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.