Published Date: Dec 13, 2013
SDPI conference fears greater food insecurity
Food insecurity in the region may grow starker if co-operative measures
were not pursued among Saarc member states and it is also necessary for
poverty reduction and human development. This was the crux of a session
on "regional co-operation for food security in South Asia" during the
16th annual Sustainable Development Conference of Sustainable
Development Policy Institute’s (SDPI) which concluded here on Thursday.
The conference concluded with a renewed resolve towards greater
regional co-operation in South Asia. The conference brought together
policy and practice communities to interact and recommend interventions
and present workable solutions to emerging challenges in South Asia.
On the 2015 development agenda in the context of millennium
development goals (MDGs), Marriyum Aurangzeb, Member National Assembly,
said Pakistan had been unable to achieve MDGs due to lack of effective
monitoring. She added peace and security should be included as a
separate goal in the post-MDGs agenda.
Experts also stressed that the civil administration involved in
the implementation of MDGs needed to be monitored and held accountable.
Their performance should be linked with clear performance indicators.
The development partners and the global community should be reminded of
their promise towards fulfilling the MDG goal focusing on building
global partnerships. The developed countries must honour their
commitments in the MDGs process and should contribute towards foreign
assistance, the committed portfolio of investments.
Experts in the session on Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) and
access to justice argued for the need for such mechanisms so as to
prevent various types of conflict, including the persistent militancy
problem in Pakistan.
In the roundtable discussion on governance, peace and justice in
South Asia, Dr Vaqar Ahmed, Deputy Executive Director, SDPI observed
that bilateral issues were halting regional co-operation.
Paul Macarthy from the World Bank highlighted the unbalanced
distribution of power between the public sector, private sector and
citizens. "Good governance can only be ensured when there is equal
distribution of power in the society," he observed.
It was also noted that connecting people, as in the IDRC
fellowship for Asian students, had helped students across South Asia to
explore and understand common challenges to the region.
Panellists in the session on Institutional Dynamics of Policy
Research in South Asia identified discrepancies in the institutional
dynamics of policy making in the region. The dynamics of policy making
were argued to be inconsistent in order to encourage policy-relevant
research. It was suggested that quality research should serve as
guidance for policy makers. It was established that the issue of
autonomy over the research agenda had particular influence on the
relevance and the quality of research produced by either universities or