Ahsan Iqbal becomes chairperson of APSFD; chairs meeting

BANGKOK: Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal has been selected as chairperson of the Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development (APFSD) until 2018. He also chaired the meeting of Asia-Pacific forum.

Asia has emerged as the engine for growth of the world, said Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal.

He was addressing the concluding meeting of fourth Asia-Pacific Forum for Sustainable Development in Bangkok. Iqbal stressed that the promotion of peace and harmony and elimination of inequality are the major issues for the region.

He also said that Asia Pacific is home to 4.3 billion people which makes the two-third population of the world.

“Asia has emerged as the new engine of growth for the world’s economy and it is expected to generate more than 52 percent of the world GDP by 2050,” said Iqbal.

He observed that increasing inequality in the region is the major hurdle for sustainable development. New development strategies should be formed and everyone should be given equal rights, suggested Iqbal.

He added that regional trade is very low and regional cooperation should be increased. However he observed that technology and its usage has been increased speedily in the region.

Minsiter added that pacific region was most affected by the climate change and member countries needed cooperate on the matter.

The minister also chaired a meeting with civil society members, who shared their ideas for extending cooperation, at the Asia Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development (APFSD). He emphasized that the South Asia Pacific members should cooperate with each other to raise the standard of living of their citizens and providing them a better life style.

Mutual cooperation is needed for development, Iqbal observed.

He suggested that the issues between countries should be resolved with dialogues.

“Governments could not carry out development solely, civil society firms’ contribution have much importance in the development,” he added.

The minister also called on the national ownership of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) formed by the the UN.