Inauguration Ceremony of Punjab Sustainable Development Goals Chaired by Finance Minister Punjab
Punjab Finance Minister Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha has said that Punjab Government fully supported the Sustainable Development goals and it was aligning its resources for achievement of these goals. She emphasized on addressing governance issues confronting the implementation of MDGs, especially the issues of inequalities.
She said this while inaugurating the Punjab Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Support Unit at Punjab Planning & Development Department Lahore. Dr. Aisha stated that we should act collectively today for our future generations; therefore, the priority-setting for SDGs should be done at the highest political level.
Addressing the ceremony, Chairman P&D Board Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan emphasized the need of having a robust analysis of MDGs to understand the causes of Pakistan’s performance and having a solid framework for SDGs that builds on concrete lessons learnt from MDGs era and how policies and investments can be aligned so that they become touchstone for achievement of SDGs.
Earlier, while giving his opening remarks, Iftikhar Ali Sahoo Secretary Planning & Development Department reaffirmed the support of the provincial government for the SDGs.
Speaking on the occasion, Uzma Bukhari, MPA and Convener of SDGs Task Force said that it was heartening to note that Punjab was the first province to have the SDGs Support Unit operational which showed Punjab government’s ownership of the SDGs.
Shakeel Ahmad, Assistant Country Director, UJNDP appreciated the Government of Punjab on leading the efforts on localizing the SDGs. He also mentioned that the SDGs Support Unit will serve as platform for UN-wide support at the provincial level. SDGs Support Unit will also act as nudge unit that will be instrumental in providing evidence, analysis and perspectives to inform public policy in the context of SDGs, with special focus on issues of inequality. He underscored the importance of Provincial Finance Commission Award in this regard.
Zafar ul Hassan, Chief Poverty Alleviation and SDGs, Planning Commission highlighted the need of vertical and horizontal policy coherence through institutional coordination and formal partnerships critical for SDGs implementation.
SDGs Support Unit has been established by the Planning & Development with technical assistance from UNDP and Planning Commission of Pakistan further added.
High-ranking government functionaries and development partners including Administrative Secretaries, Members and Chiefs of P&D, representatives from the districts and UN agencies also attended the ceremony.