ISLAMABAD Aril 26 (APP): Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday stressed upon wider regional and global cooperation to tackle the devastating health and socio-economic impacts caused by Covid-19 pandemic as efforts for recovery could not work in isolation.
Making a virtual statement at the opening segment of 77th Session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the prime minister said Pakistan has shifted its focus from geo-politics to geo-economics.
“We are ready to join hands for win-win outcomes. Our success lies in cooperative multilateralism and partnerships. Let Asia-Pacific take the lead. Pakistan is willing to work with all members to advance our shared objectives,” he added.
The prime minister said the world had been in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have seen its devastating health and socio-economic impacts all around the world, with Asia and the Pacific also bearing the brunt. Pre-existing vulnerabilities and inequalities have become even more acute. We are now lagging further behind in achieving the SDGs than ever before. Over 100 million people will fall back into extreme poverty,” he said.
The prime minister said it might take years to regain the pre-COVID income levels. Varying financial capacities, health care and vaccine rollout might lead to uneven recovery among countries and regions.
“We must ensure that no one is left behind. That requires international solidarity. We need the right mix of national actions, regional collaboration, and multilateral cooperation,” he emphasized.
The prime minister also suggested four key areas of focus including-to put the people front and centre for pro-poor and inclusive policies and strengthening of public health and social protection systems.
He said these had been the primary objectives for them in Pakistan. People-centred economic security was now at the core of the development paradigm.
Prime Minister Khan further mentioned that peace and development must be anchored in human rights, which should be upheld and protected universally. The international community needed to pay special attention to situations of foreign occupation.
Third, he said, in building back, they had the opportunity to model their economies on more resilient and sustainable grounds.
“Ambitious climate action is a way ahead. Pakistan is accordingly implementing policies for green growth,” he added.
Regarding his fourth suggestion, the prime minister said there was a dire need to mobilize adequate financing for development.
For the developing countries, he said, the debt issue must be addressed in a fair and sustainable manner.
“With my ‘Global Initiative on Debt Relief’, Pakistan has been advocating this cause on all world forums. At home, we are implementing corresponding fiscal reforms,” he added.
To achieve these ambitious goals, the prime minister said they all wanted to reinvigorate their economies and build back better, but they could not do that in isolation.
“Only through enhanced regional and international cooperation can we reopen safely and sustainably, starting with equitable access to affordable vaccines for all. We have to think in the long term, keeping in mind the best interest of our future generations,” he added.