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Leaving No One behind: The Role of Parliamentarians for inclusive development in Pakistan, Islamabad


Leaving No One behind: The Role of Parliamentarians for inclusive development in Pakistan

Speakers of an online session lauded the role of parliamentarians and NGOs are playing to ensure inclusive and participatory development for everyone, everywhere. The session titled "The Role of Parliamentarians in Ensuring Inclusive and Participatory Development in Pakistan", gathered wide ranging participants including 30 Members of the National and Provincial Assemblies' Parliamentary Taskforces on SDGs, as well as other eminent representatives, to exchange of ideas and good practices with the Former Prime Minister of Belgium and Club de Madrid Member, Yves Leterme, and Mr. Arnau Ramirez, Spanish Member of the Parliament.

The session was held under the aegis of Club de Madrid in partnership with the Parliamentary Taskforce on SDGs, Aurat Foundation and Parliamentary Commission for Human Rights to find ways and means for supporting inclusive implementation of Agenda 2030 in Pakistan under the Shared Societies Project. The project aims to promote an inclusive approach to planning, implementation and monitoring of the Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan. The main objective of the project is to demonstrate that inclusion and participation of diverse social groups is key to effective implementation of the Agenda 2030/the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan.

Social inclusion, to leave no one behind, is a fundamental tenet of the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development - and it is the foundational aspiration of Club de Madrid's Shared Societies Project. Social inclusion is the foundation of Shared Societies - societies in which all individuals and identity groups have a common sense of belonging and responsibility, equal opportunities and a common bond to uphold the values of dignity and human rights. Club de Madrid's Shared Societies Project seeks to help United Nations Member States advance towards Shared Societies by adopting a holistic approach to the Sustainable Development Goals defined in Agenda 2030 - particularly Goal 16 to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. For the past ten years, this Project has been successfully providing guidance and expertise on the integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, focusing on the premise that all aspects of development are interrelated and interdependent.

With a socially diverse and constitutionally complex population of more than 207 million people (2017 census), Pakistan often faces political, economic and security challenges and has limited public financial resources to achieve Agenda 2030. The country is in dire need of a conversation on inter-group tensions, gender equality, the Sustainable Development Goals and, more recently, the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19.

The speakers said elected officials representing the voice of the people should ensure everyone member of the society is included in the development of national plans and policies to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030.

The session shed light on the inclusion of marginalized and socially excluded groups in the planning, development and monitoring of national development plans aligned with Agenda 2030 in Pakistan. They underscore the importance of strong partnerships between state institutions, including parliaments, and civil society organizations representing vulnerable groups to achieve the 2030 Agenda objective of leaving no one behind. The Speakers of the event included Mr. Yves Leterme, Member of Club de Madrid, Prime Minister of Belgium (2008, 2009-11), Mr. Arnau Ramirez Carner, Member of Spanish Parliament, Mr. Riaz Khan Fatyana, MNA & Convener National Parliamentary Taskforce on SDGs, MNAs Ms. Shandana Gulzar Khan, Dr. Nausheen Hamid, Ghazala Saifi, Nafisa Khattak, Shazia Sobia, MPA Talat Naqvi, Ayesha Nawaz, Ayesha Bano, Nusrat Abbasi, Sabrina Javed, Mr. Naeem Ahmed Mirza, Executive Director Aurat Foundation and Mr. Ali Imran, Senior Expert Club de Madrid.