PM for adequate financing, actions in key areas to meet SDGs

Kakar attends 78th UNGA opening session n PM meets Iranian president; reiterates commitment to deepen bilateral ties

NEW YORK  -  Pakistan fully supports Chi­na’s Global Development Ini­tiative (GDI) that focuses on cooperation and partnerships and addresses such issues as extreme poverty, food security and climate change, Caretak­er Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar said Tuesday, while underscoring the need for ad­equate finance for the devel­opment process.

“The GDI can serve as a mechanism to enable de­veloping countries, with as­sistance from UN agencies, to prepare a pipeline of via­ble and bankable projects in their priority areas,” he told a high-level meeting on GDI and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly. The meet­ing was presided over by Chi­na’s Vice President Han Zheng. 

The Global Development Ini­tiative (GDI) was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 21, 2021.

“Pakistan and China are iron brothers who enjoy an all-weather strategic coopera­tive partnership. The Belt and Road Initiative and the Chi­na-Pakistan Economic Corridor are vital vehicles for achieving the SDGs,” PM Kakar said.

The prime minister referred to the devastation of most de­veloping countries’ economies by the poly-crises of -- Covid, conflict and climate change -- and said that China had extend­ed invaluable support for the achievement of the SDGs.

He pointed out GDI and its Group of Friends have iden­tified eight sectors and areas for priority action, including strengthening domestic food production; larger public and private investment in sustain­able infrastructure; expanding domestic manufacturing and industrial capacity; building resilient healthcare systems, and eliminating the “digital divide”.

“Adequate and appropriate fi­nance is critical at all levels of the development process,” PM Kakar said, noting the current gap in financing for the SDGs is $ 4.2 trillion annually. 

“The GDI can help bridge this gap, especially by securing im­plementation of the commit­ments made by developed countries at the SDG Summit to mobilize financing for the SDGs,” the prime minister said.

Pakistan, he said, commended President Xi’s announcement that China would set up another fund of $10 billion dedicated to the implementation of the GDI.

“Pakistan looks forward to en­hancing its cooperation with the Group of Friends of GDI to advance our shared commit­ment for implementation of the SDGs”, PM Kakar added.

Meanwhile, the caretaker prime minister attended the 78th opening session of the United Nations General Assem­bly (UNGA 78).

Earlier, the PM reached the UN headquarters to attend the wel­coming reception hosted by UN Secretary General Antonio Gu­terres for the heads of state and government.

The prime minister would present Pakistan at the high lev­el moot on Global Development Initiative and address the par­ticipants, the PM Office Media Wing said in a press release.

Besides, he will also attend and address a high level meet­ing on Sustainable Develop­ment Goals.

PM Kakar is expected to meet Iranian President Sayyid Ebra­him Raisi and President of Tur­kiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the session. 

The prime minister will also attend a reception hosted by US President Joe Biden in honour of the global leaders.

In another development, Care­taker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar held a bilateral meeting with President of Iran Ebrahim Raisi wherein he reaf­firmed Pakistan’s strong com­mitment to further strengthen and deepen ties with the broth­erly country, with particular fo­cus on enhancing cooperation in the economic domain. 

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the 78th Session of the UN General Assembly. 

Underscoring the close frater­nal relations between the two neighbouring countries, the prime minister stressed that steps including the recent in­auguration of the Mand-Border border marketplace, would not only contribute to the econom­ic uplift of the border areas but also serve as a tangible mani­festation of the collective com­mitment to work for the better­ment of the two peoples. 

Noting that President Rai­si’s policy of ‘Neighbourhood First’ was fully aligned with Pa­kistan’s vision for regional de­velopment and connectivity, he emphasised the importance for both countries to leverage their unique geographical location to promote shared objectives of regional peace and prosperity, through greater trade and en­hanced regional connectivity. 

The Pakistan-Iran relations are characterized by regular high-level exchanges, common­ality of views on important re­gional and global issues, and strengthened cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.

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