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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal is all set to present the second Voluntary National Review (VNR) at a High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF-2022) to be held at the United Nations from July 13 to 15.

The VNR is a country-led comprehensive review and follow-up mechanism for gauging progress on Agenda 2030 implementation with a whole of society approach. The aim of VNR is to facilitate knowledge sharing to all international audiences for replication of best practices, learning success stories, highlighting challenges and lessons learned for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

It highlights challenges, obstacles and barriers in the implementation of SDGs with solutions and strategies and to mobilise multi-stakeholder support and partnerships for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The minister, on Tuesday, chaired a meeting to review progress on VNR. The meeting was attended by the Member Social Sector Dr Shabnum Sarfraz and other representatives of SDGs.

The HLPF is the main UN platform on sustainable development. It has a central role in the follow-up and review of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs. All UN Member States, as well as, representatives from civil society organizations participate in the HLPF, which meets under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

The minister while reviewing the progress said that Pakistan should use this platform to get more support from the developed countries after the post-Covid-19 situation and the recent war in Ukraine which badly affected the developing countries and Pakistan is one of them.

The minister said that Pakistan was the first country to adopt SDGs 2030 as National Development Agenda in 2015, as the government then recognized the achievement of these goals as an essential prerequisite for socioeconomic prosperity, well-being and development of the people of Pakistan.

“Efforts should be made at the global level for the support of developing countries like Pakistan after the recent crisis in the world,” said the Minister.

He also directed to hold National Awards at the federal, provinces, and district level in order to encourage the role of the social sector which played a key role in the progress of the country.

The minister will also participate virtually in the HLPF side event “Advancing the Sustainable Development Agenda while Responding to Emerging Challenges” on July 12 to discuss the effective policy responses to emerging challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, economic crises and political changes. It will also shed light on the importance of adopting a whole-of-society approach to accelerate SDGs implementation.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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