Pakistan urges developed countries to help end disparities in world

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has urged the United Nations to work towards building a revitalized global partnership for a prosperous world.

Speaking at a ministerial level meeting marking United Nations Development Programme’s 50th anniversary, Ahsan Iqbal, Pakistan’s chief delegate, underscored the need for the developed countries to help in helping to address development challenges in a world where prosperity and poverty still coexist.

Ahsan Iqbal, minister for Planning, Development and Reform, who has been also appointed as Champion Minister for Sustainable Development Goals’ Agenda by UNDP, said there can be no room for islands of peace and conflict, prosperity and poverty, health and disease, and education and illiteracy in today’s world.

“These disparities must end”, he emphasized. The other panelists in the special session included the President of Togo, the Columbian Minister for Post Conflict, Human Rights and Security, the Swedish Minister for Strategic Planning and Nordic Cooperation, and the Egyptian Minister for International Cooperation.

In a Davos-style panel discussion, the Minister told the world body that he has brought a message of optimism from Pakistan that had last three years, been on a journey of hope. “Pakistan is making strides in tackling its social, economic and development challenges,” he said.

The minister described Pakistan’s ‘journey of turnaround’ by detailing the efforts the country was making in dealing with security, energy, economic and development challenges.

He said that the country’s economic indicators were improving as also was energy and law and order situation.

The Minister also flagged Pakistan’s extreme vulnerability to the impact of climate change. He said, “Pakistan was among the top 5 most vulnerable countries to climate change and natural disasters despite being a very low greenhouse gas emitter.”

He said that, millions of people are threatened by climate change impact caused by irresponsible growth in the developed world. “It is their moral, social and economic obligation to support climate actions in developing countries, including building resilience to its impact,” he added.

The minister urged UNDP to create a strong and effective knowledge sharing platform through which global experiences in the development sector, which UNDP accumulates, was shared with member states and was made available as best practices to all countries.

Pakistan was among only five countries that were asked to speak in the opening plenary of the UNDP’s special meeting, which began with a message from Secretary General Ban-ki Moon and address by the head of UNDP, Helen Clark.