Govt committed to poverty alleviation, quality education: Speaker NA

ISLAMABAD, Apr 16 (APP):Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser Tuesday said the government was committed to provision of quality education, poverty alleviation besides ensuring essential facilities to the citizens.

He was speaking at the inaugural session of National Parliamentary Consultation on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Services (PIPS) here.

He said the constitution guaranteed equal rights to all citizens of the state. According to constitution of Pakistan, state has the responsibility to provide education to children aged five
to 16.

A comprehensive policy would be devised to raise standard of living of the people, he added.

“We have to learn from our past and all stakeholders have to move together to raise standards of living of the common man.”

After the 18th constitutional amendment, importance of provinces had increased and the provinces could play a significant role in bringing change in the lives of the people, he added.

Sustainable Development Goals include improvement in economy, ensuring equality and education for all, he added.

Parliament of Pakistan adopted Sustainable Development Goals as its own national development goals in February 2016.

The Speaker said he was working on a project of building Model Towns for vulnerable and marginalized sections of society.

Model Towns would have hospitals, schools, orphanages and other amenities, he added.

Asad Qaiser urged parliamentarians to work in their constituencies to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS). He told that a regional conference on SDGs would be held in which neighbouring countries would participate.

Aida Girma Melaku, Country Representative, UNICEF Pakistan called for proper data collection to improve administrative capacity and efficiency to achieve SDGs. She appreciated the commitment of Pakistan to SDGs.

Deputy Resident Representative United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Naoko Takasu said Parliamentarians with their representation, legislation and oversight of budgets could assist the government in securing the SDGs.

She extended support of UN agencies to the government for sustainable improvement in economic and social indicators.

The participants of the session agreed that for many SDGs, the increasing role of provincial governments will be critical. The main SDGs include food security, nutrition, quality education, improved health facilities, clean drinking water, access to sanitation and sustainable agriculture.