3 Days International Conference Concluded at Fatima Jinnah Women University

The IMF-led neoliberal policies based on the Washington Consensus have never worked and will never work, said Prof. Dr. Ashfaque Hasan Khan during the John Maynard Keynes Lecture on the third day of the Second International Conference on Sustainable Development in Contemporary World: Priorities, Challenges and Prospects was held on 6 October, 2022 at Fatima Jinnah Women University.

It was preceded by a very informative address by Hans Timmer, Chief Economist of the South Asia Region, World Bank who discussed the issue of sustainable development in developing nations with particular focus on Pakistan. He highlighted the gravity of the situation given the context of current economic and climate crisis in the country. He suggested that mutually cooperative relationship between developing nations is the way out of this situation. At the same he elucidated on the responsibility of developed countries in reducing their carbon foot print.

Dr. Saima Hamid, Vice Chancellor, FJWU welcomed the distinguished guests and participants followed by the overview of the Conference given by Prof. Dr. Bushra Yasmin, Conference Coordinator. She elaborated that the conference was organized in the light of rising concerns and policy targets about sustainable development both in the national policy statements and international agreements. She announced the launch of the SDGs Research and Resource Centre (SRRC) to be established at FJWU with the support of World Bank and South Asia Economic Policy Network. The SRRC would be a think-tank established with the view that recurrent generation, optimal allocation and efficient utilization of limited resources by the academia can formulate the trajectories for achieving sustainable development goals.

Chief Guest of the session, Mr. Syed Zafar Ali Shah, Secretary, Ministry for Planning, Development and Special Initiative appreciated the efforts of the conference organizers in arranging an event with such a vast scope given numerous constraints. Mr. Shah also highlighted that planning commission is keeping sustainable development central to its all policy initiatives. He expressed high hopes for the youth at Fatima Jinnah Women University that they will play their role in achievement of SDGs at the forefront. He emphasized that resource management entails pivotal importance in this regard. ‘The role of efficient execution of plans cannot be overemphasized’, said Mr. Shah.

The Guest of Honor, Prof. Dr. Mohammad Ali, Vice Chancellor Quaid-i-Azam University, a seasoned educator and administrator, emphasized on the management of food waste and carbon footprints. Moreover, in current context of natural calamity, flood, he identified the key areas where policy precedent is required, particularly to deal with problems associated with upsurge of urbanization trend.

Vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Zainab Jehan, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Fatima Jinnah Women University. The session ended with the distribution of shields and certificates to the Chief Guest, Guest of Honor, and conference organizing team by the acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Azra Yasmin. The event was concluded on a photo-op with the participants of the conference. Conference was attended by over hundred participants, paper presenters and guest speakers. Three 3 plenary sessions by Renowned National and International Speakers on Localization of SDGs and Regional Perspectives, Environment, Technology and Institutions and Policies Facets of Sustainable Development were conducted. A panel discussion was organized on Tapping the Astounding Talent of Women in Achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Over twenty papers were presented in the technical sessions on sub-themes Economic Inquiries & Policies in the wake of SDGs, Exploration of Social Vulnerabilities and Resilience and Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability.