New York, 13 July 2022 (TDI): Pakistan’s Minister of Planning, Professor Ahsan Iqbal participated in the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) event, virtually.

The event was titled “Mobilizing the private sector for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs)”.

The Planning Minister said that the countries like Pakistan were under heavy pressure from increased commodity prices. This also resulted in creating a financial burden on the private sector.

Therefore, Pakistan was finding it difficult with the private sector to have extra resources for the programs that they were doing for SDGs.

Along these lines, he stressed the need for some kind of relief for developing countries to enable the private sector in contributing toward SDGs.

He highlighted that immediately after the launch of the SDGs in 2015, Pakistan Parliament adopted the international SDGs as its National development goals.

Efforts of Pakistan’s Government

Minister Ahsan Iqbal reiterated that Pakistan tried to give ownership to this agenda from the very beginning. This is not a global agenda but Pakistan’s very own national agenda.

During the UNGC event, he also informed that the government was trying to integrate the youth sector. Significantly, Pakistan is trying to work closely with the private sector to provide maximum jobs to the youth.

He added that the government had also started a major advocacy program with the private sector. This is particular to sensitize small and medium-sized businesses towards the benefits of adopting SDGs practices.

He said during the last three years, Pakistan suffered greatly from COVID-19 which impacted the entire sectors of business. Moreover, in the post-COVID period, the country is hit by supply chain shocks.

A call to the United Nations

In the virtual event of UNGC, Pakistan’s Miniter called upon the United Nations to champion the issue of the Ukraine-Russia war. Ukraine war has further triggered the economic situation.

He stated that the resolution of this dispute is necessary to protect the developing countries including Pakistan, from extreme shocks in supply chains.

The war has led to extreme economic situations due to the doubling and tripling of the commodity prices in the international markets. This has caused delays in achieving the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Meeting with Director-General UAE

Planning Minister also had a meeting with Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority (FCSA), UAE. This meeting was on a sideline to the 2022 session of the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development.

Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan at UN Ambassador, Aamir Khan was also present at the meeting.