ISLAMABAD: Senator Sania Nishtar has underlined the need for commitment from world leaders to frame policies for socioeconomic recovery, decent job creation, social protection and poverty eradication to overcome the crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Sania was speaking through video link at the UN General Assembly’s side meeting on “Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication — Financing for Development in the Era of Covid-19 and Beyond”. She represented Pakistan at the meeting also attended by the heads of state and government.
Presenting Pakistan’s perspective, Dr Sania said the poorest people and poorest countries had been hit the hardest by the pandemic, adding that the “world is now on a divergent path of recovery”.
“In Pakistan we have been lucky so far, as we have been able to contain the health and economic impacts of the pandemic through our policy of ‘smart lockdowns’ and social protection,” she said.
“Our economy is back on a healthy growth trajectory. And, Pakistan’s social protection programme, Ehsaas, is recognised as a global model.”
Dr Sania urged the international community to promote systemic and structural reforms in the global economic architecture. She presented the following points: there is need to expand the financial access of developing countries through a more equitable distribution of IMF quotas; lowering the cost of private loans to developing countries; halting and reversing illicit financial flows from developing countries; installing an equitable international tax regime; there is need for massive mobilisation of public and private investment to facilitate the transition to green and digital economies; there is need to reform the world trade regime to enable developing countries to expand their exports to global markets on a preferential basis; and crises caused by the coronavirus be used as an opportunity to devise policies for social protection.
Dr Sania also talked about the idea presented jointly by Nigeria, Costa Rica, Turkey and Pakistan, with the cooperation of World Bank, for the establishment of universal system of social protection and knowledge platform. She urged each and every country to join the global platform to incorporate social protection as a policy instrument to “build back better”.
Published in Dawn, September 30th, 2021