Lahore, February 20, 2019: The School of Humanities and Social Sciences of Information Technology University (ITU) Punjab launched the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Tech Lab in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Pakistan on Wednesday, 20th February 2019. 

Mr. Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative a.i., UNDP Pakistan, Ms. Lina Mousa, Country Representative, UNFPA along with Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, Acting Vice Chancellor ITU, inaugurated the SDG Tech Lab.

“Achieving the SDGs requires doing business not as usual: investing in home grown, low-cost solutions that leverage technology and innovative approaches is a must to succeed, and through partnerships.” Mr. Artaza said.

The UNFPA and the UNDP both emphasized the power of partnerships and joint-collaboration.

“I have a strong passion to engage with academia, especially with institutes such as ITU who have the capacity and resources that can help us advance towards the SDGs”, Country Representative UNFPA Lina Mousa said, “It is all about partnership, in terms of national development priorities.”

As closing remarks, Dr. Akhtar, the Vice Chancellor at ITU lauded his faculty and the intellectual capacity of the university.

“The brains are at the University and development solutions will be coming from institutions,” he said.

Dr. Akhtar emphasized the use of information and communication technology tools for strengthening the SDGs in Pakistan. He highlighted the role of cutting-edge research and improving the collection of solid evidence for policy making to solve national socio-economic issues.

Earlier today, a collaborative workshop organized by ITU and UNDP highlighted the core objectives of the SDG Tech Lab and its scope of work. The representatives of the Federal, all the four provincial and regional SDGs Units identified various socio-economic and governance issues. Dr. Akmal Hussain Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ITU, Dr. Izza Aftab Director SDG Tech Lab, Head of Economics Department, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, ITU, Shakeel Ahmad Chief Development Policy Unit and Assistant Country Director highlighted the need for greater interprovincial collaboration for the effective implementation of SDGs in Pakistan.

For additional information, please contact: Fatimah Inayet, Communications Analyst, UNDP Pakistan at fatimah.inayet@undp.org; +92 51 8355650

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