Published Date: Sep 13, 2011
POLITICAL WILL SOUGHT FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Renewed political commitment towards sustainable development sought during a national consultation held here on Monday in preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) and `Rio+20` scheduled to be held in June next year.
The consultation 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). It engaged a wide range of stakeholders including government, private sector, NGOs, think-tanks and civil society. Similar consultations were earlier took place in Lahore and Karachi.
While speaking on the occasion, Shafqat Kakakhel, a consultant for Pakistan`s preparations for UNCSD, said 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 levels.
The Rio+20 process is of global significance as its outcome would influence and direct the sustainable development agenda in the post-2015 period. It provides the opportunity to include human-focused, low-emission, climate-resilient growth.
The consultation was participated by Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Special Adviser to PM on Climate Change and Development, Planning Commission, Toshihiro Tanaka, Co-Chair One UN Environment and UNDP Country Director, Prof M Qasim Jan, former Vice Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University and member Board of Governors of SDPI and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Ishfaq emphasized that strengthening implementation capacity was critical and the government and multilateral agencies could play a pivotal role in this regard.
Toshihiro Tananka 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,” he said.
“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 said
Addressing the opening session, Prof Qasim Jan said that SDPI 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 and added that the substantive and logistic support extended by SDPI, in collaboration with the UNDP, was perfectly in line with the mandate and goals of the 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.