The Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services in collaboration with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), the Parliamentary Taskforce on Sustainable Development Goals and the European Union, held a three-day workshop on Sustainable Development Goals for the Honourable Members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) from January 10- 12, 2018. A fifteen member delegation from GBLA headed by the Honourable Speaker of the GBLA, Mr. Fida Muhammad Nashad, participated in the workshop.
The purpose of the Workshop was to further familiarize the Honourable MLAs with the SDGs in the context of Gilgit- Baltistan. It also provided a platform to the Honourable MLA’s to interact with various experts and to share their specific concerns regarding the SDGs especially in light of the recent developments within their Province with respect to CPEC.
The first day of the workshop comprised of three sessions. The first session titled, “SDGs: Defining the Concept- Role of Parliament in SDGs and Challenges in context of Gilgit Baltistan,” was conducted by Director Research and I.T PIPS, Mr. Muhammad Rashid Mafzool Zaka and Coordinator, SDGs Secretariat National Assembly of Pakistan, Ms. Sahrish Kausar. The session was followed by a Group Activity session in which the participants were divided in groups and asked to localize one SDG within the context of Gilgit- Baltistan highlighting its ground realities, stakeholders and way forward. The third session was conducted by Mr. Kamran, a representative from UNICEF Pakistan. He spoke on health, WASH, Education and Monitoring and Evaluation.
The first session of the second day of the workshop titled, “SDGs and Economic Development,” was conducted by Mr. Abid Suleri, Executive Director Sustainable Development Policy Institute in which he linked the SDGs to social and economic life. The second session was by Mr. Ali Tauqeer from LEAD Pakistan who spoke with urgency on Climate Change and its various threats. The third address was by the Honourable Member National Assembly of Pakistan and Chairperson Standing Committee on Climate Change, Malik Muhammad Uzair Khan. He spoke on Climate Change as a human security issue and the role of the Parliament in this regard. The final session of the day was a panel discussion between members of the GBLA and an address by Ms. Semeen Ashfaq, Director, Population Council of Pakistan.
The final day of the workshop commenced at the SDGs Secretariat National Assembly of Pakistan. The members engaged in an Action Plan Exercise in which they gave their feedback regarding the previous two days and highlighted which goals were most significant to the specific context of Gilgit- Baltistan and demanded the most attention. The delegation then attended the Session of the National Assembly and received an Honourable mention by the Honourable Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Mr. Ayaz Sadiq. Following, the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting and the Chairperson Parliamentary Taskforce on SDGs, Honourable Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb addressed the participants of the workshop and appreciated their continuous efforts with regards to the National Development Agenda and the SDGs. The workshop concluded with a round of appreciation and certificate awarding ceremony.