[quote style=”1″]Education is at the top of these goals as being perused by us at national level, Mr. Baligh ur Rehman[/quote]
Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Trainings Mr. Baligh ur Rehman has said that Pakistan stands fully committed to the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 of UNESCO so much so that we have declared and adopted these goals as our national development goals 2030.
[quote style=”1″]Provincial governments have been asked since 2013-14 to spend at least 25% of their budgets on education and that the Federal Government has increased its spending on education almost up to 50% from previous year.[/quote]
Education is at the top of these goals as being perused by us at national level, he remarked. He unequivocally declared that Pakistan strongly supports continued efforts of UNESCO in critically vital and important social sectors including education, culture and science. He paid glowing tributes to the UNESCO for shaping and finalizing education agenda for SDGs 2030. He further stated that provincial governments have been asked since 2013-14 to spend at least 25% of their budgets on education and that the Federal Government has increased its spending on education almost up to 50% from previous year. He reminded that Pakistan by donating US$ 10 Million to create UNESCO Malala Fund has contributed towards cause of girl’s education. He also pointed out that ending extremism has been one of the top four priorities of the government and that extremists and terrorists are losing while Malala mind-set in wining. He was making Pakistan’s National Statements at 38th Session of General Conference of UNESCO here this morning. Following is the full text of Pakistan’s National Statement as delivered on the floor of UNESCO at 38th Sessions of General Conference:
[quote style=”1″]It is indeed a privilege and a great honour to contribute to the discussion at the 38th session of the General Conference.[/quote]
While UNESCO celebrates its 70th anniversary, Pakistan admires, acknowledges and strongly supports the continued effort of UNESCO in the critically vital important sectors of education, culture and science, UNESCO’s role in shaping up and finalizing the education agenda for SDGs 2030 is truly commendable. A dynamic and strong organization has to be ever-evolving and should be reforming itself from within.
Pakistan wants to see UNESCO grow stronger and more effective. After finalizing the education agenda and adopting framework for action for SDGs 2030, now UNESCO has to prove its relevance and effectiveness through demonstrating results in its strategic areas of intervention, by not only keeping an oversight and mapping the progress towards achieving the relevant goals but has to be very effective in ensuring “financing for development” and O.D.A. targets, without which all of us know that it will remain a shattered dream.
Sustainable Development Goals 2030 are human centric targets. They talk of every child, every human being and our planet earth, without any discrimination. Pakistan fully stands committed to these goals so much so that we have declared and adopted these goals as our national development goals 2030. We have established cells at Foreign Office, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education for SDGs which are fully functional now while remaining relevant Ministries are in the process to do the same. Our vision, strategy and plans are being aligned with or around these ambitious goals.
The current federal and provincial governments of Pakistan inherited huge problems in education with millions of children who are out of school, high dropout rate, gender disparity and low literacy rate. Within first year of the governments i.e. in 2013-2014 we saw that all the provincial government were spending around quarter of their entire budgets, yes, around 25% towards education while Federal Government revised its spending by almost 50% than previous year. The results were impressive. The number of out of school children dropped by 10%, net enrolment went up by 7% literacy rate went up by 3.5%.
Honourable Director General in her opening address made an appeal for advancing education of every child especially girls. Girl child education is very close to our hearts. Pakistan has seen those terrible times when schools especially girl schools were being blown up by terrorists. All of us know the story of Malala Yousafzai, a noble laureate now, is a towering figure and is recognized throughout the globe as icon for education especially girls education. Pakistan by donating US$ 10 million has helped create a UNESCO MALALA FUND to be utilized globally for the cause of girls education that all nations should however small your contribution is, but it should be there. All of us must be supportive of the right cause.
Here, I must also share with you that beside education, ending extremism has been one of the top four priorities of the government. Now, alhumdulillah, after impressive ongoing military operation, legislation and other measures, the extremist elements have either been taken out or are on the run. Incidents of terrorism and bomb blasts have been reduced to almost zero. The areas where schools were being blown up or evacuated is now witnessing that new schools are being built.
Extremists and terrorists have lost and Malala mind-set has won. Yesterday I witnessed the impressive ceremony for the award of UNESCO AVICENNA PRIZE FOR ETHICS IN SCIENCE. I congratulate UNESCO for duly recognizing and highlighting importance of ethics in science which is much needed. I would also like to thank the government of Islamic Republic of Iran for co-sponsoring the prize. Here I would like to congratulate the winner of the prize, DR. ZABTA KHAN SHINWARI who is an accomplished Pakistani scientist, for making us all proud of him and his achievements which are now being recognized globally.
I would also like to draw to attention to the International Convention (1970) on the protection of cultural heritage, and many of our cultural heritage items have been illegally sold abroad.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, in the end, let me emphasize that the very purpose of this august gathering is to streamline international cooperation, bring about solidarity, promote tolerance and understand and respect others’ point of view, to share good practices and synergies.
[quote style=”1″]These goals of human development cannot be achieved, even if a single nation, or country or a human being is left behind. No one should be allowed to stay behind for lack of resources or bad governance or anything else.Let us stand united for a common goal of a better future, a better world.[/quote]