistan. Anyone with a
computer and internet access can view and download publicly available
Source : http://www.dawn.com/news/1150396/luminaries-attend-closing-plenary-of-sdpi-conference