The Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI) organized an in-house meeting with Dr. Abid Qayyum Suleri, Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) on July 7, 2015. The meeting started with the introductory remarks of Ambassador (R) Masood Khan, Director General, ISSI.
The topic of Dr. Suleri’s talk was ‘Future of Sustainable Development in South Asia’. Before starting his formal presentation, Dr. Suleri briefly talked about the concept of sustainable development and the different phases that this concept has been through. In his presentation, Dr. Suleri identified various drivers of and challenges in the way of sustainable development. Industry, energy, trade and technology were the factors which Dr. Suleri though could serve as the drivers of sustainable development in South Asia. His list of challenges included social (inequality, joblessness, rural poverty), environmental (degradation, climate change, pollution), and agricultural (food security).
The contemporary South Asian socio-economic milieu, Dr. Suleri argued, was marked by five mega-trends: individual empowerment, demography and urbanization, diffusion in power, consumerism, and agrarian transformation. These mega-trends, however, were neither positive nor negative on their own. Their impact on South Asian sustainable development will be determined by, what Dr. Suleri, identified as, “game changers”, which included state of regional economy, natural and man-made disasters, openness and transparency, violent conflict (internal and external) and impact of new technologies. Dr. Suleri also talked about research methodology.
The meeting was concluded by Director General, ISSI, who lauded Dr. Suleri’s presentation, and also informed him about ISSI’s efforts to produce quality research work which is closely oriented to policy.