‘Today it’s Pakistan, tomorrow it could be any country’: Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres Pakistan

Islamabad: Secretary-general of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has warned that the world is heading towards a disaster unless carbon emissions are controlled, saying that today, it is Pakistan, tomorrow, it can be any country.

The UN Secretary-General, who is in Pakistan on a two-day official visit, was briefed about the flood situation in Pakistan at the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) alongside Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Speaking at the briefing, Antonio Guterres appreciated all those working tirelessly to support the victims of this unprecedented natural disaster.

Pakistan launches Flood Response Plan 2022 in collaboration with United Nations

Regarding the effects of climate change on the world, he said that humanity declared war on nature, and nature is tracking back.

“But nature is blind. It is not striking back on those who have contributed more to the war on nature,” he said.

“Pakistan has had little contribution to climate change but it is one of the most dramatically impacted by the consequences of climate change,” Guterres said during the briefing.

The UN Secretary-General, besides urging support for flood relief assistance, also emphasized debt support for Pakistan to help the country overcome numerous challenges, including economic stability.

Guterres said he would continue raising his voice for the Pakistani government and people, who were grappling with difficult situations amid floods.

“Pakistan is in my heart as I have worked with this country for 17 years while the nation extended enormous generosity to Afghan refugees for decades,” he said.

Following this, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed gratitude to the UN Secretary-General for his “extremely kind and generous gesture” of visiting Pakistan to get first-hand information and express solidarity with the people.

“We are very grateful for the solidarity demonstrated by you as 33 million people suffer dire conditions in the wake of heavy floods,” he told the Secretary-General.

The prime minister said the civil government, along with armed forces, was carrying out massive rescue, relief, and rehabilitation activities in the flood-affected areas.

He said Pakistan was facing the brunt of natural disasters, and a similar situation could be faced by the rest of the world in the future.

Sharif emphasized that after the rescue operations, Pakistan needed enormous funding for rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure.

The government, he stressed, was doing its best despite meager resources and assured the Secretary-General that the dispensation of flood assistance would be made in a transparent manner.

UN Secretary-General arrives in Islamabad

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