Former Ambassador of Pakistan, Manzoorul Haq here Sunday said the rapid increase in population had brought all socioeconomic and environmental sectors under enormous pressure in the world including Pakistan and collective efforts were required to achieve 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2015 for 193 members countries to make the planet worth living for all.
“Today, the world’s population had exceeded of 7.5billion out of which 800 million have no access to two-time meal and every third person did not get clean drinking water facility besides five million children perish before attaining the age of five due to different fatal diseases, malnutrition and poor health services” he told APP.
To address these daunting challenges, he said the UNGA had adopted an inclusive agenda for sustainable development in September 2015 that includes 17 SDGs built on the principle of ‘leaving no one behind’ that would be achieved by 2030. “Under SDGs, every person on earth irrespective of colour, caste and nationality would be provided all basic facilities of life including food, treatment, education, clean water, energy, dignified employment, economic development, peace, security and justice,” Manzoorul Haq who served Pakistan’s Ambassador in Saudi Arabia and Egypt said.
He said 193 countries including Pakistan had agreed to take practical steps for implementation of these goals for which collective efforts were needed.
The SDGs goals include quality education, gender equality, no poverty, zero hunger, good health, clean water and sanitation, affordable & clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure devolopment, reduced inequality, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice, strong institutions and partnerships.
Pakistan has showed strong commitment to SDGs by including it in the National Development Program (BDP). These goals were not only guarantee for human survival and better future but was an effective planning to protect birds, animals, plants and acquatic life.
To create awareness among students about significance of SDGs for Pakistan, he said a function was held at Roots Millennium School and College Peshawar where Professor Fernando M Raymar of the renowned US Haward’s Graduate School for Sustainable Development and his three Pakistani students held in-depth discussions on SDGs through video conference attended by senior faculty, teachers and students.
Ambassador Manzoor said Professor Raymar presented the idea of ‘Global Citizenship’ and maintained that every citizen of the world living in any country was also the citizen of the world as today we all are living in a global village and effects of a change in any part could be felt on our planet such as earthquake, cyclone and floods besides spreading of fatal diseases like polio and AIDS, which could not be stopped on borders.
The Haward Professor said Pakistan had achieved significant progress in education and other sectors during last 70 years and this nation has all the potential and capabilities to achieve SDGs by 2030.
He said only awareness about SDGs was not sufficient but practical steps for its implementation should be taken for which collective efforts were required to achieve all the targets within the given time frame.
Manzoor ul Haq supported Prof Raymar’s point of view regarding collective role of all segnent of the society including students, intellegnsia and teachers to work in their respective areas tirelessly to achieve SDGs targets.
Ambassador Manzoor said the temperature on earth was increasing with fast pace by causing different problems due to climate change and global warming, which has put serious threats to the existence of human, animals, wildlife and acquatic creatures.
He warned that if urgent measures were not taken to tackle the challenge of climate change than life would become almost impossible on earth in future.
Manzoor stressed the need for character building of children to act as responsible citizen by keeping the environment clean, plant trees, help needy and weak persons, stopping wasting of natural resources, give respect and equality to all.
He said solid efforts should be made to address all socioeconomic challenges such as poverty, illiteracy, climate change and environmental degradation, injustice and gender inequality.
On this occasion Prof Raymar’s books was praised by teaching faculty and students of the College.