Collective efforts being made to achieve targets of SDGs: Marriyum

APP80-02 LAHORE: November 02 - Ms Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for IB&NH addressing National Knowledge Sharing Roundtable on Sustainable Development Goals. APP


ISLAMABAD, Nov 2 (APP):Minister of State for Information,Broadcasting and National Heritage
Marriyum Aurangzeb Thursday said that collective efforts were being
made at federal and provincial levels to achieve targets of
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She called for use of modern technology for improving contacts
with the provinces for realization of Sustainable Development Goals.
The minister who is also Chairperson of Parliamentary Task Force
on SDGs,said this while addressing the inaugural session of two-day
national knowledge sharing roundtable on sustainable development goals
here today.
The round-table was attended by Speaker Balochistan Assembly
Rahila Durrani,Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Fida Muhammad Nashad
and members of provincial assemblies from Punjab,Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
The minister said that in the past there was hardly a mention of
the problems related to SDGs in the speeches of the members of the
National Assembly. However,during the last two years, the members of
Parliament had been touching the health and eduction issues in their
budgetary speeches and the credit goes to the SDGs Secretariat,she
She said that on the initiative of Speaker National Assembly
Sardar Ayaz Sadiq Pakistan became the first country to have a
full-fledged parliamentary secretariat and task forces both in
federal and provincial legislatures. She said that holding census
was indeed a landmark achievement of the present government as during
the past 22 years accurate data was not available.
She said that the parliament would soon organize first-ever
national population conference to chalk out strategy for growth of
resources in line with the population increase. In the past such
conferences were organized by donors and international NGOs.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that steps were being taken for
improvement in health and education sector and the members of the
parliament should play their role in this connection.
The minister announced that Pakistan Television would soon
launch a dedicated channel for coverage of the Parliament and
provincial assemblies which would help in increasing awareness about the
activities and performance of the elected legislatures.
The minister announced that the PTV channel would cover the
proceedings of the Senate, National Assembly, their standing committees
and the activities of Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Studies. It
will also cover proceedings of provincial assemblies with their
permission,she added.
She reminded that when the task force was established it had
only 12 members but now its strength had increased to 45 as more and more
MNAs wanted to become its part.
The minister said that targets of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
could not be achieved as elected government was overthrown and the
dictatorial ruler changed the priorities set by the democratic regime.
She said another factor behind failure to achieve MDGs was the fact
that the United Nations itself set the goals without taking input from
various countries and it could not fulfill its pledge for financial
assistance. Moreover,she said that 2005 earthquake also badly affected
the progress on MDGs as financial resources had to be diverted to
relief and rehabilitation activities.
The minister said that there was need of enhanced parliamentary
oversight and monitoring of the ongoing projects related to SDGs.
She said that reporting on SDGs has been made easy.
Marriyum said that it was praise worthy that the SDGs Task Force
which has representation from all parties was above politics and
playing its due role. She appreciated the role of Balochistan Assembly
Speaker for realization of SDGs targets in Balochistan and added that
other provinces were also showing good performance which could be
further improved with better coordination.
She said that the SDGs secretariat would soon launch its website
having pages of the provinces as well to highlight their activities
and performance.Moreover a quarterly magazine Dev-Watch would also be
launched to highlights achievements in SDGs sector.
Speaker Balochistan Assembly Rahila Durrani said that in
Balochistan the Provincial Task Force on SDGs was playing its role of
a watchdog on the ongoing projects related to SDGs. She said that in
the 65 member provincial assembly the SDG task force had 20-member
strength who were trained about the objectives of the SDGs.
Speaker GB Assembly Fida Muhammad Nashad said that a five-member
SDG Task Force was active there. He said that in the GB,focus was on
the education and health sector and it was planned to have a high
school in every union council.
Earlier Executive Director PIPS, Zafarullah Khan said that
development and progress of the country was linked with parliamentary
debates and legislation.
Punjab SGDs Task Force convener Uzma Bukhari said that the provincial
task force has been playing its role of oversight very effectively.
She suggested that the PTV should hold debates and programmes for
creation of awareness on the SDGs related matters.