Pakistan and SDGs Targets
5th October, 2021
The Centre for Strategic Perspectives (CSP) at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) held a web based panel discussion on October 5th, 2021, titled “Pakistan and SDGs Targets.”The panelists included; Dr. Lubna Naz, Assistant Professor IBA Karachi; Nadeem Ahmed, Social Policy Advisor;Mr. Amir Hussain, and Ahmed Naeem Salik, Research Fellow, CSP, ISSI. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Neelum Nigar, Director CSP.
Opening the panel discussion Dr. Nigar stated that Pakistan has made considerable progress by making SDGs part of Pakistan’s national policy and strategy including the five year plan provincial growth strategies.The government of Pakistan has designed and approved a national SDG framework that envisages a national vision to priorities and localize the SDGs, approved by Pakistan’s National Economic Council through which the provinces as well as the Federally Administered areas are guided to determine their development priorities.
In his welcome remarks Ambassador Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Director General ISSI said that there is no dearth of political will and ownership in Pakistan regarding the implementation of the SDGs as it is part of Pakistan’s Vision 2025; however, more is needed to be done on the implementation part. He highlighted that as geo-economics is becoming a priority of the government of Pakistan, focusing on traditional as well as non-traditional security issues, this automatically makes SDGs as part of the overarching policy priority.
Mr. Nadeem was of the view that the current SDG framework has provided enormous opportunity for sectors to participate in the development of Pakistan and move forward. Under the current government the SDG task force and support units have been established at the federal as well as at the provincial level for effective implementation of the devised policies. This further reflects the collective political will and ownership of SDGs.
Contributing to the discussion Dr.Naz touched upon the gender related issues and rights of women. She was of the view that there is an increased need to engage men in the country in educating them to prevent violence against women as it one of the major components of the SDGs. Moreover, she said that gender equality should be of highest priority for Pakistan as it is the fifth goal and a global priority while Pakistan ranks at 151 out of 153 in gender inequality.
Mr. Hussain in his remarks touched upon various other aspects of SDGs. He highlighted Pakistan spends only 2.3 percent on education and 40 percent of children under the age of five are stunted which shows that more resources are required to achieve the set targets by 2030. Mir Hussain further said that there is need to localize the SDGs in the context of national wealth.
On the issue of climate change Mr. Salik shed light on the fact that Pakistan has made the most progress on climate action which is goal 13 of the SDG plan and has achieved the goal ten years prior to the actual date. Through a properly orchestrated and dedicated approach as well as a policy which is properly implemented,Pakistan has been able to achieve the goal on climate action and is ahead of many countries.
Concluding the panel discussion, Chairman Board of Governors, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood said that the international community regardless of their difference has been making great efforts in mobilizing their resources to shape public opinion to achieve socio-economic progress. He was of the view that while the government of Pakistan is giving more importance to the SDGs,itis lacking in its implementation due to limitedresourcesand capacity at the local. The discussion ended on the agreement that Pakistan must keep pursuing the quest for achieving the SDGs.