New York is very happening these days on the behest of the United National General Assembly (UNGA) High-Level Week that will conclude on September 26. Pakistan’s Caretaker Prime Minister will address the UNGA today. Prior to his speech in what is usually referred to as the General Debate, PM Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar represented Pakistan in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit that coincided with the UNGA’s 78 Session, on Monday. He also spoke at the Climate Ambition Summit convened on the sidelines by the UN Secretary-General.
Some have criticised PM Kakar’s participation in the UNGA’s ongoing session; citing that because he is the caretaker PM, he has no right being a part of the session. Others have suggested him to be a misfit. But for a developing country like Pakistan, participation and representation in a world forum where issues like climate change are being discussed is very crucial. Pakistan remains one of the top affected countries by climate change and PM Kakar highlighted Pakistan’s intention to pursue and seek climate justice and climate finance in loss and damage at the upcoming UN Climate Conference (COP28) in December in Dubai.
It was important to present Pakistan’s case on a floor where all countries of the world were present. Pakistan is not a contributor to climate change but it unfortunately shares the bitter pitfall of the phenomenon. The world must know why climate finance matters for countries like Pakistan. Both at the SDG Summit and Climate Ambition Summit, Pakistan’s Caretaker PM delivered the key message and represented Pakistan’s position. Even if he is not an elected PM, it remains essential to let the voice of Pakistanis be heard at such forums.
These initial summits were a litmus test for PM Kakar, and it is fair enough to hope that in today’s speech, he will bring to notice all pressing concerns and issues of Pakistan. Already, the Turkish President has rightfully brought up the Kashmir issue. OIC also convened a special session on Kashmir on the sidelines, which also reaffirmed commitment to resolving the matter. Now eyes are on Pakistan’s PM to make a strong case in favor of all its long-standing commitments.