Islamabad: The three-day international conference ‘Think Globally, Act Locally – Sustainable Development Goals’ Implementation through Local Governments’ successfully concluded as foreign and local delegates resolved to implement SDGs in the Asia and Pacific region.
More than 60 delegates from over a dozen countries worldwide including mayors of the cities of England, Russia, Turkey, China, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal and Afghanistan, directors of United Nations agencies, envoys of European Union and other regional and international cooperation agencies are attending the conference.
In addition, local government heads from across Pakistan including mayors, chairmen, chairpersons and nazims belonging to different political parties attended the event.
The conference saw the participation of top government figures and eminent personalities in different sessions. These included Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, Punjab’s Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Local Government Minister Inayatullah Khan, Dr Bernadia Irawati Tjandradewi. Secretary General – UCLG ASPAC and Country Director UNDP Ignacio Artaza among others.
The conference was organised by the United Cities and Local Government Asia Pacific (UCLG ASPAC) in collaboration with the Local Councils Associations of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Provinces of Pakistan. The conference was supported by German Development Cooperation and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Divided into different sessions including speeches, presentations, interactive sessions, group discussions, study tours, plenary meet-ups and informal discussions, the conference discussed the important role of local governments in responding to Agenda 2030 and the challenges local governments face in the implementation, monitoring and financing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It provided insights into best practices to serve as an opportunity to engage in constructive dialogue, form partnerships and create networks.
On the concluding day, the delegates were segregated into different groups. The first group comprising local delegates attended symposium sessions where the problems faced by local governments in different districts were highlighted and their solutions were put forth accordingly.
The international delegates were split in three groups, out of which the first one visited the National Assembly and met lawmakers and Speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq that hosted a luncheon in their honour. The second group visited Taxila Museum where they were welcomed at lunch by Mayor Islamabad Shaikh Ansar Aziz and were later taken to sightseeing of the federal capital.