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MPCL sponsors Youth Speak Forum


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Recently, Mari Petroleum Company Limited sponsored a Youth Speak Forum at National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Campus. The objective of the forum was to raise awareness among the youth about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The event was organized by NUST Placement Office in collaboration with International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Science, Islamabad Chapter.

The Sustainable Development Goals were set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, and are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the current global challenges, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace, justice etc. The Goals broadly interconnect and in order to leave no one behind, it is important that we achieve each Goal and target by 2030.

At the forum, Mr. Affan Javed, from British Council, dilated upon how innovation compliments SDGs. Mr. Saeed Ajmal, ex-cricketer, had an interactive session with students as well.

They have simply been listed by the UN as:

Goal 1: No poverty

Goal 2: Zero hunger

Goal 3: Good health and well-being for people

Goal 4: Quality education

Goal 5: Gender Equality

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth

Goal 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Goal 10: Reducing inequalities

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Goal 13: Climate action

Goal 14: Life below the water

Goal 15: Life on land

Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Mr. Martin Kobler, German Ambassador to Pakistan was the keynote speaker at the forum, who enlightened the audience about the impact of climate change and the need for substituting the conventional sources of energy with the renewable ones. Further, he also highlighted upon greater investment in education and Research & Development for country’s advancement. Dr. Nassar Ikram, NUST Pro-Rector for Research, Innovation, and Commercialization, accentuated the significance and commitment of NUST towards SDGs.

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At the forum, Mr. Affan Javed, from British Council, dilated upon how innovation compliments SDGs. Mr. Saeed Ajmal, ex-cricketer, had an interactive session with students as well. Mrs. Eva Zu Beck from Poland shared her experience being in Northern Pakistan and emphasized the exigencies of anti-littering efforts to secure full blessings of Mother Nature. Other speakers, including Mr. Haroon Yasin, Founder of Orenda, and Syed Muzamil Hasan Zaidi, Digital Consultant and Analyst, delivered their talks on the importance of quality education and digital hygiene.

In Pakistan, Special SDG units have already been established at the Planning Commission and provinces — as committed by the country’s planning ministers — to mainstream SDG objectives by creating synergies among various federal and provincial organizations and agencies.

The event was organized by NUST Placement Office in collaboration with International Association of Students in Economic and Commercial Science, Islamabad Chapter.

At the federal level, however, three separate SDG units have been created — one at Prime Minister Office, another at parliament led by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq and yet another at the Planning Commission. The three do not have an internal interface for policy coordination. Our country is among the first few countries where the SDGs have been integrated in economic policy documents. And where that is a matter of pride, it is also a difficult task to achieve, given the nation’s developing status.

Read more: MPCL holds forum on sustainable energy, future privatization

With the PTI government settling and the bureaucracy readjusting to a new team of masters, relevant ministers were reluctant or not sufficiently informed to offer their assessment of progress on the Sustainable Development Goals and this brought a halt in the projection of the said UN goals. With the conclusion of the third year of the SDGs, Pakistan needs to buck up and avoid any possible embarrassment when it reports its progress at the global forum next year.

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