UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called on the world community to reaffirm its commitment for poverty eradication, promotion of full employment, and fostering of social inclusion through transformative action, in a bid to empower people.
“Let us make this the decade of social development.” Pakistani delegate Saima Saleem told the UN General Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural matters.
Speaking in a debate on social development, she said that, as the social contract in Islam is based in equity, social justice and inclusion, Pakistan had taken measures to create an inclusive welfare society.
Ms Saleem, a Counsellor in the Pakistan Mission to the UN, enumerated the initiatives. including Benazir Income Support programme (BISP) providing aid to 8 million women and youth with employment programmes, microcredit schemes, as well as targeted subsidies for farmers.
However, she said, the COVID-19 pandemic had reversed decades of progress in developing countries and had limited progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“For an inclusive and resilient recovery from the pandemic, principles and commitments made at the World Summit for Social Development remain valid and are central to addressing emerging global challenges.”
Hailing the Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action, the Pakistani delegate, expressed concern that social development progress had been slow or even reversed. More than 400 million jobs have been lost and millions more are still living in poverty.
The International Community, she said, must redouble efforts with firm political will, and mobilize resources required by developing countries for social protection programmes.
Further, Ms Saleem urged larger concessional finances from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other multilateral banks.
The intersection of poverty, food security and climate change require a sustainable livelihood approach through the creation of employment opportunities and the strengthening of climate adaptation in countries most affected by climate change, she said, while calling for stepped up aid to the crises-hit developing countries.
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