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SDPI Official Press

Published Date: Oct 6, 2015

SDPI Press Release (October 6, 2015)

Sustainable Development Goals and the way forward
Islamabad, Monday, October 5, 2015: Pakistan’s poor performance on the Millennium Development Goals was a direct result of the fractured socio-economic platform that brought the country close to the league of the ‘Least Developed Countries,’ Federal Minister of Planning, Development and Reform, Professor Ahsan Iqbal says. Talking at the seminar on ‘Sustainable Development Goals and the Way Forward,’ held at Sustainable Development Policy Institute, Monday, he said, the damage has been compounded by devolution, where the social sector had been devolved to the provinces, without having any mechanism for coordination.  His government is now establishing the ministries of health and education for better coordination and delivery.
Our focus now has been shifted to security situation, rather than social development. The reasons are obvious. The ‘Vision 2025’ provides fundamental principles and a comprehensive framework for development, which encompasses the essence of Sustainable Development Goals, the minister said. Pakistan can realize SDGs by the Vision 2025 alone, the minister said. Pakistan would always comprehend the need for a balance growth through enabling social sector. The adaptation of the Social Action Plan (SAP), back in 1999 was an ample manifestation of that. The plan had financing, but due to poor ownership at the community level, it could not deliver much and was abandoned. Now, shortages of commodities, like electricity and gas have filled the practical space for any narrative.
To take steps on ground for the realization of these goals, budgetary allocations are being made to the projects, which are essentially part of the agenda. Also, the government is working for developing data. Some additional questions are being asked in the national population census scheduled next year.
Assistant Country Director, UNDP, Mr. Shakeel Ahmed said, Pakistan needs to address inequalities at the community level, for that the governments at all levels should firm up finances for development.  Climate Change is the other part of the twig, he said, which needs to be taken into account. Pakistan needs to improve internal cohesion to reduce chances of conflict, which has engulfed one fifth of humanity, at this point in time.
Dr Abid Q. Suleri, Executive Director of SDPI, said, some of the MDGs were contradictory to each other, which is a principal reason of their partial success. He said, now we have to educate our children to reduce poverty. He hailed that Pakistan has adopted most of the SDGs in its development vision, which is more optimistic than the MDGs.