Addressing a special session of the UN General Assembly,Prime Minister Imran Khan has proposed a ten-point agenda to the world community to avert economic collapse in the developing countries due to the coronavirus pandemic and warned that without economic security, conflicts and disputes would persist and proliferate across the world.
The Prime Minister was by joined nearly 100 world leaders at a two-day session of the United Nations General Assembly on the response to the deadly coronavirus pandemic and forging a united path forward to better recovery, including access to a vaccine.
Imran said that the coronavirus pandemic has caused immense human suffering, but added that the poorest countries and the poor in all the countries are suffering the most. “Nearly 100 million people in developing countries will fall back into extreme poverty,” he warned.
He said that rich countries have injected $13 trillion as fiscal stimulus to revive their economies but the developing countries did not have that much resources. Pakistan, he said, is also committed under an IMF programme to reduce the budget deficit.
Prime Minister gave a detail of his 10 point program and called for: debt suspension till the end of the pandemic for low-income and most stressed countries; cancellation of debt of least developed countries; restructuring of the public sector debt of other developing countries under an agreed inclusive multilateral framework; a general allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion; expanded concessional financing to lower income countries through multilateral development banks; creation of a new ‘liquidity and sustainability facility’, which should provide short-term loans at lower costs; fulfilment of the 0.7 percent official development assistance commitments; mobilising the required $1.5 trillion annual investment in sustainable infrastructure’ achievement of the agreed target of mobilising $100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries; immediate action to stop the massive illicit financial outflows from developing countries to rich countries, to offshore tax havens and at the same time, immediate return of their assets stolen by corrupt politicians and criminals back to these countries.
He reminded the summit about his call for “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” in April this year. He expressed his gratitude to G-20 for debt suspension and its subsequent extension till June next year. “We also appreciate the rapid lending facilities activated by the IMF and the World Bank,” he added.
He expressed the hope that the ‘Financing for Development’ discussions initiated by the UN secretary general and the prime ministers of Canada and Jamaica, which have identified hundreds of options to support the developing countries, will culminate in some concrete actions soon.