PM Calls for Global Support in Addressing Climate Change and Pandemic Preparedness
New York: In a compelling address at the Climate Ambition Summit 2023, held alongside the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar of Pakistan passionately appealed to the international community to provide financial and technical assistance to developing nations, including Pakistan, in their efforts to combat climate change.
Prime Minister Kakar emphasized the urgency of raising climate ambitions for all nations, regardless of their status or geographical location, stressing that the detrimental effects of climate change are intensifying, disproportionately impacting developing countries.
“Pakistan serves as a prime example of this disparity,” he remarked. “Despite contributing less than one percent to global warming, we find ourselves among the top ten vulnerable nations. The unprecedented floods of last year highlighted our vulnerability, and unless we take action to curb global warming, these may be just the beginning.”
Kakar expressed gratitude to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his active solidarity and global support mobilization following the floods in Pakistan. He emphasized the critical importance of adaptation due to Pakistan’s well-established climate vulnerability and mentioned the country’s adoption of the first-ever National Adaptation Plan.
The prime minister also outlined Pakistan’s commitment to converting 60 percent of its energy resources to alternative energy by 2030, a monumental effort requiring an estimated $100 billion. He cited Quranic verses to underline Islam’s promotion of environmental responsibility and equitable approaches to nature.
Kakar called upon the global community to take meaningful climate actions and support developing nations, emphasizing that these actions would be a litmus test of solidarity and vital for the survival of humanity on our planet.
In a subsequent address at a high-level meeting on pandemic prevention, preparedness, and response, Prime Minister Kakar stressed the importance of making scientific research accessible to all of humanity. He underscored the need to ensure equal access to scientific breakthroughs and discoveries, regardless of intellectual property rights.
Kakar pointed out that while the world was caught off guard by the COVID-19 pandemic, human ingenuity and targeted research had led to the development of vaccines, bringing hope for the future. He also highlighted concerns such as vaccine distribution inequities, corporate resistance, and financial disparities between rich and poor countries.
The prime minister urged a commitment to global vaccine access, the removal of trade barriers, and the diversification of manufacturing capacities to promote fair and equitable access to medical supplies. He emphasized the need for intergovernmental negotiations under the auspices of the World Health Organization (WHO) to determine vaccine production and distribution.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Kakar highlighted the substantial financial requirements for emergency health preparedness and the need for approximately $30 billion annually, including an estimated $10 billion funding gap in new external finances.
In both addresses, Prime Minister Kakar called for global unity and collaboration to address pressing global challenges, underscoring the shared responsibility of all nations to safeguard the environment and public health for the well-being of humanity.