First National Parliamentary Conference on the MDGs closes in Islamabad
(PR) ISLAMABAD, 5 JUNE 2014: On the closing day of the first National Parliamentary Conference on the MDGs (Millennium Development Goals), participants presented their proposed Parliamentary action plans to accelerate work on achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Pakistan.
Parliamentarians from across the country have been meeting since Monday to develop National Action Plans supporting the achievement of each of the MDGs. This marks the first time that the National and Provincial MDG Task Forces have met to agree on a nationwide approach to the MDGs.
Describing the impact of the collaborative effort, Mr. Hasnain Mirza of the Sindh Assembly observed, “This first National Conference on the MDGs is a leap forward in achieving the development targets in Pakistan…This new initiative of setting up a provincial task force on MDGs in line with the national task force seems to be an excellent opportunity through which elected representatives can closely watch over the implementation of development goals and assist the Government in its endeavors to improve the lives of the people. Today we are better equipped to go back and hold our respective governments accountable for the achievement of the MDGs.”
Recognizing Pakistan’s youthful demographics, an estimated half of the population is under the age of 20, a session on youth involvement in development, media and civil society was held. Member of the National Assembly from Islamabad Mr. Asad Umar pointed out, “Our youth have to compete in the global market so they need to be given the necessary knowledge and skills to compete.”Mr. Malik Uzair, Member of the National Assembly from Khoshab observed, “Youth are major stakeholders in Pakistan and their voices should be included in policy-making.”
Speaking at the closing ceremony this afternoon, Chairman of the Senate Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari congratulated the group on their work and urged them to continue to advocate for the MDGs in their constituencies. “Fairness leads to good governance. We have to evolve a system of local development bodies in the provinces. We have to strengthen out parliamentary and communication systems.” He went on to encourage young parliamentarians “to read about and do research on the issues they legislate on.”
The National Parliamentary Conference on MDGs, supported by UNDP and hosted by the Pakistan Institute of Parliamentary Affairs, was called in response to UNDP research indicating that of the 34 MDG indicators for which data is available, 24 are off track and unlikely to be met by 2015.