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The Planning Commission on Tuesday held in Islamabad a national workshop on “Sustainable Development Goals - Baseline and Target Setting”. The objective of the workshop was to discuss and generate an open debate on SDGs, standards and definition, synchronising data, resolving key methodological issues, aligning federal and provincial budgets, taking on board provincial and local governments to actively pursue the goals and play effective role in implementation of policies.
While addressing the workshop, Dr Shamshad Akhtar, the Minister for Planning Development and Reform emphasised that for the purpose to jot down as to how the provincial and local statistical organisations could leap forward enhancement and augmentation of data itself, significant measures and initiatives are required to ensure receiving of cross verified data through credible mechanism. Further more, Pakistan needs to focus on institution building and capacity building of the human resource putting up lot is efforts and diverting necessary resources.
She maintained that it is important to recognise that the underline spirit of SDGs is to “leave no one behind” Pakistan also have to adopt strategies to enhance local participation and use local potential as a means not only for monitoring and accountability of SDGs but also in the implementation of the SDGs agenda2030.
Dr. Shamshad Akhtar highlighted that Pakistan was facing challenge of acute macro economic instability and fiscal deficit. The country needs strict financial discipline and consistent policies to overcome this challenge.
She maintained that creative approach needs to be adopted to find a mechanism to insulate effective financing of the sustainable development goals bearing in mind the financial restraints the country is faced with.
Focusing the future agenda and policies, the Minister advised to target the progress of the goals and evolve rigorous monitoring process that would help in successful implementation and evaluation of the policies. She stated that the government needs to take on board experts and modernise statistical data production services which would ultimately help in effective policy making and rationalising goals in this regards.
Earlier addressing the workshop, the Secretary Planning, Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui noted Pakistan’s strong commitment for the implementation of SDGs agenda. He remarked that SDGs are integrated with country’s national development agenda and that the Minister of PD&R also attaches high importance to it by placing it in her top three priorities.
Mr. Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui stated that Government of Pakistan also wants to engage the private sector, NGOs for SDGs agenda implementation. He said during the last five years, Pakistan has made remarkable progress in SDGs. He further stated that now we have to be more action oriented and take the lead from the front. All progress achieved locally, provincially and nationally must be tabulated. He hoped that the workshop would help to understand the mechanics related to the component of SDGs.
Mr. Zafar ul Hassan, Chief SDGs Section, Mr. M Ali Kamal, Economic Policy Advisor, Mr. Nadeem Ahmed, Social Policy Advisor, Dr. Rashid Bajwa, CEO NRSP also shared their viewpoint and future strategies. While senior officials of the line ministries, provincial representatives of SDGs unit, academia and civil society were welcomed to contribute their suggestions and way forward.