NEW YORK (Staff Report) – At the United Nations Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi called for effective follow up of the global development agenda, adopted by world leaders at a special summit last week, to translate this into a reality.
She said the post-2015 agenda was “ambitious but matched the challenges the world is facing today”.
Speaking in the General Debate of the UN Economic and Financial Committee, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative said that an inspirational framework had evolved into a transformative one.
With poverty eradication at their core, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim to transform economies and livelihoods; build cohesive and peaceful societies and protect our planet.
But this needed fulfillment of financial commitments and a revitalized global partnership to achieve such far reaching development goals.
She regretted that the Addis Ababa conference on Financing for Development could not secure commitments necessary to mobilize resources and create an enabling environment for implementation of the new agenda.
The Pakistani envoy also voiced concern that the vital role of trade in development continues to be marginalized.
She said that the development potential of trade needed to be unlocked through conclusion of the Doha round of trade negotiations, including meaningful results in increased market access.
“We need to decisively address the sources of impasse in the WTO trade negotiations and evaluate what political guidance can be provided to the WTO membership”, she added.
In her statement, Ambassador Lodhi also pointed out that external debt remains a major obstacle to development, economic growth and prosperity. “Debt relief could release resources that can be directed to development activities”, she said.
She argued that a structured mechanism to address the issue of sovereign debt restructuring was critical and urged fast track efforts to establish a multilateral legal framework.
Describing climate change as the defining threat of our times, she stressed that this can undermine development gains and push people back into poverty. She said this was ultimately a struggle for our very survival. “Partisan interests and profit must not stand in the way of an ambitious and collective commitment to halt and reverse the damage done to our planet,” she added.
Referring to the summit later this year in Paris, she said, “We need to respond with common but differentiated responsibility to the threat posed by climate change.”
Ambassador Lodhi said that the Paris Agreement should be holistic in nature and cover all aspects, including mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology support.