Antonio minces no words

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DURING a visit to the National Flood Response and Coordination Centre, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres showed a mirror to the industrialized countries which are massively contributing to the global emissions but the brunt of which is faced by poor countries like Pakistan.

Lamenting lack of attention the world gave to climate change, he said this is insanity and a collective suicide.

The unprecedented floods in Pakistan and the devastation on large scale it wreaked across the country should be an eye opener for the whole world community.

The fact is that poor countries like Pakistan did the least to contribute to global emissions.

Nonetheless, they and their people are more vulnerable to climate impact.

They tend to be more exposed to climate change, for instance, living in places exposed to floods, working in occupations like agriculture or lacking access to improved water and sanitation.

And then they have few resources to adapt and invest in protecting themselves.

To address this situation, the Paris Agreement was adopted which rightly emphasized climate change technologies and building capacity in the developing world to improve resilience to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through technology development and transfer from the developed world.

However, it is lamentable that commitments made in the agreement for cutting emissions and financially helping the vulnerable countries have not seen any progress.

The people of Pakistan are really grateful to the UN Secretary General for making a fervent appeal to the international community to come forward for the relief and rehabilitation of flood affected people as the calamity according to him has caused a colossal loss of thirty billion dollars.

We will also remember the kind words he used for the empathy and generosity of Pakistani people.

It is yet to be seen as to how the world reacts and responds to his appeal of help for Pakistan.

Whilst we really commend different countries for coming forward in the rescue and relief phase but rebuilding the lives of millions of families and then reconstructing climate resilient infrastructure is a long-term challenge for Pakistan.

It is for the major countries to help Pakistan enhance preparedness against disasters in order to avert such huge losses in future.

Turning a back will not be a solution but will be catastrophic. Also, it is for our authorities not to expect much from the international community.

The aid will pour in but nobody will leave the coffers open for us. Hence, we will have to rely on our own resources which need to be enhanced to better tackle with the adverse effects of climate change.

 

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