APP77-24 ISLAMABAD: October 24 – Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar addressing a National Consultation on Pakistan's Voluntary National Review preparation on Sustainable Development Goals. APP

ISLAMABAD, Oct 24 (APP):Minister for Planning Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar on Wednesday said that despite of challenges, Pakistan has firm resolve to continue its efforts for attaining sustainable development by implementing the global development agenda of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) comprising of 17 goals and 169 targets.
Addressing a National Consultation on Pakistan’s Voluntary National Review preparation on Sustainable Development Goals, the minister said that government has recognize the private sector for partnering to complement its efforts to achieve the SDGs. Pakistan, he said that not only endorses the sustainable development agenda about has also taken lead in prioritizing 17 goals according to our development needs. He said that the Ministry in collaboration with provinces and local governments, launched National Initiative on SDGs to mainstream and accelerate SDGs implementation in the country.
The minister also appreciated the role of UNDP and all other development partners for their support and assistance, adding that the participation of the representatives from the provincial governments, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan was encouraging to move forward and achieve the targets.
Our focus during forthcoming years will be on strengthening and improvement in social and human development, like mother and child health, education and pulling households out of poverty through sustainable poverty reduction strategies, he added.
The Minister said that Pakistan’s effort to achieve sustainable development has been severely hindered by a combination of unfavorable internal and external factors in recent years like high population growth, large proportion of population living below the poverty line, exploiting the potential of growth, trade imbalances with major trading partners, and instability in political relationship with neighboring countries.
He informed that challenges posed by climate change, natural disasters, cost of war on terror Rs. 10,374 billion from 2001 to 2017, low tax-to-GDP ratio, the impacts of the global economic recession, lack of financial resources, low resource mobilization at provincial level and high dependency on federal transfers also restraint government efforts for stable growth and sustainable development. “We need to improve coordination with the stakeholders including private sector, development partners and strengthen reporting mechanisms”, he added.
The Planning Commission is committed to ensure that the VNR process is inclusive and the aspirations of stakeholders particularly those of private sector are incorporated in the report, adding that it will help in disseminating the knowledge about the development and will also highlight shortcomings.
Therefore, he said that the review would help in improving government policies, interventions and mobilize multi-stakeholder support to develop much needed partnerships.