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NEW YORK: Pakistan has called for an “emergency plan” to enable the developing countries deal with the adverse impacts of the triple crises of COVID-19, conflict and climate change, so that they can achieve the global anti-poverty Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Progress towards the SDGs has suffered severe reversal due to multiple crises we have confronted: COVID, climate and conflicts, while international solidarity has been insufficient,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the 3rd Global Workshop for 2022 Voluntary National Review (VNR) countries, a part the ongoing High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF). Forty-four countries are due to present VNRs in 2022.

The workshop on Sunday was organized by the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations.

HLPF is the core United Nations platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for SDGs on: no poverty; zero hunger; good health and well-being; decent work and economic growth; reduced inequalities; responsible consumption and production; climate action; peace, justice and strong institutions, and partnerships in depth.

In his opening remarks to the workshop, the Pakistani envoy said that the crises have sent the prices of food, energy and other essentials soaring, with poverty having increased and so had inequality – among and within nations.

“If these trends persist, we will fall well short of achieving the SDGs – at the national and global levels,” he warned.

“We now need an emergency plan to prevent the disaster facing so many developing countries, particularly by mobilizing financial and other assistance to enable the affected developing countries to access affordable food, energy and other essential economic inputs.”

Ambassador Akram hoped that HLPF deliberations will help to mobilize the political will to develop and finance such an emerging plan for the affected developing countries.

“Yet,” he added, “we must also persist in pursuing the structural and systemic changes in the global economy and in national economies that are essential to achieve the SDGs and build resilience against future NATURAL and MAN-made disasters.

Noting that many countries have offered to present their VNRs, he said the reviews should lead not only to assessing the progress, or lack of it, towards the SDGs, but also serve to identify specific actions to advance SDG implementation in each country, including specific sustainable development projects in critical priority areas for individual countries.

Earlier, the President of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Collen Kelapile, said that harnessing partnerships to create a world of “peace and prosperity” that protects people and planet was the main goal of HLPF.

Kelapile, who is Botswana’s UN Ambassador, said that “we can and shall overcome our challenges”.

The Botswana envoy had replaced Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram who led the ECOSOC in 2021.

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John Howard Jul 13, 2022 01:47pm
The problem with climate change, the unrecognised problem, is that the general population is not responding to oft repeated and increasingly strident warnings. And it is not just warnings; even the most striking examples of its impact today; the destruction of the rain forests, the melting of glaciers and ice caps, the bleaching of the great coral reef in Australia, forest fires, droughts, and floods, all these are having little impact on public opinion. But why is this happening ? One organisation has an answer, check out "Stop Selling the Desert".
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