No country must be prevented from serving its people: Qureshi

Pakistan thanks members for reposing their trust in Pakistan to chair G77 and China


Our Correspondent January 14, 2022
Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi delivering a statement at the United Nations during the handover ceremony for the chair of the G77 and China. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD:

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said that developing countries cannot recover from coronavirus-related damage if their budgets are constrained, adding that no country must be prevented from serving its people.

In a statement during the handover ceremony for the chair of the G77 and China, he congratulated Guinea’s Foreign Minister Dr Morissanda Kouyate on successfully leading the Group of 77 and China during the last year.

He also thanked the 134 members of the group for reposing their trust in Pakistan to chair the Group of 77 and China in these challenging times. He called for the unity of the group in its collective endeavours to ensure and promote prosperity for people in conditions of equity and equality.

Qureshi said that the Group of 77 and China, and its members, have been the propellants of progress in international development negotiations.

“It has conceived many of the innovative ideas and approaches for international economic cooperation, such as the 0.7 percent ODA target; special and preferential treatment for developing countries in trade; and duty-free market access for the Least Developed Countries (LDCs),” he said.

“Today, the world is facing a triple crisis – the Covid-19 pandemic; the related economic downturn; and the threat posed by climate change,” he added.

“Our Group had warned that if all the world’s people, including those in the developing countries, were not rapidly vaccinated, the virus would roam and return. Due to vaccine inequity, this is what we are witnessing. It is why we are meeting virtually today. The lesson must be learned. Vaccine production and universal distribution, and reinforced health systems, are the best response to the mutating Covid-19 virus and to ending this pandemic,” he further said.

He highlighted that apart from lost lives, over 150 million have been pushed into extreme poverty. More than two score developing countries are in debt distress, he added.

He pointed out that while the massive financial injections – of over $17 trillion – in the richer countries have revived economic growth, most developing countries are still in the grip of the most severe recession in a century. Despite the G-20’s debt suspension and expanded financing from development institutions, the developing world has had access to less than $100 billion in additional money to stimulate their economies, he added.

Read More: Qureshi urges envoys to implement Pakistan’s geo-economic agenda

Qureshi said that the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2030 has been set back by at least a decade. A herculean global effort will be needed to enable the developing countries to recover and move back to the path of achieving the SDGs within the targeted timelines, he said.

He also said that developing countries need the financial support of at least $4.3 trillion to do so and these resources must be mobilized from all possible sources.

Emphasising the importance of addressing structural and underlying causes of underdevelopment and growing inequality, the foreign minister said that one critical issue is the illicit outflow of trillions of dollars from the developing countries, draining their ability to achieve sustained growth and development. The stolen assets of developing countries must be returned without delay and obfuscation, he added.

We need to adopt new instruments on money laundering and tax cooperation and establish a UN body to monitor, halt, and reverse illicit financial flows, as recommended by the FACTI Panel, he further said.

He recommended that the Group of 77 and China should also promote appropriate reforms to the international financial architecture and the world trade regime to induct equity and advance development goals.

Regarding the environmental crisis, he said that developing countries have contributed the least to the climate crisis but are the ones that suffer its greatest consequences.

“Bold promises were made by the industrialised countries at the Glasgow COP-26. It remains to be seen if these promises– to curb carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2040; to provide over $100 billion annually in climate finance, and double adaptation finance; to respond to the ‘loss and damage’ suffered by the developing countries – will be fulfilled,” he added.

Qureshi said that Pakistan will work with all members of the group to develop effective and concerted action to respond to the multiple challenges confronting its countries.

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