Caretaker PM will present Pakistan at the moot on Global Development Initiative and would address participants

NEW YORK:

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday attended the 78th opening session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The prime minister will present Pakistan at the high-level moot on the Global Development Initiative and will address the participants, PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

Besides, he will also attend and address a high-level meeting on Sustainable Development Goals.

“Feel honoured to represent Pakistan at the opening session of the General Debate of 78th UNGA session at the UN headquarters, New York,” PM Kakar wrote on his official X handle.

The premier is expected to meet Iranian President Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi and President of Turkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the session.

The prime minister will also attend a reception hosted by US President Joe Biden in the honour of the global leaders.

Last week, the Foreign Office had confirmed that Kakar would address the UNGA on Sept 22 in which he would outline Pakistan’s perspective on a range of regional and global issues of concern, including the Kashmir dispute, it said.

Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch had told her weekly news briefing last Thursday that the prime minister would elaborate on the measures being taken by the caretaker government to consolidate Pakistan’s economic recovery and efforts to mobilise domestic and external investment.

 

According to the spokesperson, Kakar would also participate in the summit on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other high-level meetings organised under the auspice of the General Assembly.

Kakar, the first-ever caretaker prime minister of Pakistan to address the 193-member UNGA, reached New York on Monday to join nearly 150 world leaders in deliberations on key peace and security issues as well as Global South’s concerns over growing poverty, inflation, and debt burden.

 

Around 145 heads of state and government, six vice presidents, four deputy prime ministers and 38 ministers or chiefs of delegations are expected to address the gathering.

This year’s theme of the UNGA is ‘Restoring Trust and Reigniting Global Solidarity’, but the credibility of the UN is currently being undermined by geopolitical conflicts, divisions, and paralysis at the Security Council, as economic, humanitarian, and climate-related crises continue.

 

“The General Assembly is meeting in a complex international environment, marked by conflicts, especially in Europe and Africa, growing great power tensions in Asia, a slowing global economy and 60 developing countries in financial distress,” Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram said.

“As yet [there is] no clear strategy on how to address these challenges,” Akram – who has served twice as the chairman of the Group of 77 [developing countries] plus China – told APP, underscoring the need for a plan to counter the grim challenges facing the world.

Russia’s war in Ukraine, well into its second year, will again be a focus of the debate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attending in person for the first time since the conflict started in February 2022. The war is exacerbating food price inflation, adversely impacting some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

Several top-level meetings during the General Assembly would focus on priorities of developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia: climate, health, financing for development, and how to get the SDGs – a global “to do” list created in 2015 – on track.

In a series of briefings, UN officials said that efforts to address Global South needs, including tackling poverty and diseases and improving access to clean water and energy, are trailing far behind the target that UN member countries set for themselves through the SDGs.

Ambassador Akram said that Pakistan stood for the immediate expansion of concessional financing by the multilateral development banks (MDBs), reduction in borrowing cost for developing countries, and allocation of $500 billion new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs).

The ambassador, while briefing the Pakistani newsmen at the UN, also stressed the need for urgent mobilisation of at least $1 trillion annually for investment in sustainable infrastructure for the developing countries to boost the achievement of the SDGs in the remaining decade of action.

He urged the developed countries to fulfil their pledge of contributing $100 billion annually towards climate finance and to at least double the climate finance towards adaptation, and give developing countries due share in all economic decision-making bodies.

Last week, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the member states to pay greater attention on issues that were priorities for the developing countries, including climate change and meeting the SDGs aimed at eradicating poverty.

“Action is what the world needs,” the UN chief said at his bi-annual news conference at the UN Headquarters. “This is not a time for indifference or indecision,” Guterres said. “This is a time to come together for real, practical solutions.”

The UN chief termed the gathering of world leaders at the 78th UNGA “one of a kind moment” to both assess world affairs and also to act for the common good. “It is time for compromise for a better tomorrow. Politics is compromise. Diplomacy is compromise. Effective leadership is compromise.”

During the session, Pakistan will also table its traditional resolution, affirming the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination and also the one denouncing Islamophobia and desecration of the Islamic symbols, besides its disarmament-related resolutions.

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