Climate Change has become a menace, existential threat to this planet, for upcoming generations: NA Speaker

ISLAMABAD   -   The third Inter-Parliamentary Union Regional Seminar on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals for Parliaments of Asia Pacific yesterday adopted a document expressing resolve to find solutions to climate change and implement Sustainable Development Goals.

The outcome document was presented by Convener of the Parliamentary Task Force on SDGs Romina Khurshid Alam at the concluding session of the two-day regional seminar. The participants expressed their resolve that big carbon polluters should shoulder more responsibility for climate change, meet their obligations and do utmost to cut carbon emissions. They proposed to include the recent flood crisis in Pakistan as a potential emergency item in the upcoming 145th IPU Assembly taking place in Rwanda next month. The forum noted that there was an urgent need to accelerate progress and address existing problems including climate change by adopting coherent strategies. Parliaments can drive significant change towards achieving sustainable development by translating the SDGS into enforceable laws.

The outcome document said that there was a need to increase job opportunities, including in the agriculture and tourism sectors, and address youth employment challenges. The importance of addressing food insecurity and malnutrition through a multisectoral approach that includes health, agriculture, education, youth and gender equality, was stressed.

In his concluding remarks, National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said the Global Climate Change had become a menace and existential threat to this planet and for upcoming generations. He said parliamentarians have the Constitutional role and responsibility to play an important role in supporting and overseeing the implementation of SDGs. The Speaker also extended felicitation to all participants for successful organization of the third IPU regional seminar for the Asia Pacific Region Parliaments on Achieving SDGs. Speaking on the occasion, Special Assistant on Youth Affairs Shaza Fatima stressed for inclusion of youth, women and marginalized segments of the society in dialogue to achieve sustainable development goals. 

She said Asia Pacific region is the lowest contributor to carbon emissions but its countries like Pakistan are the most vulnerable due to climate induced disasters. She said the regional countries should raise a united voice before the international community to uphold the right to climate financing. Former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said people to people contacts are important to bolster relations amongst the regional countries. He said this forum provided an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences in different fields.