Local governments urged to help achieving SDGs

ISLAMABAD, Mar 9 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development and
Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said the role of local governments was
pivotal to achieving Sustainable Development Goals set by the United
Nations for all its member countries.
Addressing mayors of local governments of all districts of the
country here at a Summit on SDGs, the minister said the
representatives could be helpful in expediting the implementation
process of SDGs.
The primary objective of this seminar was to initiate a
dialogue on the prospects of SDGs at local level and to develop
coordination and support mechanisms for SDGs among all three tiers
of the government.
The minister said he would contact the chief ministers of all
four provinces for cooperating with the local government’s
representatives in this regard.
The role of local governments, he said had become critical in
SDG achievement, especially from the perspective of identification,
planning, implementation, monitoring and oversight.
The participation of the local population in their areas in
the identification of local needs, and subsequently planning and
implementation is essential, and needs to be ensured, the minister
He said local communities ought to be the “real beneficiaries”
of the SDGs, and steps needed to be taken to increase their voice in
the development planning and implementation process.
The minister added that Pakistan was among the least developed
countries in term of social sector development, therefore the present
government had taken a number of measures for the development of
various social sectors including health, education, environment and
poverty eradication.
Ahsan Iqbal said after 18th constitutional amendment, the
responsibilities and functions of provincial governments had
increased substantially especially in the social sector.
He asked the local government representatives to also ensure
good governane in their respective areas to improve the performance
in public sectors.
The UN SDGs are an outcome of contentious deliberations of all
member States that have been ratified by Head of States of the
countries on September 25 to 27, 2015.
As an international development framework, the SDGs offer a
diverse opportunity to transform the national, regional and local
development framework and planning.
The 17 goals and 169 targets of SDGs call for theoretical and
conceptual clarity to design a plausible implementation plan for the
next 15 years.
In June 2016, the UN Statistical Commission proposed
approximately 241 SDG indicators for Pakistan to review the progress
at the national and global level.
These indicators will be tracked for monitoring progress at
regional, national and sub-national levels.