Islamabad, 16 April 2019 — A two-day National Parliamentary Consultation on SDGs organized by SDG Taskforce of National Assembly of Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS), UNDP & UNICEF commenced at PIPS on April 16, 2019. The aim of consultation is to provide an opportunity for members of National and Provincial Assemblies and delegates from civil society, experts and academia to discuss and formulate strategic vision and way forward in effectively taking up the imperative matters of country’s horizontal and vertical sustainable development with respective federal and provincial governments. The National Parliamentary Consultation on SDGs will help bringing new legislation if required; and most importantly plan for robust scrutiny and oversight through all available parliamentary tools in respective Houses to enhance the much needed sectors of health, education and sanitation while overall leading country’s efforts in poverty alleviation.
Chief Guest of the National Parliamentary Consultation was Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan Asad Qaiser who appreciated the efforts of Convener SDGs Task Force, Riaz Fatyana for effectively activating the Taskforce since in-charge. He also applauded the role of Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services and UN agencies for the support and cooperation they have provided during the course. Speaker National Assembly highlighted that the process of devolution in the wake of 18th Amendment has significantly increased the role of the federating units. He further emphasized that by agreeing to the international convention pertaining to the SDGs, Pakistan has committed itself to work in the identified areas with set goals. In his concluding remarks, he ensured his full support to SDGs Taskforce as the custodian of the National Assembly of Pakistan as well as the Patron of the SDGs Parliamentary Taskforce.
Executive Director PIPS Zafarullah Khan welcomed the participants and underscored the importance of the two-day intellectual discourse bringing together legislators as well as officials from all the legislative houses at National as well as Provincial level. He reiterated the international commitments of Pakistan and gigantic task ahead for SDGs taskforces for effective and efficient delivery of those commitments.
Convener National Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs, Member National Assembly Riaz Fatyana also shared his remarks with the august gathering. He welcomed the participants and shed light on the importance of implementation and delivery of SDGs that matches the very essence and vision of Pakistan’s welfare state. He further stressed that the National Parliamentary SDGs Taskforce envisions to work together with counterparts in provincial and legislative assemblies to robustly oversight the respective governments viz – a - viz policy, administrative, resource allocation and implementation of essentials to achieve the country’s SDGs without fail.
Ms. Naoko Takasu, Deputy Resident Representative - Programme, UNDP Pakistan while sharing her remarks underlined that Pakistan has made a good start in localizing SDGs agenda and commended the Parliament’s commitment to the attainment of SDGs, particularly through active National and Provincial SDG Task Forces. She highlighted three key roles of parliamentarians in accelerating the progress of SDGs; being voices of the most marginalized and vulnerable; translating initiatives to support SDGs into laws; and ensuring priority SDGs are sufficiently budgeted. She requested participants to think what can be done to reduce inequalities in Pakistan when discussing the way forward.
Ms. Aida Girma-Melaku, Country Representative – UNICEF, in her address emphasized on the responsibilities of provinces and provincial taskforces in deliverance of SDGs and the support National Taskforce could provide.
The inaugural session concluded with a group photo of participants with the Chief Guest of the occasion Mr Asad Qaiser, Speaker National Assembly of Pakistan.