Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar departed for New York in the early hours of Sunday to represent Pakistan at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The focus of this year’s session is on reigniting global solidarity and assessing progress made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) towards peace, prosperity, and sustainability for all. A significant aspect of the debate will pertain to the Global South and the challenges posed.
As per reports, PM Kakar is set to represent Pakistan and highlight the vulnerability of the developing world to global issues like climate change. People in Pakistan are still reeling from the effects of the devastating 2022 floods as many have retained their status as displaced, others have succumbed to poverty and flooded areas are yet to be recovered. The threat of floods in 2023 also led to the displacement and relocation of over 100,000 individuals. Climate change disproportionately impacts the Global South, and developing countries are the least equipped when it comes to preventative and disaster management initiatives. It is absolutely vital that PM Kakar addresses this issue and highlights the depravity caused, in the face of which world leaders must adopt a more apprehensive approach towards resource and climate exploitation.
Focus will undeniably be on the progress of the SDGs as well; as it stands today, hunger, literacy, affordable healthcare, gender inequality, clean energy, economic growth, sustainable development, protection of biodiversity and poverty remain key problems that have not been resolved in Pakistan. In fact, the entire southern and south-eastern region of the world is grappling with extreme economic hardships that have rendered their governments completely helpless. If there is any progress to be made on these fronts, multilateral partnerships and collaborations are the only way to achieve it. During his address of September 22, PM Kakar must also emphasise the importance of such alliances and invite private finance for developmental projects in Pakistan.
Last but not least, the Kashmir issue must also be brought forth for debate. UN General Secretary, Antonio Guterres made it a point to warn global leaders of keeping their focus on coming up with practical solutions and IIOJK could use one. Beyond the blatant attempt to change the demography of the region, the Indian government has been found complicit in creating a humanitarian crisis and violating human rights. The international community has remained silent despite being bombarded with proof of the atrocities being committed, and the UNSC resolutions being violated. If anything, now would be the time to take action.