ISLAMABAD - An inter-ministerial meeting yesterday reviewed Pakistan’s preparations for the Post-2015 Development Agenda set to be adopted during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is expected to lead Pakistani delegation to the UN summit.

The meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training Balighur Rehman and senior officials from the federal and the provincial governments also attended the meeting.

In his opening remarks, the adviser underscored the importance of translating the global Post-2015 Development Agenda into well-calibrated national targets. In order to provide national ownership to this process, the adviser stressed that targets should be closely aligned with Pakistan’s development needs and priorities. Pakistan’s ‘Vision 2025’ provides a holistic basis to guide this national endeavour.

The meeting agreed that learning from the experience of the inadequate performance on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an early start, sustained efforts and a robust monitoring and follow-up mechanism were imperative for effective and full implementation of the SDGs in Pakistan.

In view of the central role of the Ministry of Planning and Development to this effort, it was decided that the Planning Commission, in coordination with the respective provincial authorities would devise elaborate coordination and oversight procedures.

Synergy and coordination between the federal and the provincial levels would be all the more important, since greater implementation responsibilities rest with the provinces after the 18th Constitutional Amendment.

The 15-year Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000 will be followed by the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2016-2030. Comprising 17 goals and 169 targets, the SDGs encompass all three dimensions of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental.

Ending poverty and hunger, achieving gender equality and empowerment of women, ensuring education, health, water and sanitation and access to energy for all, promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth and full and productive employment, combating climate change, and ensuring lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources are among the key priorities of the SDGs.