- UN Secretary-General says instead of paying to creditors, using money to invest in climate resilience, investment in sustainable infrastructure
KARACHI: UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Saturday strongly urged the international creditors to introduce a new mechanism ‘Debt Swap’ for the devastated flood-hit Pakistan.
Speaking at a press conference held at Karachi airport, UN Secretary-General said that developing countries including middle-income countries like Pakistan are facing difficult financial conditions and we have seen ‘default’ in some cases. Therefore it is essential to develop a new mechanism by the international creditors for repayment, he said.
“We are strongly advocating debt swap in which countries instead of paying to the creditors, using that money to invest in climate resilience, investment in sustainable infrastructure, etc and this is exactly what Pakistan needs instead of paying debt, using that money for rehabilitation and rebuilding of infrastructure. We will be strongly advocating it with the upcoming meetings with the IMF,” he said. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has once again urged the international community to extend massive support to Pakistan to overcome the challenge posed by the devastating floods and rebuild resilient climate infrastructure. “I have seen many floods but I never saw a disaster like this before.”
While urging developed countries to help Pakistan, he said that support it not on humanitarian ground but for justice because these developed countries are more responsible for climate change.
He said that G8 countries are responsible for 80 percent of gas emissions in the world that caused these natural disasters, urging them to come forward and help Pakistan deal with the flood.
“Today Pakistan is a victim of natural disaster, tomorrow it may be your country,” Antonio said.
It is difficult to say how quickly the recovery can be made but the efforts of the Pakistani authorities are much appreciated, he added.
Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said: “On behalf of the Pakistani people, I am grateful to the Secretary-General. It was his busiest month because the General Assembly is to be held this month.”
He said that Pakistan, which had less than one percent contribution to the world’s carbon footprint, is among the most climate change-affected countries. CM Sindh Murad Ali Shah, Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, and others were also present.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022