ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser on Tuesday said that robust regional cooperation is central to tackling the endemic poverty and fostering an inclusive growth within the region and beyond.

Talking to Assistant Secretary General United Nations Hao Liang Xu and Resident Representative of UNDP Pakistan Ignacio Artaza, at Parliament House, Qaiser underlined the need for joint action.

Qaiser remarked that regional challenges cannot be addressed in isolation rather a concerted action under the umbrella of United Nations will prove highly effective.

He also appreciated the United Nation for its unwavering support to the government of Pakistan for its social sector development initiatives. The Speaker also acknowledged the contributions of UNDP in rendering effective assistance to Parliament in various aspects.

The Speaker said that Pakistan is an agricultural country and its economy depends on agriculture.  Increase in agricultural commodity production and the welfare of farmers include the primary priorities of the present government, he added.

While apprising the formation of Special Committee on Agriculture in National Assembly, the Speaker said that the UN and its sub-institutions play their role in the development of agriculture in Pakistan. Referring to Pakistan’s commitment to SDGs, the Speaker informed that Pakistan has constituted a Parliamentary Task Force and a dedicated Secretariat for SDGs on the premises of the National Assembly Secretariat to fast-track progress on SDGs.

Assistant Secretary General United Nations Hao Liang Xu appreciated Pakistan’s Parliamentary commitment to fast track progress on SDGs and highlighted that UN will continue to assist Pakistan in promoting regional development agenda.

He added that undertaking social development and eradication of poverty through sustainable practices are defining parameters for good governance.