UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan has underscored the need for stepped up efforts towards implementing the United Nations 2030 development agenda that, among other objectives, places high priority on ensuring access to affordable energy for all.

"We all know that energy is central to the achievement of both the development agenda and the Paris agreement on climate change," Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, said in her remarks to a largely-attended meeting on Sustainable Energy on Thursday.

"Effective and comprehensive implementation of the energy goal is, therefore, both important and urgent," she said while chairing the opening session of the meeting.

The meeting was organised by Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Pakistan, Denmark and Norway in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic

and Social Affairs (DESA).

Attending were the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), Ms Fekitameloa Katao Utoikamanu, the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, and a representative of the President of Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Director-General of International Renewable Energy Agency, Adnan Amin, spoke through video link.

Maleeha Lodhi told delegates that Sustainable Development Goal-7, which seeks to ensure access for all to clean and affordable energy, focused specifically on energy as a universal goal.

Emphasising energy's pivotal role to achieving economic growth and development, Maleeha Lodhi pointed out it's cross cutting nature means that it is central to securing almost all the other SDGs such as poverty eradication, climate change, employment, education, food and water security.

"The standalone energy goal and its targets are all encompassing," the Pakistani envoy said.

"Universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services is fundamental together with renewable energy and energy efficiency."  The meeting supported the global agenda to accelerate action on the energy goal.