UN backs Imran’s call for debt relief

Guterres believes that debt relief must be an important part of the response to COVID-19


APP April 16, 2020
ILLUSTRATION: JAMAL KHURSHID

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday supported Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for a global initiative for debt relief to developing countries, saying such a measure must be an “important part” of the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The prime minister’s initiative is in the same spirit as the secretary general’s own position,” UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in response to a question from APP at the virtual news briefing at the UN headquarters.

“Mr Guterres believes that debt relief must be an important part of the response to COVID-19, including immediate waivers on interest payments for 2020,” he said. “It’s important that the limited resources of the world’s poorest countries be used to combat the Covid-19 virus.”

The spokesman added: “The secretary general has made this clear publicly and privately, including in his discussions with the G20 (the major industrialised countries)”.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Imran urged the world leaders, the UN secretary general and heads of financial institutions to give debt relief to the developing countries like Pakistan so that they could combat the deadly Covid-19 in a better way.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram gave a detailed briefing on the prime minister’s call to the UN Deputy Secretary General Amina Mohammed and the Secretary-General’s Chef de Cabinet, Maria Luiza Ribeiro Viotti.

APP

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