Caretaker PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar addresses a summit on UNGA sidelines.—Twitter/MoIB_Official
Caretaker PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar addresses a summit on UNGA sidelines.—Twitter/MoIB_Official

UNITED NATIONS: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has informed world leaders that Pakistan will seek climate justice and financial support at the United Nations climate conference (COP28), which will be held in Dubai in December this year.

The prime minister underlined Pakistan’s grievances at two summit meetings in New York on the sidelines of the 78 UN General Assembly, which began on Tuesday.

At a summit on the UN-set sustainable development goals (SDGs), he said that at the forthcoming CoP28, Pakistan will ask for the fulfilment of a $100-billion annual pledge of climate financing, allocation of half of this to climate adaptation and the urgent launch of a fund for “loss and damage”.

He welcomed the inclusion of many proposals advanced by Pakistan and other developing countries in the SDG Summit, including the political declaration, early capitalisation of multilateral developments banks, and re-channelling of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for development.

At the conclusion of the two-day SDG Summit, world leaders adopted a political declaration to ramp up progress to achieve the 17 goals, which are in danger of derailment due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and other global crises. Goals that address hunger, health, biodiversity, strong institutions, pollution, and peaceful societies are all off-track.

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The 10-page declaration includes a resolute commitment to financing for developing countries, endorsing the proposal for an annual SDG Stimulus of at least $500 billion, as well as an effective debt-relief mechanism.

It also calls for a shift in the business model of multilateral development banks, aiming to offer private finance at more affordable rates to developing countries, while advocating for reform of the international finance architecture, which has been described as “outdated, dysfunctional, and unfair.”

At a separate briefing, Foreign Secretary Syrus Qazi told journalists that Foreign Minister Jilani’s talks with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, had been the most significant meeting of the day.

The two sides also discussed the possibility of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s forthcoming visit to Islamabad, adding that both sides were committed to the visit and it would happen soon.

Asked what the thrust of the prime minister’s visit to New York was, the foreign secretary said: “Every visit does not produce tangible results. Visit to the UN General Assembly provides an opportunity to engage with world leaders and share Pakistan’s views on major international issues with them.”

Adaptation a priority

Meanwhile, in his speech at the Climate Ambition Summit, caretaker PM Anwaarul Haq Kakar urged the world to extend financial and technical support to developing countries like Pakistan, saying that all nations should raise their climate ambitions, regardless of their statuses and geographical locations

In his remarks, PM Kakar told the international community that the adverse impact of climate change continued to rise in frequency and intensity, disproportionately affecting developing countries.

“Pakistan is a prime example. Despite contributing less than one per cent to global warming, we are among the top ten vulnerable countries. The unprecedented floods of last year illustrated this vulnerability but these may just be the tip of the iceberg unless we arrest this global warming,” he remarked.

He thanked the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for active solidarity and mobilization of global support after the floods.

The premier said that due to its “well-established” climate vulnerability, the adaptation was a “critical” priority for Pakistan.

He said that despite not contributing to global warming, Pakistan chose to be part of the solution by deciding to convert 60 per cent of its energy resources to alternative energy by 2030, which would cost the country around $100 billion.

Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2023

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