Published Date: Sep 13, 2011
NATIONAL CONSULTATION TO MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS TO RIO+20
A National consultation was held here on Monday in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Rio +20 June 2012. It was jointly organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its capacity as Co-Chair of the one UN Joint Programme on Environment and the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The Consultation, followed provincial consultations in Lahore and Karachi and engaged a wide range of Pakistani stakeholders (governments, private sector, Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), think tanks and civil society.
UNDESA Consultant for Pakistan’s Preparations for UNCSD, Ambassador (r) Shafqat Kakakhel stated that the objective of the consultation was to secure renewed political commitment towards sustainable development based on the progress in implementation of previous summits on sustainable development and the new and old emerging challenges. He pointed out that Rio +20 Summit would discuss and make recommendations on green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development at global, regional and national level.
The Rio +20 process is of global significance as the outcome from Rio +20 will influence and direct the sustainable development agenda in the post-2015 period. It provides the opportunity to bring inclusiveness for human-focused, low-emission, climate-resilient growth.
Key participants included, Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Advisor on Climate Change and Development, Planning Commission, Toshihiro Tanaka, Co-Chair One UN Environment, Country Director UNDP, Prof Dr M Qasim Jan, Former VC Quaid-e-Azam University and Member, Board of Governors, SDPI, Shafqat Kakakhel, Former Ambassador Dr Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
In his opening address, Dr Ishfaq emphasised that strengthening implementation capacity on the ground is critical and the government and multilateral agencies can play a pivotal role in this regard.
Toshihiro Tananka further reiterated the importance of the Summit in the context of Pakistan, “Move towards sustainable development is not a matter of choice but necessity for Pakistan. Rapid population increase calls for wise decisions on the use of available resources as more and more people become dependent for their lives and livelihoods on already depleting natural resources,” he added.
Addressing the opening session, Prof Dr M Qasim Jan said that SDPI has contributed to the work of the Planning Commission’s Task Force on Climate Change and the formulation of the National Environment Policy in recent years. It is represented on the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Development. He said that the substantive and logistic support extended by SDPI, in collaboration with the UNDP, is perfectly in line with the mandate and goals of SDPI. After the Rio Summit, SDPI will join the government and other key stakeholders in ensuring the effective implementation of the outcomes of the Conference.
Dr Adil Najam highlighted different aspects of sustainable development while emphasising the importance of integrity of economy, environment and social justice. “Rio is an opportunity to redefine sustainable development across the globe and in Pakistan. We need to bring sustainability and efficiency checks while greening our policies,” he stated.