Islamabad (Staff Report): At the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development, Hon. Shazia Marri, Member of the National Assembly (MNA) and Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, represented Pakistan and shed light on the crucial role of Parliaments in accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In her speech, Hon. Shazia Marri emphasized the significant contribution of the National Assembly of Pakistan in supporting Agenda 2030. Pakistan was the first country to adopt the SDGs as its national development goals through a resolution passed by the National Assembly in 2016. The establishment of a state-of-the-art parliamentary SDGs secretariat and taskforces at the national and provincial levels has been instrumental in closely monitoring progress on the SDGs. The Parliament has passed essential legislations related to education, economic growth, peace, justice, and the protection of children and women.

Various parliamentary forums such as the Federal Women’s Parliamentary Caucus, Young Parliamentarians Forum, SDGs Taskforce, and Parliamentary Child Rights Caucus have played crucial roles in strengthening partnerships and addressing specific concerns. These initiatives have motivated the Government of Pakistan to prioritize the SDGs agenda, resulting in the implementation of programs to tackle poverty and promote inclusive development.

Despite challenges, including limited fiscal capacity, data availability, and climate change impacts, Pakistan has demonstrated its commitment to the SDGs by submitting two Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) and releasing the first SDGs Status Report in 2021.

Hon. Shazia Marri highlighted that the COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges and opportunities for sustainable development. She emphasized the importance of accountability mechanisms, digital transformation, and support for skill development and entrepreneurship.

The discussions at HLPF aimed to foster global collaboration towards achieving the SDGs, with Pakistan’s initiatives serving as an inspiration for other nations in their efforts to address poverty, promote wellbeing, and ensure healthy lives for all.

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