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#YSAN2022: South Asian Young Leaders Discuss Urban Sustainability with Experts

ISLAMABAD, PAKISTAN: 21 young leaders representing all South Asian countries came together to gain a thorough understanding of the theme of urban sustainability during an online workshop on August 2-3, 2022. The workshop, a part of Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF)’s new Young South Asia Network (YSAN), included in-depth exchanges among the YSAN 2022 cohort along with interactive discussions and “deep dives” with eminent subject specialists on important dimensions of the topic.

Mr. Stefan Burkhardt, Head of Division of HSF South and Southeast Asia, in his welcome remarks, introduced the worldwide work and focus areas of HSF, particularly in South Asia. He stressed the importance of regional networks such as YSAN:

Together with local partners, HSF implements projects all around the world in the areas of political education in order to promote peace, democracy and sustainable development. […] We strengthen the stakeholder capacity and participation in order to contribute to the democratic structures and processes in the context of SDGs.

Dr. Steffen Kudella, Resident Representative of HSF Pakistan, remarked:

The main objective of this online workshop was to bring South Asian young leaders together. We wanted to initiate a discussion with them on finding common solutions to the common challenges of urban areas. […] Our vision for YSAN is to develop it into a significant and impactful forum with a strong and influential presence in South Asia and Europe.

Mr. Volker Plän, Resident Representative of HSF India, outlined the main objectives and scope of YSAN:

YSAN brings together the future leaders and creates an opportunity for them to connect with each other and contribute with their unique backgrounds and skills for sustainable regional change. […] This year we are focusing on fostering multilateral exchanges with experts and young professionals from South Asia and Europe to find vision, ideas and solutions related to sustainable cities.

Mr. Jawed Ali Khan and Ms. Parul Agarwala, UN-Habitat Country Program Managers respectively for Pakistan and India, delivered an introductory session on the topic with a particular focus on SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) on day one. This was followed by an expert lecture on the topic of waste management.

The second day of the workshop included an expert session by Mr. Imran Ali Sultan, Chief Operating Officer, The Urban Unit, Government of Punjab, Pakistan on the topic of urban mobility followed by a deep dive into the topic.

YSAN is the latest HSF initiative to support young and promising future leaders from South Asia by providing them the opportunity to engage with their global counterparts and enable them to shape their countries’ future. The 2022 cohort includes young leaders from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Maldives, and Sri Lanka. Pakistan is represented by six YSAN delegates, Afghanistan by two delegates.

The second phase of YSAN 2022 includes a study trip to Germany with thematic visits to multiple locations in Germany along with exchanges with relevant young leaders and senior experts there.

HSF is the oldest German political foundation in Pakistan. For more information on HSF’s work in Pakistan please visit: and for YSAN Event photos and more details at Press contact: islamabad(at)