ISLAMABAD - Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Ahsan Iqbal Monday said that government is working on localisation of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they are necessary for the country’s future and sustainable development .

“The SDGs are not only international obligations but are meant for our own future and sustainable development . Vision-2025 is evident on how the government is pursuing development goals offering comprehensive framework,” the minister said while speaking at workshop on “Sustainable Development Goals- the way forward” organized by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI).

“We failed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) due to lack of financial resources but it was mainly because of lack of planning, absence of engagements with the stakeholders at different levels in the society and on federal and provincial levels,” he maintained.

At the same time, he said, Pakistan faces fractured socio-economic structure and flaws in planning and implementation strategy. For implementing SDGs, in the fiscal 2015-16 the government approved SDG Unit in Planning Commission to execute SDGs and monitor their performance in provinces, he said.

Ahsan Iqbal underlined the need to restructure the institutions and improve efficiency of the executing agencies to achieve SDGs. Vision-2025 provides fundamental principles and a comprehensive framework for development. “While devising Vision 2025, we tried to learn from our mistakes and improve what we lacked to implement MDGs and have tried not to reinvent the wheel but incorporates missing elements in our previous development plans and make it doable,” the minister claimed.

“If you don’t plan, then you surely plan to fail. Same happened to us in case of MDGs. We need to have pro-active approach and result-oriented strategy to achieve SDGs. We are trying not to make mistakes we committed in case of MDGs,” he maintained. The minister said that we are committed to implement SDGs in letter and spirit whether we get support from international agencies or not.

Minister said that education holds the key to achieved SDGs, because no targets regarding economy, health, development or poverty can be achieved without knowledge. Present government has made education as its top priority and laid foundation for building the knowledge based economy, he said.

He also invited the media to be partner in development agenda. We have launched Development Communication Initiative for engaging the media in the development discourse.