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A 2nd sub-committee of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was held under the Chairmanship of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here in Islamabad on Thursday. The meeting reviewed the progress of the main SDGs goals on poverty, unemployment, health, education, and the environment. The meeting was attended by Deputy Chairman Planning Commission; Secretary MoPD&SI, Chief Statistician, Chief SDGs along with NEC sub-committee members from provinces, AJ&K, and GB in the hybrid mode through zoom and also in-person.
Chief (SDGs Section) presented an overview, challenges, and proposed decisions to the forum. he also presented the Implementation status of the decisions from the last meeting followed by progress on VNR, SDGs Status Report, Data rules for national reporting, and proposed forums for stakeholders such as the private sector, civil society, academia, think tanks, and media. They also discussed the existing status of SDGs implementation, institutional arrangements, and way forward by the government to align SDGs with the development framework in the country, and improve coordination for SDGs monitoring and reporting system.
The Secretary MoPD&SI opened the session and welcomed the participants by giving an overview and rationale behind the constitution of the NEC sub-committee. He further informed that there are certain decisions that require the endorsement of this esteemed forum so that the progress and such decisions may be taken up in the upcoming NEC which is scheduled to be held in January 2022.
The NEC overall showed satisfactory progress but also pointed out some of the gaps as well, and in order to reduce these gaps, the NEC proposed a task force that should be constituted involving all provincial and federal stakeholders under the chairmanship Chief Statistician for taking on board all federal ministries for facilitation and resource mobilization.
NEC decided in the meeting that Pakistan will produce a country report on VNR where Pakistan will show its progress and how we filled these gaps. Minister Asad Umar said that the SDGs Status Report is the first report that should be presented at the NEC forum. The improvement in the SDG indicators would help in the budget preparation shall be aligned with the SDGs. He agreed that that national consultation on VNR to be convened by end of January 2022.
Speaking to all the delegates, Asad Umar said that the government is committed to providing all possible facilities to the most vulnerable and marginalized sections of society. He said that the National Economic Council at the end of next month will present what progress we have made to meet the 2030 milestones and what targets we have set for the next three years to reach that 2030 and what would be the proposed framework to achieve all the goals.
Deputy Chairman Planning Commission highlighted that there should be a national policy framework for the collection of data that also covers the National reporting of SDGs. In addition, a calendar of activities for conducting different surveys should be developed by PBS. He has also emphasized that PBS will provide all technical support for the capacity building of Gilgit Baltistan. On the last agenda PPitems, it was decided to arrange a workshop by inviting all private sector stakeholders for identifying roles and responsibilities along with identification of potential partners by federal and provincial SDGs units.