Pakistan calls for paying heed to peoples under occupation while implementing global development agenda

Ambassador Lodhi meets new UN chief Antonio Guterres, briefs him situation in South Asia, Afghanistan

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 4 (APP): Pakistan has urged the international community not to overlook the dire situation and suffering of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation while implementing U.N.’s 2030 development agenda aimed at ending poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change.

“We must pledge to remove the obstacles to the full realization of their right to self-determination, which prevents their economic and social development and their ability to achieve and implement sustainable development goals,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial matters, on Monday.

“We must ensure that they (peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation) are not left behind,” she said as the Committee began a general debate.

Emphasizing that the right of self-determination was a fundamental right enshrined in the U.N. Charter, the Pakistani envoy said for peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, it continues to hold out the hope that its promise will be realized.

In her speech, Ambassador Lodhi said adoption of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement had renewed faith in multilateralism and development cooperation, with high-level summits showing a shared international vision.

However, she said, accomplishing the new development paradigm posed key leadership and development challenges. There was sufficient empirical data to suggest that some major challenges must be addressed with a comprehensive, inclusive strategy and that an enabling environment was vital for mobilizing resources. Also, the new Agenda must be effectively followed up and periodically reviewed.

The most significant aspect of work for the Second Committee this year was to ensure monitoring and follow-up, Ambassador Lodhi said. The range of issues included in the 2030 Agenda required recalibration of the entire United Nations development system.The Committee must build on gains and seek to address and tackle challenges in the system.Trade was critical for development and there were glaring and inequitable aspects of the international trade regime, she added.

She told the Committee that Pakistan signed the Paris Agreement on the day it opened for signature in April this year. “We have already initiated necessary legal procedures for early ratification.”