Premier to address UN Forum on SDGs today

-Calls for vigilance in completion of Punjab uplift projects
-Terms preservation, rehabilitation of mausoleums vital for religious tourism

DM Monitoring

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday will deliver a keynote address at the United Nations High Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development spelling out his vision over the economic challenges posed by Covid 19 and the climate change.
The Prime Minister will outline his vision for dealing with the triple challenge faced by the world today including the COVID-19 pandemic, the reversal of economic progress and the existential threat posed by climate change.
He would also suggest measures that needed to be taken at the national and international level for an effective response to ‘build back better.’ The UN HLPF is the top platform for reviewing the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The theme of the 2021 HLPF is achieving a sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that puts us on a path for achieving the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.
The HLPF is convened every year under the auspices of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) – which is currently presided over by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN in New York.
Prime minister Imran Khan has been regularly addressing this theme at various international fora and had put forth several practical recommendations in that regard, many of which were in the process of implementation. The HLPF will discuss the policies that have been implemented so far to respond to the pandemic and its impacts.
Many other countries will also present their Voluntary National Reviews on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the context of the ongoing crisis at the Forum.
A ministerial declaration will be adopted by the HLPF to make recommendations on how to address the impacts of COVID-19 while making the transformation needed to achieve a more sustainable and inclusive economy, building robust and universal healthcare and social protection systems, and protecting the planet. Separately on Monday, Mr. Khan directed to adopt scientific means and the third-party vigilance to monitor the completion of development projects in Punjab.
Chairing a meeting through video-link here on Punjab Development Package, the prime minister said the officials of all district and relevant departments would be held responsible for timely completion of the projects.
The prime minister stressed to put special focus on the development package at district level to ensure provision of facilities to general public. On implementation of Universal Healthcare insurance in Punjab, he emphasized on inclusion of common man in the system to help him fully avail the facility. He directed that the Prime Minister’s Office should be kept informed of the quarterly review and progress report of the Punjab Development Package.
The Secretary Planning Board Punjab informed the meeting that the budget targets for this year were formulated keeping in view the Punjab Growth Strategy 2023. He mentioned that special focus was laid on economic growth, comprehensive and unified development, agricultural and human development, Sustainable Development Goals, District Development Package, environmental protection and public-private partnership.
It was mentioned that the total volume of the province’s development budget of the current year was Rs. 560 billion which included 7,116 projects, of which 90 percent were new schemes.
The meeting was informed that funds had been allocated for various sectors including Rs 54 billion for education, Rs 99 billion for health, Rs 100 billion for District Development Package, Rs 36.5 billion for agriculture, Rs 11.3 billion for social security, Rs 12.2 billion for industry and Rs five billion for information technology sector.
The development budget is expected to create 350,000 jobs. It was highlighted that special attention had been paid to the promotion of agriculture and industries with their budget increased by almost 300 times.
Meanwhile, Mr. Khan while describing mausoleums across the country as historical heritage said the rehabilitation and preservation of such places was very important for the promotion of religious tourism. He called for the formation of a comprehensive plan for the proper use of state lands around the mausoleums so that those could be utilized for hospitals and educational institutions.
The Prime Minister expressed these views while presiding over a meeting held here about the comprehensive development and management project of the mausoleum of Hazrat Data Ganj Bukhsh (RA) and the preservation, rehabilitation and beautification of Lahore’s historic Badshahi Mosque and other mausoleums in Punjab.