Published Date: Dec 14, 2011
?WE MUST LOOK TOWARDS EAST FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT?
Given the multiple crises in the West, daunting challenge of poverty at home, and the emerging needs to look towards East, paradigms of sustainable development in South Asia need to be redefined, said the speakers at the inaugural session of 14th Sustainable Development Conference (SDC) ‘Re-defining Paradigms of Sustainable Development in South Asia’ organised by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on Tuesday. The region, which hosts half of the global poor population, needs to redefine its approach towards poverty reduction. Its orientation towards development also needs to be redefined with greater regional cooperation and integration.
Syed Naveed Qamar, Minister for Water and Power, said South Asian region has a common history and a shared future; instead of embroiled with the different kinds of conflicts tormenting the lives of billion of people, we should cooperate and promote feelings of one region as it will benefit all the regional countries with regards to poverty alleviation, social development, social justice and natural resource management.
He said that the region has always followed the policy of ‘looking at the West’ for development but it missed where it wanted to go and now the time has come to adopt a policy of ‘looking at the East’ keeping in view the regional economic cooperation and neighbourhood. Talking of Most Favored Nation (MFN) status to India and Pak-China joint initiatives he said cooperation and partnership between the countries in the region is of utmost importance which would enable us to resolve our issues and challenges.
Speaking at the inaugural session as Keynote Speaker, Dr Sabina Alkire of the Oxford University’s Poverty and Human Development Initiative said the measurement of poverty needs to take into account multi-faceted nature of deprivations faced by the poor. She, while sharing the salient findings of the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) 2011 with particular reference to South Asia, said as many as half of the population of Pakistan is poor and the country needs to adopt its national multidimensional poverty line so as to take into account the multiple deprivations in education, health and living standards that 82.7 million MPI poor face.
Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director on the global current crisis involving economic, social, political, environmental dimensions said prevalent development paradigms in developed world have not been able to take care of current generations let alone of future generations. He said the conference would help us analyse whether Western prescriptions were relevant, financially viable, had relevance with countries’ political will, had capacity to meet the demands at grassroots level and expertise at implementers’ level to deliver.