Written by Maryam Habib and Dr. Muhammad Asim
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a comprehensive set of 17 targets aimed at eradicating poverty, ensuring sustainable development, and promoting social, economic, and environmental well-being worldwide. Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, three neighboring countries sharing a common border at the Tri-borderland, face multiple challenges in achieving the SDGs. This essay explores how the establishment of a jointly administered market at the Tri-borderland can contribute to fulfilling the SDGs in these countries.
SDGs and their relevance in Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan
The SDGs are essential for addressing the challenges facing Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan. These challenges include poverty, hunger, lack of access to education and healthcare, gender inequality, and environmental degradation. The three countries require a comprehensive approach that integrates economic, social, and environmental aspects of development.
Establishing a jointly administered market
The establishment of a jointly administered market at the Tri-borderland can contribute to achieving the SDGs in the region. The market can serve as a platform for the exchange of goods and services, foster trade and investment, and promote regional integration and cooperation. A jointly administered market can also create job opportunities, reduce poverty, and support economic growth and development.
SDG 1: No Poverty
The establishment of a jointly administered market can create job opportunities and support economic growth, which can reduce poverty in the region. The market can provide a platform for entrepreneurs and small businesses to sell their products and services, leading to increased income and reduced poverty.
SDG 2: Zero Hunger
The market can support agriculture and food production in the region, leading to increased food security and reduced hunger. The exchange of agricultural products and knowledge can also help increase productivity and efficiency in the sector.
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being
The market can provide access to essential healthcare products and services, including medicines, medical equipment, and health education. The exchange of knowledge and expertise among healthcare professionals can also contribute to improving the health and well-being of the population.
SDG 4: Quality Education
The market can serve as a platform for the exchange of educational materials, technologies, and expertise. This can contribute to improving the quality of education in the region and ensuring access to education for all.
SDG 5: Gender Equality
The market can contribute to reducing gender inequality by providing job opportunities and promoting women’s entrepreneurship. It can also serve as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise in gender-related issues, leading to increased awareness and improved policies.
SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
The market can contribute to promoting clean water and sanitation by providing access to water treatment technologies, sanitation products, and knowledge. It can also foster cooperation among the three countries in managing their water resources sustainably.
SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
The market can support the development and deployment of affordable and clean energy technologies in the region. The exchange of knowledge and expertise in this sector can contribute to reducing energy poverty and promoting sustainable energy production and consumption.
SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
The market can create job opportunities and support economic growth in the region. It can also contribute to promoting regional integration and cooperation, leading to increased trade and investment.
SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
The market can foster innovation and promote the development of infrastructure in the region. It can also contribute to promoting industrialization and diversification of the regional economy.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
The market can contribute to reducing inequalities by promoting inclusive economic growth and job creation. It can also serve as a platform for the exchange of knowledge and expertise in reducing inequality.
SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
The market can contribute to promoting sustainable urbanization and improving the quality of life in cities and communities. It can also support the development of sustainable transport systems and promote the efficient use of resources.
SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
The market can promote responsible consumption and production by supporting the development and deployment of sustainable technologies, reducing waste and pollution, and promoting resource efficiency.
SDG 13: Climate Action
The market can contribute to addressing climate change by promoting the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies, supporting climate-friendly practices and policies, and promoting sustainable land use.
SDG 14: Life Below Water
The market can support the conservation and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources. It can also promote responsible fishing practices and support the implementation of policies and regulations aimed at reducing marine pollution and protecting marine biodiversity.
SDG 15: Life on Land
The market can contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity. It can support sustainable land use practices and promote the implementation of policies and regulations aimed at reducing deforestation, land degradation, and wildlife trafficking.
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
The market can support the development of peaceful and inclusive societies and promote access to justice and effective, accountable, and transparent institutions.
SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals
The market can promote partnerships and cooperation among the three countries and with other stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, and international organizations. It can also support the mobilization of resources and the exchange of knowledge and expertise aimed at achieving the SDGs.