IMRAN KHAN, Prime Minister of Pakistan, called for a comprehensive international strategy to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic downturn and the climate emergency. It must include vaccinating everyone, everywhere; adequate financing for developing countries, including debt restructuring and more official development assistance; and clear investment strategies to alleviate poverty, create jobs and bridge the digital divide. He proposed that the Secretary-General convene a summit in 2025 to review and accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He added that the gap between rich and poor countries is growing at an alarming speed. “What the East India Company did to India, the crooked ruling elites are doing to the developing world,” he said. The Assembly must take meaningful steps to address this morally repugnant situation and develop a legal framework to stop and reverse illicit financial flows. At the very least, the recommendations of the High Level Panel on Financial Accountability, Transparency and Integrity should be fully implemented, he said.
The Secretary-General’s report on the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy should focus on new threats of terrorism posed by Islamophobes and right-wing extremists, he said. He should also convene a global dialogue on countering the rise of Islamophobia alongside efforts to promote interfaith harmony. “The worst and most pervasive form of Islamophobia now rules India,” where the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh-Bharatiya Janata Party regime is getting away with human rights abuses with complete impunity. Pakistan desires peace with India, as it does with other countries, but sustainable peace in South Asia is contingent upon resolving the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, in line with relevant Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people, he said.
Turning to Afghanistan, he rejected suggestions, made by politicians in the United States and Europe, that Pakistan is to blame. The United States was wrong to try to force a military solution in Afghanistan and if the world needs to know why the Taliban are back in power, it has only to analyse why a well-equipped Afghan army gave up without a fight. Going forward, the international community must strengthen and stabilize the current Government for the sake of Afghanistan’s people. It will be a win-win situation for everyone if the world community incentivizes the Taliban to walk the talk and fulfil their promises on human rights, inclusive government, amnesty and denying safe haven to terrorists. This is a critical time for Afghanistan and humanitarian assistance must be delivered immediately, he said, urging the Secretary-General to move the international community in that direction.
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