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Dawn

Published Date: Jan 24, 2013

Pakistan fails to meet Millennium Development Goals

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is not expected to meet
most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015, and this could have,
economically, adverse affect on the region.

This
was stated by deputy country director UNDP Pakistan, Jean-Luc Stalon, at a
roundtable discussion on “Consultations on Post 2015 Development Agenda from a
Pakistani Perspective” jointly organised by UNDP and Sustainable Development
Policy Institute (SDPI), here on Wednesday.  Dr Vaqar deputy executive
director, SDPI, moderated over the proceedings.

Millennium
Development Goals: The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight
international development goals that were officially established following the
Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000, following the adoption of the
United Nations Millennium Declaration.

All
193 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations
have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015.

The
goals are eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary
education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child
mortality rates, improving maternal health, combating HIV/Aids, malaria, and
other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and developing a global
partnership for development.

Mr
Stalon discussed persistent inequalities in Pakistan, commenting that GDP
growth rate in the country between 2000-2012 averaged 4.5 per cent but
inequalities during the same period increased to 0.27 to 0.29.

Mr
Stalon also mentioned the regional disparities which were due to unequal
resource distribution.

He
also highlighted the lack of structural transformation and said “40 per cent of
Pakistan’s workforce is agriculture, yet the sector produces only 21 per cent
of the GDP”.

He
argued that for growth to be inclusive, productivity in agriculture sector
needs to be improved or labour force should be shifted to the manufacturing
sector.

He
also talked about environmental challenges in Pakistan and said that estimates
suggest that environmental degradation costs the country at least 3 per cent of
the GDP, with disproportionate impact upon the poor and most vulnerable.

About
MDGs, Mr Stalon said that it was one of the most fantastic initiatives of the
United Nations and would go a long way in reducing poverty in the region.

He
said that there is significant achievement as the numbers of the world’s poor
have decreased from 1.9 billion in 1990 to 1.3 billion in 2008, which means that
600 million people have been lifted out of poverty.

He
said that while reviewing the MDGs, we come to the point that social
development is an unfinished agenda and this is the time to look at key
challenges the world today is facing and also how one can shape the future.

He
said, post-2015, development paradigm must ensure inclusive social development,
environmental sustainability, inclusive economic development and providing
peace and security.

He
said today around 1 billion people across the world are malnourished and more
than 205 million are unemployed, whereas only 28 per cent of global population
is covered by social protection systems.