President of AJK, Sardar Masood Khan has said that Pakistan cannot resolve its major socio-economic problems without achieving SDGs as these goals have put the people in the Centre and are vital for human development and the HUMAN security.
He said this while inaugurating a seminar on SDGs Implementation: Collaboration among Universities at the Pak China Friendship Center here on Wednesday.
The event was organized by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the Inter University Consortium on Promotion of Social Sciences Arts and Humanities (IUCPSS).
The activity is in continuation of the COMSATS’ thrust on promotion of SDGs and was preceded by a similar event held in July 2018 gathering over a hundred universities.
The President AJK highlighted the role of youth and universities in SDGs for national development and sustainable future at regional and international levels. He informed that the government of AJK is also prioritizing the SDGs at the national level.
With ready access to a huge number of the youth that comprises 60 percent of Pakistani population, the universities can influence the youth for orienting them towards achievement of SDGs, said the President AJK.
He appreciated this timely emphasis of COMSATS on SDGs.
The inaugural session was attended by over a 100 representatives from academia and diplomatic community of Pakistan.
Earlier, Dr. S.M. Junaid Zaidi, Executive Director COMSATS, presented the event as a unique platform that aimed to create clusters of relevant individuals and higher education institutions on each of the 17 SDGs. Based on the available academic resources of the country, Dr. Zaidi hoped that the present event would help make available 10 universities and a thousand faculty members for each of the 17 SDGs.
UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Niel Buhne highlighted the need for engaging the countries’ youth in constructive activities of national importance, such as policy making, making this huge part of Pakistani population an asset. Universities can provide a good conduit between private sector and the educated youth of Pakistan for helping in achieving the SDGs, asserted Mr. Buhne.
A highlight of the inauguration was the signing of an MoU between COMSATS Tele-health and Balochistan Development Authority (BDA) for providing tele-health services to populations in Quetta. Dr. Zaidi and Dr. Abdul Ghaffar signed the agreement on behalf of COMSATS and BDA, respectively.
The technical sessions of the event comprised a presentation from Ali Kemal, Advisor SDGs Support Unit, Ministry of Planning, Development and Reform. He highlighted the government of Pakistan’s priorities with regard to the Global Agenda 2030.
The event resulted in creation of clusters of universities and academicians for ongoing activity on each of the goals. Each clusters shared their ideas for further exploration on these goals. These clusters are hoped to continue collaborating through various electronic means and meeting on fora to be held as a follow up of the present activity. The activity is expected to facilitate enhance Pakistan’s role in realizing the Global Agenda 2030.