Pakistan, speaking for developing countries, calls for addressing multiple economic challenges facing them

Pakistan looks to UN Water Conference pushing for achieving goal about 'clean water and sanitation for all'

UNITED NATIONS, Oct 03 (APP): Pakistan, speaking for Group of 77 (developing countries) and China, has underscored the need for addressing the challenges of recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, financing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), fighting poverty, and combating the impacts of climate change that have adversely impacted the poorest nations.

“The recent geopolitical tensions and debilitating effects of climate change—which are being felt strongly by my own country in the wake of the recent unprecedented floods—have heightened vulnerabilities of countries and people around the globe,” Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, told the UN General Assembly’s Second Committee (Economic and Financial), which began its general debate on Monday.

Pakistan is the current chairman of G-77 and China, which now has 134 members and is the United Nations’ biggest intergovernmental group of emerging countries.

High inflation, growing food insecurity, unsustainable debt burden, disruption in supply chains, currency fluctuations, increased borrowing costs, and unilateral coercive measures that were not in accordance with international law and Charter of the United Nations were examples of various issues faced by the developing world today, he said.

“Regrettably these cascading crises have compelled many governments in developing countries to make hard choices of choosing between investing in people, saving their lives or repaying their debt and cutting down on development budgets.”

The G-77 chairman referred to the crisis of liquidity and pandemic of inequality, saying extreme poverty was on the rise; the number of undernourished and hungry had grown, with the rich were getting richer, and the poor becoming poorer.

“Global wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few – 26 richest people own half the world’s wealth,” Ambassador Akram said.

In order to address current challenges and promote structural reforms, the G-77 chairman proposed the following:

— Immediate expansion of concessional financing by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), reduction of borrowing cost for developing countries, and allocation of $500 billion new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs);

— Urgent mobilization of at least $1 trillion annually for investment in sustainable infrastructure (inter-alia energy, transport, housing, industry, agriculture, trade facilitation) for developing countries to boost the achievement of the SDGs in the remaining decade of action;

— Fulfillment by the development countries of their pledge of $100 billion annually towards climate finance and to at least double climate finance towards adaptation;

— Ensuring preferential trade access for developing countries and promoting export-led growth as an effective way to achieve the SDGs;

— Establishment of a fair tax regime to be inclusively developed through intergovernmental process;

— Giving developing countries due share in all economic decision-making bodies, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) contributions-based quota system must take into account development needs of the developing countries, and,

— Digital technologies must help bridge the digital gap, with preferential access given to developing countries to modern and digital technologies.

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