Prime Minister Imran Khan delivered an opening speech at the Special High-Level Segment of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) on Financing for Development (FfD) presided by Pakistan this year.
Among the attendees were the President of the UN General Assembly, President of the ECOSOC, Ambassador Muneer Akram, and Secretary-General of the United Nations.
PM Khan’s speech centered around the impact of the novel coronavirus on the developing countries and the possible steps different International Governmental Organizations and developed countries can take to stop the developing countries from experiencing the severe economic fallout.
Talking about the pandemic he said that the country had defeated the first two waves by the disbursement of an $8 billion relief fund for the people, and now the third wave is upon the country. He warned the conference of the threat and consequences of vaccine nationalization and using the vaccine to advance foreign policy adjectives. PM Khan was of the view that the vaccine patents should be ended making the cure public.
The Prime Minister said, “last April, I proposed a global initiative on debt relief. I’m glad to say that the G 20s debt suspension has been extended, its scope needs to be enlarged to encompass all vulnerable countries, especially the small island developing states, private creditors must participate in providing debt relief and restructuring in January of this year.”
Highlighting the 5-point agenda that he presented at the UNCTAD meeting in January of this year, he said, “I proposed a five-point agenda for emergency financial support to developing countries including debt relief and restructuring, SDR (special drawing rights) creation, redistribution, larger concessional finance and an end to illicit financial flows from the developing world.”
PM Khan underscored the need for debt suspension, relief, and increased liquidity for the developing world. He said, “, the IMF, the World Bank, and other developing banks now have an ample capacity to enlarge concessional financing for developing countries, the forthcoming International Development Association (IDA) replenishment should be enlarged to $60 billion,” due to the developed countries’ support to the IMF and the decision by the IMF to create 650 billion dollars in new SDRs (Special Drawing Rights).
He highlighted the need to mobilize funds by saying that they are, “needed by developing countries to recover from the Covid-induced recession and restore them on the path to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan also called upon the UN to endorse the FATI’s 14 recommendations presented recently to “halt the outflow of trillions of dollars from developing countries,” to developed countries.
He applauded the recent US proposal on a global minimum corporate tax, in line with his own suggestions at the FATI session recently, to curb “profit shifting and tax avoidance. by large corporations.”
He also talked about the moratorium on claims against developing nations in investment disputes, referring indirectly to the $5.8 billion penalties Pakistan is facing for denying a mining lease to an Australian company.
PM Khan mentioned the importance of climate change and urged the international community to help the developing countries in achieving the climate goals. He also urged the developed world to commit to the disbursement of funds agreed upon in the Paris Agreement. He mentioned Pakistan’s billion tree drive and the incentivization of EV industry in the country.
Speaking at this event, UN Secretary-General Mr. Antonio Guterres said, An enormous push at the highest political level is needed to reverse dangerous trends, prevent successive waves of infection, avoid a lengthy global recession and get back on track to fulfill the 2030 agenda.”
UNGA President Mr. Volkan Bozkir also spoke at this ECOSOC event, in agreement with Prime Minister’s points and asked world leaders to, “seize the opportunity of this crisis to effectively shift toward a more sustainable and resilient path, to demonstrate the strength and utility of the multilateral system, and to build a world that we will proudly pass down to future generations”.