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September 14, 2019

Legislators to lead national response to SDGs

Islamabad

September 14, 2019

Islamabad: Rising above the fray of politics, the lawmakers of mainstream parties on Thursday pledged to lead the process of generating a national response to the sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations and the national development agenda.

The pledge was made during the ‘First National Legislators Conclave on Financing Sustainable Development Goals’ organised by the Institute of Social and Policy Sciences (I-SAPS) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) at a hotel here.

Among legislators were National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Parliamentary Secretary for Planning, Development and Reform Kanwal Shauzab and Parliamentary Secretary for National Health Services Dr. Nausheen Hamid, both from the ruling PTI, MNAs Syed Naveed Qamar of the opposition PPP, Ahsan Iqbal and Syed Javaid Husnain of the opposition PML-N, Dr. Nafeesa Shah and Mujahid Ali of the PTI, Sahibzada Kamaluddin and Mufti Abdul Shakoor of the opposition Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal and Punjab MPAs Mohsin Khan Leghari, Rana Munawar Ghuas, Aisha Nawaz, Sadia Sohail Rana and Raheela Khadim Hussain, Sindh’s Rashid Khan Khilji, Rabia Azfar and Barrister Hasnain Ali Mirza, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Taj Muhammad, Humaira Khatoon and Zeenat Bibi, and Balochistan’s Nasrullah Khan Zayrai, Abdul Wahid Siddiqui and Bushra Rind.

Opening the proceedings, convener of the National Caucus and Punjab irrigation minister Mohsin Khan Leghari said since there’s no defined yardstick to measure the parameters affecting core issues the national economy was trapped in, the event was meant to highlight the key challenges to the financing of sustainable development.

He asked lawmakers to continue making efforts towards the country’s achievement of SGDs. “It is high time to recognise the key role of the private sector in supporting and assisting governments in meeting the national development targets,” he said.

In the context of the private sector’s role in the financing of sustainable development, I-SAPS research fellow Ahmad Ali declared resource constraints such as financial flows, their inconsistency, and delays in fund release as the biggest challenges to the SDGs’ achievement.

He said 90 per cent of the country’s jobs, 60 percent of GDP and 80 per cent capital flows were driven through the private sector, while the corporate social responsibility contributed Rs7.66 billion to the national development.

“According to an I-SAPS recent study, 77 percent of the private sector organisations and corporate entities of the country are willing to collaborate with the government, while the rest are even keen to make financial contributions,” he said. MNA Naveed Qamar stressed the need for a legal and policy framework to engage the private sector proactively for supporting governments on national development.

Parliamentary secretary Kanwal Shauzab, who was nominated as the national convener for the National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development, said the formation of the caucus was a significant move and was reflective of the resolve of the legislators to drive the national development process.

She said the National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development would enable the formation of policies, rules, and regulations necessary for achieving SDGs.

Affirming the significance of the private sector’s participation in the development goals’ achievement, Kanwal Shauzab said the caucus would be a vehicle to create an enabling environment for the private sector and facilitate it to mainstream with the government’s SDGs agenda.

National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser appreciated members of parliament and provincial assemblies for showing commitment to the country’s SDG achievement and the national development agenda.

He said parliamentarians had the oversight role for the implementation of SDGs. The speaker praised delegates for formating the National Caucus on Financing Sustainable Development and hoped that the body would deliver the goods.

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