Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday shared a five-point agenda to address the structural barriers in global prosperity. He proposed the equitable supply of the coronavirus vaccine in developing countries and once again appealed for the suspension of debt repayments for the most financially stressed countries until the end of the pandemic.
The prime minister was the keynote speaker at the fourth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Financing for Development in Geneva.“The coverage of the Covax facility must be expanded. This would enable the developing countries to spend their precious resources on socio-economic development needs,” he said.The premier urged the suspension of debt repayments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic. He suggested restructuring of the public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multilateral framework besides expanding concessional financing through multilateral development banks.
Khan called for the general allocation of Special Drawing Rights of $500 billion to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures. He also urged devising a viable framework for equitable and affordable supply of Covid-19 vaccine to developing countries.
He stressed on the international community to take measures for the return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals. He said that developed countries should meet the agreed target of mobilising $100 billion annually for climate action in developing countries.
“The world today is grappling with a series of interlinked and unprecedented public health and economic crises. While the coronavirus does not discriminate between the rich and the poor, the most vulnerable people and countries have suffered the most,” he said, adding that millions were likely to fall below the poverty line as a result. Covid-19 vaccines are now being administered in developed countries but it seems like it will take much longer for the vaccines to fully cover the Global South. Sustainable development will remain elusive as long as the pandemic persists.”
Referring to his call last year for a global initiative on debt relief for developing countries including Pakistan, he said “much more needed to be done” in this regard or else achieving the sustainable development goals by 2030 would “remain [a] daunting [task]”.
“The pandemic also offers an opportunity to address the structural barriers hampering global prosperity and development,” the premier said during his address.
Prime Minister Imran also presented a five-point agenda which he said could help countries overcome the effects of the pandemic and remove obstacles to development.
PM Imran’s five-point agenda includes:
Creating a viable framework for equitable and affordable supply of Covid vaccines to developing countries; Additional debt relief by suspending debt repayments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic; General allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion to help alleviate the balance of payment pressures; Return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals; and Meeting the agreed target of mobilising $100b annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries. Prime Minister Imran also asked the world community to expand concessional financing through multilateral development banks. His third point was related to special drawing rights. An SDR is an International Monetary Fund unit for a financial transaction, which includes a mixed basket of currencies. “Reportedly, a staggering amount of $7 trillion is parked in [tax haven] destinations and it is also reported that $1t annually leaves the developing countries for these [havens].” Talking about climate change-related measures, the premier called for meeting the agreed target of mobilising $100b annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries. He was referring to a commitment made by developed countries in 2009 at Copenhagen in which they promised to deliver at least $100b of finance every year to developing countries by 2020 to help them cope with challenges related to climate change.