Islamabad, 18 September 2023(TDI): Across various regions of Pakistan, specific Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) dialogues were thoughtfully organized, each addressing crucial aspects of sustainable development.

The 5th SDG dialogue, which centered on Gender Equality, was hosted in Rawalpindi, Punjab. Here, the dialogue homed in on pressing topics like digital transformation, women’s empowerment, youth employment, and access to healthcare.

Moving further north to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the 6th Clean Water and Sanitation SDG dialogues convened in Mardan.

These discussions spanned essential themes, including nutrition, women’s participation, food security, and preparedness for natural disasters.

In the scenic city of Mansehra, also in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the 7th SDG dialogue revolved around Affordable and Clean Energy.

During this dialogue, local leaders collaborated on strategies to enhance education, governance, address climate change, and foster digital transformation within their districts.

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Shifting southwest to Quetta, Balochistan, the 8th SDG dialogue unfolded, emphasizing decent jobs and economic growth.

Here, local leaders engaged in thoughtful deliberations about improving governance, advancing youth employment, ensuring access to water and sanitation, and promoting digital transformation in their respective districts.

Throughout these dialogues, collaboration was key. Representatives from various United Nations agencies, including UNAIDS Pakistan and UNODC Pakistan, actively engaged with UN Resident Coordinator Julien Harneis and over 100 local leaders.

This collective effort aimed to explore and address the critical development challenges faced in these diverse regions of Pakistan.

This comprehensive campaign initiated by the United Nations during the International Summit on Sustainable Development Goals in New York underscored the importance of these dialogues.

The campaign’s central objective was to tackle and discuss the vital development priorities across Pakistan.

Julien Harneis, the UN Resident Coordinator in Pakistan, stressed the significance of these dialogues as platforms for gaining insights into the most pressing development concerns.

These concerns were identified by local leaders hailing from regions beyond the federal and provincial capitals, highlighting the need for region-specific solutions.

As part of this extensive campaign, the UN office in Islamabad actively engaged with over a thousand local leaders residing in 12 major cities located outside the federal and provincial capitals.

These dialogues placed a spotlight on the developmental challenges impeding economic and social progress within these districts, emphasizing the urgency of achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

However, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the challenges faced by the SDGs at the midpoint of the 15-year endeavor to transform the world.

Progress achieved in earlier years proved fragile, with setbacks stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, armed conflicts, and climate-related disasters impacting several SDGs, notably Goal 1, which focuses on eradicating extreme poverty.

This served as a poignant reminder of the continued importance of these dialogues and collaborative efforts in advancing sustainable development in Pakistan.