ISLAMABAD: Deputy Chairman Senate Saleem Mandviwalla has said that to achieve the universal goal of sustainable development, peace and cooperation hold key importance by viewing the world through the prism of cooperation rather than competition.
According to a press release received from Ankara here on Tuesday, Saleem Mandviwalla was leading a six-member Parliamentary delegation of Pakistan to the 3rd Meeting of the Speakers of Eurasia Countries’ Parliaments (MSEAP) in Turkey in which highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to sustainable development and economic cooperation.
The MSEAP is being held from October 8-11 in Antalya with the theme “Economic Cooperation, Environment and Sustainable Development in Eurasia.”
The Pakistan delegation includes Senators Mohsin Aziz, Khush Bakht Shujat, Naseebullah Bazai, and Members National Assembly Junaid Akbar and Arbab Amir Ayub. Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi was also part of the delegation, Pakistan Embassy in Ankara.
Delivering his speech at the plenary session of this key parliamentary gathering, Manviwalla stressed that the pathway to this common goal passed through regional integration, trade liberalization, greater regional and global connectivity, and a mutual appreciation and understanding of all cultures and civilizations.
He said though Pakistan, as a developing economy, faced several challenges; it was determined to achieve economic growth and development in a sustainable manner.
Deputy Chairman Senate informed that Pakistan had prioritized SDGs which would enable it to join the league of upper middle-class countries by 2030.
He opined that MSEAP could be utilized for achieving sustainable peace by addressing the underlying causes of unresolved global conflicts, by tackling extreme poverty and global socio-political and economic disparities, by giving a level-playing field to all in trade and commerce through responsible exploitation of natural resources, by addressing the specter of environmental degradation and climate change and by developing synergies and compatibilities between our national objectives for inclusive development at the global level.
Deputy Chairman further underlined that in order to achieve the goal of sustainable development, it was imperative to resolve long outstanding global disputes.
“Jammu & Kashmir dispute remains one of the longest lasting situations of foreign occupation, like Palestine, and the longest unresolved issue on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council,” the press release quoted Mandviwalla as saying.
He said the dispute remained an international flashpoint and the Kashmiris in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) continued to suffer from the worst human rights abuses.
He urged the international community to take urgent action to help stop the grave human rights violations taking place in IOK, and fulfill its moral responsibility towards the Kashmiri people by helping them realize their inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
Mandviwalla said the presence of a large number of parliamentary delegations from 40 countries across the Eurasian region representing over 4 billion people was a testimony to the increasing role of parliamentary diplomacy towards achieving peace and prosperity in global politics.
He said environment was not only national and regional issue, but a global responsibility and warned that climate change was a threat to the very existence of life and urged to accord environmental issues a high priority in policy formulation in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Continued world economic growth should be pursued in environmentally sustainable ways along with improving the economic performance of least developed countries and at the same time aiming to achieve significant reductions in the incidence of poverty through increased economic cooperation, he added.
With regard to the future of MSEAP, he underscored the need for establishing a permanent secretariat of the forum.
He also expressed Pakistan’s strong desire to host future meeting of MSEAP and extended an invitation to Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) members present at the meeting to attend the forthcoming meeting of APA’s Standing Committee on Political Affairs and Special Committee for Creation of Asian Parliament (SCCAP) to be held at Gwadar City from October 29 to 31, 2018.—INP