UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (APP):A senior Pakistani diplomat has called for a renewed commitment to the anti-poverty Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the prevailing global environment, she said, was not conducive to achieving the ambitious targets set in the 2030 agenda.
“We see an erosion in global partnership and cooperative engagements, restraints on access to international financial resources and most importantly a waning of global political will,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the General Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial matters.
Speaking in a debate on Sustainable Development, the Pakistani envoy said national presentations delivered at the high level political forum convened under the auspices of the Economic and Social Council show progress but also reveal that the world is still far from achieving the targets of the global Agenda. The situation underscores the need for a structured approach anchored in a cooperative spirit, an enabling international environment and availability of matching resources.
“At the same time,” she said, “this demands the same level of enthusiasm and political commitment that was demonstrated at the time of formulating and adopting this framework of action.”
As regards Pakistan, Ambassador Lodhi said the priorities of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government were fully aligned with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, while addressing all the three dimensions of sustainable development.
“Revitalizing the economy, youth employment, sustainable housing, institutional reforms, universal access to health services and education, ensuring food, energy and water security, access to clean drinking water and sanitation are some of the top priority areas of the new government,” the Pakistani envoy said.
Noting that Pakistan’s climate footprint is minimal, she said it is nevertheless one of those countries most under threat from the impacts of climate change. In that regard, she expressed hope for an early conclusion of the negotiations on the modalities of the Paris Agreement review conference.
“We can only do this together” with each nation playing its part, she stressed.
Opening the debate, the President of the General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Graces, noted that 783 million worldwide live in extreme poverty, on less than $1.93 per day. Making progress and achieving the 21 specific goals to mitigate climate change, preserve ecochains and husband resources will depend on strengthening funding for development.
She stated that promoting decent work is key to eradicating poverty and addressing inequality, given structural gaps in labour hinder implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Encouraging delegates to include gender perspective in a cross cutting way, she also pointed to the special needs of least developed countries, small island developing States, landlocked developing nations and middle income countries.