The UN MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) Millennium Peace Award was bestowed on Pakistan here on Friday.
The award was received by Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Masood Khan at the World Cities Scientific Development Forum (WCSDF) which took place at the headquarters of China People’s Political Consultative Council (CPPCC), which is China’s equivalent of Senate body.
“We all need to learn and benefit from the Chinese experience that has revolutionized the life of poor people and raised the living standards of lower middle class,” said Ambassador Masood Khan while speaking on this occasion.
He said that “we can particularly learn from Chinese system of community self-governance in the villages, townships and cities; as well as from its transparent democratic oversight. China is now trying to bridge the gaps between the rural and urban areas and between the eastern and western regions.”
Pak envoy said adding “These policies would not only stimulate sustainable development in the targeted areas but bring dividends to the states neighbouring China. Pakistan is one of those states “.
Commenting on the situation in Pakistan regarding achievement of the MDGs he said the MDGs have been the centerpiece of our Government’s development efforts.
“We have, however, been hit hard by massive and unprecedented floods this year. These are the worst floods in the past 83 years. Some 20 million people have been affected and 8 million are homeless who need immediate attention. Houses, schools, hospitals, livestock, roads, bridges, and communication systems have been devoured and destroyed by torrential rains and rivers that have swollen 40 times their normal size. Standing crops of rice, sugarcane, cotton, vegetables have all been washed away,” Pak envoy noted.
He said floods in Pakistan will affect progress towards meeting MDGs and aggravate problems related to poverty. In the affected areas, floods have wiped out progress that we had made on the MDGs in the last five years.
He thanked the international community for “sharing our pain and giving us relief assistance at the most tragic and difficult phase in our history.”
Appreciating the support given by China he said “I want to use this occasion to convey our deepest gratitude to the Chinese Government, PLA, Chinese Red Cross and especially the people of China for giving us timely, generous, substantial and unconditional relief assistance. Chinese relief sorties have saved lives, fed people, and rekindled hopes. Chinese tents, blankets, medicines, food items, bottled drinking water have provided shelter and sustenance to thousands of people in Pakistan.”
He expressed special thanks to China for its 55-member Medical Mission sent to Pakistan, which has already treated 10,000 patients.
He said this year China has also faced a series of disasters “earthquakes, floods and mudslides resulting in the loss of precious lives. We deeply appreciate that China has decided to help Pakistan at a moment it itself is facing severe natural calamities”.
Masood Khan said China has the best credentials to talk about a union between MDGs and targeted economic planning on a scientific basis.
Masood Khan expressed the confidence that this forum will also address bread and butter issues such as food security, public health, environment, energy, industry that have direct or indirect impact on MDGs.
Naturally, science and technology as well as management sciences are pivotal in mobilizing communities to achieve MDGs, he added.
The WCSD Forum pays close attention to world urbanization, and making joint effort for world sustainable development. It gives a higher profile and projection to MDGs and suggests practical ways to quicken the pace for achieving them.