- Will exchange views with Pakistani government regarding response to floods
UN Secretary-General António Guterres will visit Pakistan on 9-10 September in a bid to express solidarity with the government and people of Pakistan braving a colossal climate-induced natural disaster caused by unprecedented rains and floods across the country.
“During the visit, Secretary Guterres will hold meetings with the Pakistani leadership and senior officials to exchange views on the national and global response to this catastrophe caused by climate change,” stated a curtain raiser statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday.
The secretary general will travel to areas most impacted by the climate catastrophe.
According to the curtain raiser, Guterres will interact with displaced families and first responders in the field and oversee UN’s humanitarian response work in support of the government’s rescue and relief efforts for millions of affected people.
His visit will further raise global awareness about the massive scale of this calamity and the resulting loss of life and widespread devastation, it said.
“It will contribute towards enhancing commensurate and coordinated international response to the humanitarian and other needs of the 33 million affected Pakistanis,” the statement added.
The secretary general’s visit will also spotlight the importance of sustained international support for Pakistan through the rehabilitation and reconstruction phase, and for building resilience against future climate shocks.
The secretary general actively supported the $160 million UN flash appeal to fund Pakistan’s Flood Response Plan and gave a powerful video message at its launch event held simultaneously in Islamabad and Geneva on 30 August 2022.
“Guterres has been consistently stressing the linkage of such disasters with the impacts of climate change and warning the international community about the existential threat to our planet in case climate change was not addressed in a timely and effective manner,” the MOFA said.
During the event, he said “these funds will provide 5.2 million people with food, water, sanitation, emergency education, protection, and health support.”
He also said the world must take collective action against climate change and assist Pakistan in responding to the “colossal crisis”.
South Asia is one of the world’s worst climate hotspots and people living in the region are 15 times more likely to die from climate impacts than the rest of the world, the UN chief pointed out.
“As we continue to see more and more extreme weather events around the world, it is outrageous that climate actions are being placed on the back burner as the emission of greenhouse gases is rising, putting all of us everywhere in growing danger,” the UN chief said.
“Today it is Pakistan. Tomorrow it could be your country.”
“Let's stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of our planet through climate change,” he stressed.