National Assembly’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Secretariat and LEAD-Pakistan—a national think tank—Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for capacity building of the members of the parliament and its staff at the Parliament House.
National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and LEAD-Pakistan Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ali Tauqeer Sheikh signed the agreement.
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb and Parliamentary Sustainable Development Goals Secretariat chairperson were also present during the MoU signing ceremony.
Talking to media after the ceremony, NA Speaker said that the objective of the agreement was to overcome the problems in the implementation of SDGs in the country, adding that, later, similar training would be given to members of the provincial assemblies and their staff.
He said that Pakistan’s parliament enjoyed the singular honour of being the first legislature to have a full-fledged SDGs secretariat.
Marriyum Aurangzeb said that under the MoU, members of the parliament and staff would be imparted focused training on SDGs to improve the delivery at the grassroots level.
She said that LEAD was a research-based institution on issues, like environment, water and energy conservation, which would provide technical assistance and research-based data to the parliamentarians for informed policy making as well as help them legislate on various subjects if required; thus enhancing their oversight capabilities in regards to the implementation of the SDGs.
She said that after the 18th amendment, the implementation of SDGs was the responsibility of the provinces, and this MoU could also be integrated with the SDGs task forces in the provinces, which have been formed to ensure country wide implementation of SDGs. She said that SDGs secretariat could also work with them within the framework of this MoU.
She said that for the first time legislators had been taken on board in the process of sustainable development goals and constituency-based focused funding was being done to meet the SDGs targets.
The minister said that under the MoU, parliamentarians would be empowered with knowledge, data and learning of soft skills through different capacity building programmes.
The minister expressed hope that the signing of the MoU would promote a new tradition of research based informed oversight by the parliamentarians, while disposing of their parliamentary business concerning the environment and climate change.