Dialogue on 18th Constitutional Amendment organized by the Higher Education Commission and the UNDP
Islamabad - The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Inter-University Consortium for Social Sciences and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Pakistan organized a dialogue on 18th Constitutional Amendment today at Higher Education Commission in Islamabad.
The purpose of the dialogue was two-fold; Firstly, to design an international conference on democracy, federalism and decentralization to be hosted in August, 2013, and to establish a tri-partite interface between academia, government officials and donors to discuss challenges and opportunities presented by the 18th Amendment.
The main objective of this initiative is to inform the strategic thinking and interventions by the stakeholders aiming at facilitating and optimizing the transition management of the 18th Constitutional Amendment in Pakistan in different sectors and at different tiers of governance. The morning session of the dialogue was dedicated to designing the themes and sessions of the international conference. The objective of the international conference is to create relevant knowledge base with a global perspective to enrich the conceptual and technical understanding of stakeholders on different dimensions of federalism and decentralization in Pakistan. The afternoon session focused on initiating a process of creating an interface between academics, experts, policy makers, donors and development practitioners to exchange individual and institutional perspectives on the implications of the 18th Constitutional Amendment with a special focus on social sector governance in Pakistan.
In his welcome note, Mr. Marc-André Franche, Country Director UNDP in Pakistan said, “This dialogue is instrumental for Pakistan’s democracy as the passage of the 18th Amendment can be regarded as one of its most significant achievements to date. The amendment itself is a unique example of political consensus in Pakistan as it was supported by all political parties. He further added, “The inputs from this dialogue and the conference will help develop a targeted program supported by UNDP and a coalition of donors to support the implementation of the 18th Amendment.”
The event was attended by renowned academics and experts on federalism, decentralization and governance including Dr. Kaiser Bengali, Member National Finance Commission Award, Dr. Nizamuddin, Chairman, Inter-University Consortium on Social Sciences, Mr. Fareedullah Khan, Secretary Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination, Mr. Haseeb Athar, Additional Secretary, Economic Affairs Division, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director HEC, Dr. Saeed Shafqat, Professor, FC College University and Dr. Jaffer Ahmed Professor, Karachi University.
The event was hosted by UNDP’s recently launched project on Strengthening Participatory Federalism and Decentralization in Pakistan. The project is aimed at providing technical assistance to the federal and provincial governments in the process of transition management against the backdrop of the 18th constitutional amendment.
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