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  • PM Imran Khan calls for equitable supply of COVID-19 vaccine in his UNCTAD address

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    PM Imran Khan File Photo PM Imran Khan

    Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday shared a five-point agenda to address the structural barriers in global prosperity, proposing equitable supply of the coronavirus vaccine in the developing countries and once again appealed for the suspension of debt repayments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic.

    The prime minister was the keynote speaker at the fourth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Financing for Development (FfD) in Geneva.

    “The coverage of the COVAX facility must be expanded. This would enable the developing countries to spend their precious resources on socio-economic development needs,” he said.

    PM Imran told the UN body that the pandemic is an opportunity to address the structural barriers hampering global prosperity and development. He suggested the suspension of debt repayments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic and restructuring of their public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multilateral framework.

    “Moreover, the expansion of concessional financing through multilateral development banks is also essential,” stated the premier.

    PM Imran called for a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of 500 billion dollars to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures.

    Reiterating his decades-old stance of return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals, the prime minister viewed that the illicit financial outflows from developing nations caused more poverty in that world than any other factor.

    “Reportedly, a staggering amount of 7 trillion dollars is parked in ‘haven’ destinations. And it is also reported that one trillion dollars annually leave the developing countries for these ‘haven’ destinations,” he told the meeting also addressed by the prime minister of Barbados, vice president of Plurinational State of Bolivia, and second vice president of Government of Spain.

    The fifth point of the proposed agenda was meeting the agreed target of mobilizing 100 billion dollars annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries.

    Terming the economic malaise and recession “highly communicable” like the coronavirus, PM Imran Khan said the global policy measures, along his proposed lines, were urgently needed to save lives, revive economies, and build back better.

    He also thanked the UNCTAD Secretary-General for organising the extremely important session and said the world was grappling with a series of inter-linked and unprecedented public health and economic crises.

    The conference is being chaired by Pakistan's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and other international organisations in Geneva Khalil-ur-Rahman Hashmi.

    Apart from PM Imran Khan, the conference will also be addressed by Vice President of Bolivia David Choquehuanca, Spain's Minister for Social Rights Pablo Iglesias Turrión and Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley.

    All four leaders will address the conference via a video link.

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