Speakers term better focus, coordination key for successful implementation on SDGs

ISLAMABAD: To honor the commitments with international community on the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), priorities at federal, provincial and local levels should be revisited with more focus on achieving the development goals in line with these pledges.

Civil society and corporate sector could play pivotal role in materializing the intended goals and hence, it the approach of the government towards the development partners should be changed in positive manner.

The speakers expressed these views while speaking at the seminar ‘Implementation of SDGs in Pakistan-Where We Stand after Two Years?’ held by sustainable Development Policy in statute (SDPI) in collaboration with AWAZCDS and Pakistan Development Alliance (PDA) here on Monday.

Romina Khurshid Alam, MNA, while presenting overall picture of implementation on SDGs related commitment in Pakistan, suggested that a civil society collation should be formed to prioritize the areas of expertise and to work on SDGs under a shared vision and planning. She said that there were number of areas that required immediate attention to improve the pace on implementation of SDGS.

She said that the federal government was taking SDGs related affairs seriously and the issues and priorities were being discussed at the parliament level on regular basis. However, since most of targets including that were related to health and education were now provincial subject, better coordination at federal to provincial and then at local government level should be strengthened.

Ms Alam added further that the members of the parliament received the funds to design and implement projects in line with the DGS. However, she said, we will not able to achieve encouraging results without involving local communities in the development agenda.

Zia ur Rehman, Chief Executive, AWAZCDS Pakistan, was of view that it was a matter of grave concerned that our failure in achieving MDGs, there was a lack of interest and awareness at every level, including among the government concerned ministries, parliament and other departments towards SDGs and our international commitments.

He said that the for social sector at present was dismally low and for any meaningful impact at ground level, it should be enhanced up to 10 to 12 % of budgetary allocation.

Dr. Shahryar Khan Toru, Head SDGs Unit SDPI, while highlighting various lacuna that were existed regarding implementation on SDGs, said that Political government must respond to SDGs by ensuring institutions to effectively deliver social services.

He said that the government, civil society organizations and research institutions must barnstorm and exchange ideas on best action plans. SDGs required examining global knowledge and success stories for crafting evidence based actions and strategies, he concluded. Shafqat Munir, Senior Policy Advisor SDPI also shared his views with the participants and said that government should appreciate the efforts and consider civil society its development partner instead creating problems in the ways of its working.