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An inter-ministerial meeting was held at the Foreign Office today to review Pakistan’s preparations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda set to be adopted during the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to lead Pakistan delegation to the UN Summit.

The 15 year Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000 will be followed by the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-2030. Comprising 17 Goals and 169 Targets, the SDGs encompass all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental. Ending poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality and empowerment of women, ensuring education, health, water and sanitation and access to energy for all, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment, combating climate change, and ensuring lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources are among the key priorities of the SDGs.

Chaired by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs, the meeting was attended by Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Mr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training, and senior officials from the federal and the provincial governments.

In his opening remarks, the Adviser underscored the importance of translating the global Post-2015 Development Agenda into well-calibrated national targets. In order to provide national ownership to this process, the Adviser stressed that our targets should be closely aligned with Pakistan’s development needs and priorities. Pakistan ‘Vision 2025’ provides a holistic basis to guide this national endeavour.

The meeting agreed that learning from the experience of the inadequate performance on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an early start, sustained effort and a robust monitoring and follow-up mechanism were imperative for effective and full implementation of the SDGs in Pakistan. In view of the central role of the Ministry of Planning and Development to this effort, it was decided that the Planning Commission, in coordination with the respective provincial authorities, would devise elaborate coordination and oversight procedures. Synergy and coordination between the federal and the provincial levels would be all the more important, since greater implementation responsibilities rest with the provinces after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The meeting decided to remain engaged with the process and to make further recommendations for consideration and guidance by the leadership in order to ensure effective implementation of the SDGs.

07 September, 2015

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