A National consultation was held today in preparation for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD)/Rio+20 June 2012. It was jointly organized by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in its capacity as Co-Chair of the One UN Joint Programme on Environment and the Sustainable Development Policy Institue (SDPI). The Consultation, followed provincial consultations in Lahore and Karachi and engaged a wide range of Pakistani stakeholders (Government, private sector, NGOs/think- tanks & civil society).
Ambassador ® Shafqat Kakakhel, UNDESA Consultant for Pakistan’s Preparations for UNCSD, stated that the objective of the consultation was to secure renewed political commitment towards sustainable development based on the progress in implementation of previous summits on sustainable development and the new and old emerging challenges. He pointed out that Rio +20 Summit will discuss and make recommendations on green economy and institutional framework for sustainable development at global, regional and national level.
The Rio +20 process is of global significance as the outcome from Rio will influence and direct the sustainable development agenda in the post-2015 period. It provides the opportunity to bring inclusiveness for human-focused, low-emission, climate-resilient growth.
Key particpants included, Dr Ishfaq Ahmad, Advisor on Climate Change and Development, Planning Commission, Toshihiro Tanaka, Co-Chair One UN Environment/Country Director UNDP, Prof. Dr. M. Qasim Jan, Former VC Quaid-I-Azam University and Member, Board of Governors, SDPI, Mr. Shafqat Kakakel, Former Ambassador Dr Adil Najam, Vice Chancellor, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
In his opening address, Dr. Ishfaq emphasized that strengthening implementation capacity on the ground is critical and the government and multilateral agencies can play a pivotal role in this regard’.
Mr. Toshihiro Tananka, further reiterated the importance of the Summit in the context of Pakistan, ‘Move towards sustainable development is not a matter of choice but necessity for Pakistan. Rapid population increase calls for wise decisions on the use of available resources as more and more people become dependent for their lives and livelihoods on already depleting natural resources.’
Addressing the opening session, Prof. Dr. M. Qasim Jan said that SDPI has contributed to the work of the Planning Commission’s Task Force on Climate Change and the formulation of the National Environment Policy in recent years. It is represented on the Advisory Group on Climate Change and Development. He said that the substantive and logistic support extended by SDPI, in collaboration with the UNDP, is perfectly in line with the mandate and goals of SDPI. After the Rio Summit, SDPI will join the government and other key stakeholders in ensuring the effective implementation of the outcomes of the Conference.
Dr Adil Najam highlighted different aspects of sustainable development while emphasizing the importance of integrity of economy, environment and social justice. “Rio is an opportunity to redefine sustainable development across the globe and in Pakistan. We need to bring sustaianibility and effieciency checks while greening our policies’ he stated.
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