World leaders gather in Pakistan to call for SOS on debt and floods

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World leaders gather in Pakistan to call for SOS on debt and floods

United Nations: “Pakistan is drowning, not just in floodwaters, but also in debt” as well, stated UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif urged the international community on Tuesday to remain in touch with the country in the face of the massive human crisis.

Pakistan and France have also reached an agreement to find ways and methods to help efforts to address the challenges caused by the flooding and Paris has offered to host an international summit before the closing of the year in order to assist Islamabad to rebuild its city in a climate resilient way.

“I just recently observed it myself in Pakistan -an area where three-quarters of the nation has been swept away in a’monsoon that is with steroids'” declared the UN chief in a ferocious address to world leaders to begin the first day of the Assembly’s high-level meeting.

Mr. Guterres reiterated his appeal that he made earlier during his recent trip to Pakistan in which he called on lenders to think about reducing their debt to assist countries who were in danger of economic collapse. “Creditors must consider ways to reduce debt, such as debt-climate adaptation swaps” he reiterated at the UNGA. “These could have helped save people’s lives as well as their livelihoods Pakistan that are drowning , not just in floodwaters but also with debt.”

The UN chief called on lenders to establish “an effective method of debt relief for the poorest countries including countries with middle incomes that are in financial distress”.

It is also the very first UNGA session that was attended by world leaders following the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the reception , which was hosted by Mr. Guterres The Prime Minister Sharif engaged in a dialogue with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The two also held meetings together with French president Emmanuel Macron, President of Spain Pedro Sanchez Perez-Castejon the Chancellor of Austria Karl Nehammer and President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Sayyid Ebrahim Raisi.

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Additionally, Mr. Sharif expressed his appreciation to Palestinian Presidency Mahmoud Abbas for deploying the team of rescue and emergency response for the flood-affected population of Pakistan.

He also stressed the need to support developing economies through a series of tweets. He was supposed to speak at his remarks at the Global Food Security Summit, however, he was unable to do so because of other commitments. Through his Twitter account, he claimed he was at UNGA UNGA for the purpose of “tell his story of Pakistan to all the world at large, the story of immense grief and suffering that resulted from an enormous human tragedy caused by flooding”.

French assistance

In a joint statement that was released following the PM’s meeting with French the president Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the UNGA The premier informed Macron of the devastation caused by the climate change. Macron of the destruction caused by climate-induced flooding across Pakistan and expressed thanks to France for providing timely aid including camps, pumps for water, and medical personnel and nurses. He also hoped that Pakistan will continue to assist in the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase.

The premier acknowledged France for its support of the GSP+ scheme, noting that it has helped improve trade and economic ties to the EU and France.

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