Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday urged nations across the world to develop a global partnership to deal with the challenge of climate change. He said this was a highly important issue, particularly for an agrarian economy like Pakistan.
He said this at the cycle rally organised by the foreign ministry in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of Climate Change in connection with World Environment Day on Monday. This year Pakistan will host the World Environment Day to be observed on June 5.
Themed ‘Pedal for a Green Pakistan’, the cycle rally was led by Qureshi and also joined by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Malik Amin Aslam, Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul, parliamentary secretary on climate change, UNDP Country Director Knut Ostby and diplomats from different countries and foreign ministry officers.
The participants which included men, women and youngsters from different walks of life wore themed T-shirts and caps. The foreign minister said besides desiring to maintain peaceful relations with nations, Pakistan also wanted to make "peace with nature".
He said Pakistan was one of the ten countries most vulnerable to climate change but its people were unaware of the threat. However, Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and his team made them realise the seriousness of the situation. Today, he said, Pakistan was getting international recognition for its role in environmental protection.
On World Environment Day, the PM would announce environment-friendly initiatives to cope with the challenge and preserve the environment. Qureshi recalled that during the prime minister's recent visit to Saudi Arabia, both countries had signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on the climate change issue.
Qureshi said the participation of federal ministers and the diplomatic community in the cycle rally was meant to highlight the seriousness of the issue, which would go a long way to create awareness among the masses.
He said the government’s initiatives of 10 billion tree tsunami, electric vehicle policy and other environment projects showed its commitment to this issue.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 1st, 2021.