ISLAMABAD: The speakers at a seminar on “Engaging Youth for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” collectively called for engaging youth, especially students, in a better understanding of the developments goals in Pakistan’s context, and play a practical role in meeting these goals.
Bargad, a non-governmental organisation working on youth development, with the support of Oxfam, arranged the seminar.
The objective of the seminars was to involve youth from higher education institutions in Pakistan with the SDGs through orientation and awareness. The seminars are focusing of SDG goals including gender equality, ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth, safe, resilient and sustainable human settlements and peace, justice and strong institutions.
Oxfam Country Director Mohammed Qazilbash and Islamic International University Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai were the keynote speakers.
Addressing the seminar Oxfam country director Qazilbash said that the youth should understand they are not future of Pakistan but present. He added that earlier, millennium development goals (MDGs) failed in meeting the challenges of development and that is why international community created SDGs to include those issues which were not incorporated in the MDGs.
He said that the government has decided to unite Pakistan’s national development goals with SGDs and, therefore, it has become necessary to fulfil these goals.
Dr Yasinzai, appreciating the initiative, said engaging youth in understanding SDGs was important and will help the students to play a constructive role and also challenge the government on development issues.
Bargad Executive Director Sabiha Shaheen remarked that youth spaces are shrinking in Pakistan day by day and there is a dearth for appropriate platforms where youth can express themselves and realize their potential in economic, social and political and civic spheres.