UNITED NATIONS, Jul 21 (APP): Pakistan spotlighted the development of Africa at a key UN meeting on Wednesday, with a call for advancing the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, which is aimed at eliminating extreme poverty, reducing inequality and protecting the planet.
Participating in a high-level dialogue on “The Africa We Want: Reconfirming the Development of Africa as a Priority of the United Nations System”, Ambassador Munir Akram said that the coronavirus pandemic had pushed 43 million people into extreme poverty in Africa alone, as it devastated economies and endangered livelihoods around the world.
“Now,” the Pakistani envoy said, “efforts towards an inclusive and sustainable recovery have been halted by the global food, fuel and finance emergency”.
Climate change had contributed to and was compounding these challenges, he said, adding that Africa was the most vulnerable region in the world, with several countries facing a series of disasters, including floods, droughts and heat waves.
The ambitious climate commitments in Glasgow, COP 27, must turn to action and to implementation of the agreements and commitments, Ambassador Akram stressed.
In this regard, he underscored the need for developed countries to fulfill their long overdue commitment of US $100 billion in annual climate finance, and this must be separate and additional to their existing provision of Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Even this amount will be insufficient to combat the monumental challenges of transformation to dynamic models of sustainable development, Ambassador Akram said, adding that deliberations for a new and more commensurate collective quantified finance goal from a floor of US $100 billion must be agreed.
The Pakistani envoy said the estimated the annual cost of adaptation in developing countries could be as high as US $300 billion until 2030. In African countries, he said, building resilience and responding to climate related disasters is expected to cost 5% of their GDP annually by 2030.
“Thus,” he said, “concrete progress will also require the preparation of sound national adaptation plans and projects by African and other developing countries.”