November 24, 2020: Pakistan hosted the first virtual meeting of SAARC Planning Secretaries with Asad Rafi Chandna in the chair and prepared the ground work for the “First Meeting of SAARC Planning Ministers” dedicated to the theme, “Shaping SAARC Vision 2030”.
All eight member states attended the meeting with their virtual presence.
First Meeting of SAARC Planning Ministers to be held virtually on Wednesday.
The meeting extensively discussed the subject of “Achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030- Vision for South Asia”.
In the welcome remarks, the chair emphasized that the spread of COVID19 with its impacts on health, education, jobs, and income across the member states is a challenge that warrants a review of national strategies for achieving SDGs.
The SAARC forum discussed the compilation of national approaches and strategies of SAARC member states on inclusive sustainable development, the impact of COVID-19 on overall economic growth in the member states and strategy for collaborative action for mobilizing development financing, especially in the post-COVID-19 scenario.
In relevance to the impact of COVID19 on overall economic growth in SAARC member states, Pakistan urged member states for cooperation not limited to the health services only but also to cover pharmaceutical collaboration, personal protective equipment and expansion on the demands of post-pandemic relief, recovery and rehabilitation.
The forum largely agreed that the transfer of technology from the technologically advanced countries is one of the critical factors to mitigate the adverse impacts of COVID19 along with the transformation of production, consumption and supply chain mechanism within the SAARC region.