Without engaging MPs, LG representatives, no development goals can be achieved: Marriyum

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Marriyum Aurangzeb Thursday said that unless parliamentarians and representatives of local governments were engaged, no development goal could be achieved. Addressing the closing session of a two-day seminar on sustainable development goals here she said “For achievement of sustainable development goals we have to do legislation, we can create an enabling environment through legislation to remove the difficulties”. The minister said that under the leadership of Ayaz Sadiq, Pakistan’s Parliament was the first legislature in the world which institutionalized sustainable development goals. She said that today provinces had representation in the SDGs framework which was in line with the real spirit of this initiative. She said that in 2016, SDGs office was established within the parliament, and mobilization was done at the provincial level by establishing its offices in PIPS premises. Lauding the efforts made by the then Speaker Ayaz Sadiq for implementation of SDGs , she said that he mentored and supervised the SDGs and today its effects were in front of everyone. She said that the world was moving beyond the Sustainable Development Goals ,as from 2022 to 2030 SDGs would be monitored and evaluated to see how the targets had been met. The minister said that due to climate change, the country was currently suffering from severe flooding, Balochistan had been severely affected by the recent monsoon rains. She said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, chairing a meeting regarding disaster management today emphasized the need to work on disaster risk management. Developing countries invest more in disaster response but their budget for disaster risk management had been meagre, she remarked. She said that the number of women in SDGs had increased for which Chairperson Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs Romina Khursheed Alam deserved congratulations. The minister said that about 65% of Pakistan’s population consisted of youth and their engagement in SDGs had also witnessed an increase. The minister opined that even at the district and union council levels, there was a need to involve youth in policy making for sustainable development goals. She said that in 2016, the budget was allocated for the SDGs for the first time, the budget line was given to the SDGs at the government level. Marriyum said that unless there were sufficient budget and financial resources, the development goals could not be achieved. The minister said that those countries had achieved their development goal in which the SDGs agenda was given at the local level. Similarly, she said the developing countries in which government institutions, representatives, members of national and provincial assemblies joined in policy making, also achieved sustainable development goals and millennium development goals. Maryam Aurangzeb said that when SDGs secretariat was set up in 2016, there was no political color in it, now all the provincial governments were representing this event which was a welcome development. She said that there were issues of governance within developing countries related to SDGs, along with the allocation of funds received from international partners and multinational donor agencies. She said that there was a check and balance at the provincial level on the use of this money and there was a need to check governance issues at the national level. She offered all possible support to SDG secretariat in achieving its goals. She said that parliamentarians, local government representatives and civil society had to look at what legislation could improve the SDGs. Appreciating the role of media regarding implementation of SDGs, she said that the Parliamentary Reporters Association was also made a part of the SDGs team. The minister said that it was the responsibility of all to work for the improvement of education, health facilities, environment, development, energy and economy as this was a national agenda, everyone should work together to achieve goals.

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