UNITED NATIONS, Nov 21 (APP): Pakistan has called for implementing the Political Declaration, adopted by last September’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit, under which world leaders reaffirmed their commitment to eradicate poverty and hunger, combat inequalities, and build inclusive and peaceful societies that leave no one behind.
“These pledges and commitments on development should be endorsed by the Security Council so as to transform these into binding obligations,’ Ambassador Munir Akram said at the U.N. on Monday.
In particular, the Pakistani envoy emphasized that those promises must be implemented to expand concessional and grant development finance, re-channel the unused special drawing rights (SDRs), provide urgent debt relief, and meet climate commitments, among others.
Speaking in a Security Council’s debate on the promotion of sustainable peace through common development, he voiced support for the U.N. Peacebuilding Commission’s efforts to address the resolution of conflict situations through the promotion of development.
“Yet, no amount of development can bring peace when peoples are suppressed by foreign occupation and forcibly denied of their right to self-determination as is happening in Palestine today and in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” Ambassador Akram added.
Acknowledging the interdependence between peace and development, he said although hundreds of millions of people have been lifted out of poverty in the past 8 decades, the Charter’s vision of prosperity for all the “peoples” has yet to be realized. “We live in an age of inequality,” that had created the super-rich and the super-poor.
Noting that development progress made in the past few decades has been halted and reversed – by the Covid pandemic, climate change impacts and proliferating conflicts., the Pakistani envoy said 150 million people have descended into extreme poverty.
” Growing poverty and hunger and the illegal exploitation of natural resources are the principal causes of many of conflicts and disputes among and within states, such as in the Sahel and other parts of Africa,” he said. Climate change is exacerbating the scramble for scarce resources, particularly water, and could lead to the proliferation of conflicts.
Opening the debate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the Security Council that no peace is secure without inclusive and sustainable development which leaves no one behind.
“Human development lights the way to hope — promoting prevention, security, and peace”, the UN chief said.
He added that advancing peace and sustainable, inclusive development must go hand-in-hand.
Developing countries — particularly least developed countries — are being battered by a “perfect storm of crises”, including crushing debt burdens, evaporating fiscal space, and soaring prices, the secretary-general said. With 85 per cent of the SDGs missing their mark, he called on the international community to act with greater urgency and ambition.
He proposed a set of concrete actions that the international community can take now — including a Sustainable Development Goals Stimulus of $500 billion a year to reduce debt burdens and release resources for long-term, affordable financing from multilateral and private sources.
“To secure peace and advance development, we must jettison the self-defeating logic of zero-sum competition, recommit to cooperation, and summon the courage to compromise,” with the Council at the heart of this vital effort.