Youths urged to play role in achieving SDGs

Feb 13, 2018

LAHORE: An organisation working on youth development held a seminar at Kinnaird College on “Engaging Youth in Sustainable Development Goals

(SDGs)”.

The seminar was organised to provide orientation and awareness to youths about the SDGs specifically in the context of Pakistan such as climate change, gender equality, peace building, and institutional development with Pakistan’s Vision 2025.

The seminar was a part of NGOs' nationwide campaign on SDGs which involves a series of similar seminars and mainstream and social media campaign in 15 universities across the country. Kinnaird’s seminar marked the start of this campaign in which 300 students participated.

The panellists of the seminar included Ms Nasira Habib, Dr Muhammad Arshad, a Water Scientist and UNICEF specialist for Water Sanitation and Hygiene; Amna Ali from Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW), Ms Saira Farooqi, Ms Asma Ali from Geography and Ms Zoya Ashraf, Kinnaird College. Faculty member of Kinnaird College Ms Zubda Rashid moderated the seminar.

They highlighted specific SDGs relevant to their work in context of Pakistan and made presentations, followed by discussion with the students. Ms Nasira Habib said that Pakistan had adopted 16 targets and 41

indicators. Data available for 33 of these indicators reveal that Pakistan is on track to achieve the targets on nine indicators, whereas its progress on 24 indicators is off-track. Pakistan’s performance was ranked at 122 among the SDGs index in 2017. It is, however, a source of concern that the World Economic Forum placed Pakistan as the second worst country on gender equality in its Global Gender Gap index released in November 2017, she said.

It was briefed that the SDGs are a universal set of 17 goals with 169 targets which all UN member states, including Pakistan, are expected to use in framing their national development agenda. The federal ministry of Planning and Development Department in Punjab has established special units to align national and provincial development processes with the SDGs supported by task forces formed by parliamentarians.

The Punjab Commission on the Status of Women has also devised an elaborate plan to work on SDGs on gender equality in the province. There is a dire need that youths are involved in achieving SDG goals and a sustainable future in Pakistan, it was added that in 2017, only 43 countries voluntarily reported on progress against a small number of SDGs.

Amna Ali said the Punjab government through the PCSW is working on gender equality and women empowerment. It was imperative that men are also included in this work. She also informed about a helpline 1043 is available to women all over Punjab, who can have free legal advice for their problems related to harassment, property dispute, domestic violence, etc.

Zoya Ashraf spoke about the SDG 16 (Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies) and the role of political leaders to bring about social justice in Pakistan.

Dr Muhammad Arshad said that all countries, including Pakistan would require annual reporting of high quality data. A sample study showed that Rs15,000 per capita expenditure was being spent out of the provincial annual development plan in a sample district. Ms Sabiha Shaheen remarked that youth spaces are shrinking in Pakistan and there is a dearth for appropriate platforms where youths can express themselves and realise their potential in economic, social and political and civic spheres.

In concluding remarks, Kinnaird College Principal Dr Rukhsana David appreciated the youths and SDGs’ campaign. She stressed that to fulfill SDGs and its targets in Pakistan; the engagement of youths was an imperative. She also committed to take this initiative further and ensured support on Kinnaird College’s behalf for the campaign to promote SDGs.

agreement: Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) and Frontier Works Organization (FWO) signed an agreement for providing cleanliness services to southern loop of Ring Road here on Monday.

LWMC officials said LWMC is already giving cleanliness services on Ring Road. They said the ceremony was organised at LWMC head office in which LWMC MD Bilal Mustafa Syed and Col Atif formally signed the agreement.

GM Operations Asif Iqbal, GM Procurement Waqaruddin But, GM HR & Admin Farrukh Butt, CFO Mansoor Khalil, Senior Managers Operations Zahid Mushtaq and Murtaza Ch were present.

Lahore Waste Management Company will provide cleanliness services in three shifts and in third shift LWMC will be providing mechanical sweeping/washing services, the officials said, adding providing three shifts cleaning services of 22.5km long Ring Road, southern loop, will cost 72 million per annum.

They said providing state of the art cleanliness services on Ring Road is the company’s preference and LWMC will not restrict to just provide operational services but will also conduct multiple awareness raising activities to sensitise citizens on the importance of cleanliness.

Representative from FWO Col Atif said LWMC is known for providing exceptional cleanliness services in the city and ‘we also expect’ that it will give special attention to new section of Ring Road (southern loop).