ISLAMABAD: Pakistan needs to prioritise funding and administrative efforts in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), speakers at a seminar on Monday said.

Speakers at the seminar titled ‘Implementation of SDGs in Pakistan- Where We Stand after Two Years’ called on the civil society and corporate sector to play their role in achieving the goals.

The seminar was hosted by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) in collaboration with AWAZCDS and the Pakistan Development Alliance.

PML-N MNA Romina Khurshid Alam presented an overall picture of the implementation of the SDG related commitments in Pakistan and suggested a civil society coalition be formed to prioritise the areas of expertise and to work on the SDGs together. She said the federal government was taking SDG related affairs seriously and that these matters were being discussed in parliament regularly.

However, as most of the targets are education and health related, both of which are devolved subjects, better coordination is needed between the federal, provincial and local governments. She said the desired results cannot be achieved without the involvement of local communities.

AWAZCDS chief executive Ziaur Rehman said the Millennium Development Goals were not achieved due to lack of interest and awareness on every level including ministries, parliament and other departments.

SDPI SDGs head Dr Shahryar Khan Toru highlighted the lacunas in the policies for achieving the SDGs. He said the government, civil society and research institutions must come together to brainstorm and exchange ideas on the best action plans.

Published in Dawn, September 26th, 2017