LAHORE: The two-day Punjab Human Development Forum 2018 concluded on Wednesday with National Health Services Regulation and Coordination Minister Saira Afzal Tarar speaking at the closing ceremony.
“It is heartening to see a good number of development and health experts under one roof discussing the human capital growth in Punjab while finding out new ways to accelerate the pace of human development resultantly benefitting the commoners in the province. We need a multi-sectoral approach for the implementation of all initiatives. We must learn from the extensive experience of the experts present here so that the true objective of organising this forum can be achieved. I congratulate the planning and development department and the Urban Unit on a successful execution of the forum,” she said.
The closing ceremony was also attended by the Punjab Planning and Development Minister Malik Nadeem Kamran.
Muhammad Jehanzeb Khan, planning and development board chairman said that the forum discussed multiple determinants of human development with the main focus on prevailing endemic of malnutrition in the province. In today’s world, investing in nutrition is an absolute necessity, not a luxury. The government of Punjab with its commitment to making nutrition a priority in the province is well cognisant about this fact. Good nutrition lies at the heart of human development and drives progress in health, education, gender equity, poverty reduction and employment opportunities, he added.
Dr Nasir Javed chief executive officer the Urban Unit commended the successful organisation of the Punjab Human Development Forum 2018 and stressed the need to make human capital development a policy priority and ensure that it gets attention from the highest level.
The two-day event brought together a number of international and national development experts discussing 6 various themes in 6 sessions respectively. The international speakers included Mr Patchamuthu Illangovan (The World Bank Pakistan) Ms Cristian Munduate, (UNICEF Pakistan) Dr Christian Oldiges, (University of Oxford) Ms Cristina Isabel Santos (World Bank) Professor Gavin Jones, (Australian National University) E Gail Richardson (HNP Pakistan, World Bank) Dr Jaime Saaverda Chaduvi (World Bank) Neil Buhne(UNDP) Sarah Morati Masale (UNFPA) Dr Agha Xaher Gul (USEFP) and Dr Yasmeen Sabeeh Qazi (David and Lucile Packard Foundation).
Iftikhar Ali Sahoo, planning and development department secretary said, “This forum did not only shed light on major determinants of human development, but also highlighted that it is imperative that policies and programs which promote human development are designed for and reach everyone, thereby making development more inclusive.”
Dr Umar Saif, Punjab information technology board chairman said, “Skills development and its links with inclusive and sustainable development are indispensable. Therefore, skills-training is the only way to make a huge pool of youth productive members of the workforce in Punjab. By skill training, I mean to underline skill training that is demand driven and market-based.”
The two-day forum was attended by high profile government officials, professionals, practitioners, academicians, development partners, researchers and government officials. The practical recommendations finalised through the forum would be helpful in developing a composite strategy. The forum did not only shed light on major determinants of human development, but also highlighted that it was imperative that policies and programs which promote human development were designed for and reach everyone, thereby making development more inclusive.