ISLAMABAD, Nov 30 (APP): Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Tuesday said that unless the challenges confronting the developing countries are addressed, the world economy – affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – will not be able to return to the path of sustained and sustainable growth.
“Islands of prosperity cannot exist within an ocean of poverty,” he said while addressing the 45th Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Group of 77 (G-77) held in virtual format.
The Foreign Minister said that the world faced a three pronged challenge of the COVID pandemic; realizing Agenda 2030 for Development and; the existential threat posed by Climate Change.
Needless to say, he added that the developing countries have been affected the most by the triple challenge to the detriment of their quest to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“The affluent countries’ have injected over $26 trillion to stimulate their economies and recover from the COVID crisis. The developing countries have been unable to mobilize even a fraction of the $4 trillion they need for economic recovery,” he mentioned.
The Foreign Minister said that the disruption of supply chains and revived demand in the developed economies have triggered global inflation – compounding the plight of the poor, and the debt and liquidity problems of the developing countries, which are home to 80% of the world population.
To overcome these challenges, he stressed that the developing countries must secure adequate financial support to address their debt, development and climate challenges. They should also have an equitable financial and trade architecture, he added.
The Foreign Minister said that Pakistan being a founding member of the Group had contributed steadfastly for realization of shared objectives and protection of interests of G-77 and China.
“We have had the privilege of Chairing the Group in New York thrice,” he added.
The Foreign Minister said that as the next Chair of the Group of 77 and China, Pakistan hopes to work with Members of the Group to promote a common development agenda for developing countries that includes: debt restructuring; redistribution of the 650 billion new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) to developing countries; larger concessional financing; mobilization of $100 billion in annual Climate Finance by the developed countries; ending the billions in illicit financial flows from the developing countries as well as return of their stolen assets and; the creation of an equitable and open trading system along with a fair international tax regime.
He said Pakistan believed that notwithstanding their challenges, developing countries have the greatest potential for economic growth.
“But, they need clear parameters for equitable global growth and development to realize the promise of a more equal and inclusive world as envisioned in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” he maintained.
The Foreign Minister congratulated the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guinea, for successfully leading the Group of 77 and China amidst significant challenges.
He also thanked the President of the General Assembly and the Secretary General (UN) for their important remarks. Their consistent support for developing countries is commendable, he added.
“Above all we thank the 134 members of the Group of 77 and China for reposing their trust in Pakistan to lead the largest group within the UN system for the next year,” the Foreign Minister remarked.