IEDS Director Asim Zia presents in Pakistan and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Seminar

Panelists Asim Zia (left) and Maria Khan (right) with Ned McMahon (center) the moderator

A seminar was held on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Pakistan on Friday September 29 at the University of Vermont with IEDS Director Asim Zia.

Pakistan is a large and strategically important country in south Asia. It is in the news frequently due to its tumultuous politics, volatile mix of ethnicities and religions, possession of nuclear weapons, proximity to Afghanistan, and strained relations with India. It also faces significant challenges in meeting its considerable potential for increased living standards and levels of economic growth. Pakistan’s future development was reflected on in large part in how well it addresses the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recently approved by the UN General Assembly.

The seminar was a forum for considering the challenges and prospects for addressing key SDGs in the complex Pakistani context.  It provided information and perspective on two key issues, each of which are anchored in specific SDGs, but which also cut across others. Prof. Asim Zia, of the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics (CDAE) provided perspectives on environmental SDGs -- Goals 6 (Clean Water), 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), 13 (Climate Action) and 15 (Life on Land).  Maria Khan, a Pakistani national who is a doctoral candidate in Education at the State University of Albany, focused on Goal 4 (Education). Ms. Khan also participated in a US State Department program at UVM in 2007.

Included in the seminar was a short mini-documentary from a Haya Iqbal, a Pakistani documentary film-maker relating to women’s rights and Goal 16 (Just and Peaceful Societies).  Haya’s work received an Academy Award last year and has recently been nominated for three Emmys.

The event was be moderated by Prof. Ned McMahon from the UVM Department of Community Development and Applied Economics. A question and answer/discussion period followed the panelists presentations.

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