ISLAMABAD: In order to track the progress made by Pakistan towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs), there is need for an integrated participatory approach for preparation of the voluntary national review (VNR) report.

This was highlighted by speakers at a consultation session, organised by Awaz CDS and Malala Fund in Islamabad.

According to a statement, presented every year at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, VNRs provide countries with the opportunity to share their individual experiences including successes, challenges and lessons learned as they strive to work towards achieving the SDGs. The report discusses the governing framework and policies supporting the development process.

Chief executive of Awaz CDS Pakistan, Mohammad Ziaur Rehman appreciated the government for setting up institutional structures like parliamentary task forces and SDG units at national, provincial and regional levels to facilitate and oversee the implementation processes towards the achievement of SDGs.

However, he expressed concern over the fact that Pakistan’s report focuses on three of the six priority SDGs for this year’s HLPF review, including goals 8 (decent work and economic growth), 13 (climate action) and 17 (partnerships for goals), whereas goals 4 (quality education), 10 (reduced inequalities) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) were not discussed.

It also does not include the citizens’ views on the VNR process and progress on SDGs collected through stakeholders’ consultations held in 42 districts of Pakistan. A representative of the Planning Commission of Pakistan spoke about the processes that are adopted to gather data for the report.

Mujeeba Batool, a representative from Awaz CDS presented findings of the National Spotlight Report on VNR.

This report, she said, explains the situation on-ground in connection with the performance and progress of Pakistan.

Around 35 members from civil society organisations (CSOs) participated in the consultation session.

Most of the participants were organisations led by women, youth, transgender persons, differently-abled people and minority groups.

Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2022

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