UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called for global cooperation to eradicate poverty and achieve social development for all, as the effort requires multi-pronged solutions.
“It is only through realistic and determined social and economic policymaking and implementation that we can combat poverty,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, told the 56th Session of the Commission for Social Development, an advisory body responsible for one of the pillars of global development.
“Only inclusive economic growth can provide sustainable jobs and promote equality,” she said, while noting that despite the tremendous progress made in reducing global poverty, significant disparities remain between and within countries.
She said that social discrimination and exclusion based on religion, race, gender and ethnicity are hindering global efforts to sustainable development.
“With growing vulnerability and exclusion, persistence of unaccountable institutions and continuing conflicts and violence, our efforts to transform the world are under threat,” she stressed, adding that poverty and inequality are multifaceted challenges that need multi-pronged solutions.
Arguing that there is an inextricable link between social development and economic growth, Ambassador Lodhi said that both are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
Emphasising the importance of social and economic development of the people, she said that it is no coincidence that the overarching objective of the UN’s 2030 Agenda has put people and prosperity at the front and centre of sustainable development.
She told the Commission that Pakistan has put in place a robust results-based monitoring system to evaluate the progress of a wide range of strategies to ensure implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. Pakistan, she said, is also implementing people-first strategies to reduce poverty.
“Our policies aim to promote financial inclusion, agricultural growth, rural development, provision of educational opportunities and poverty eradication.”
Ambassador Lodhi referred to the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project as an example of South-South cooperation for the achievement of shared economic and development objectives.
“This game-changing project will be pivotal to our efforts to combat poverty and achieve SDG targets. A win-win venture, it offers economic opportunities not only for the people of Pakistan but also for the entire region and beyond,” she said.
The envoy thanked the Secretary General for his comprehensive report, which, she said, is an inspiring expression of his vision of promoting the social development agenda to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development for all.
“It clearly charts out progress made globally in eradicating poverty and highlights the gaps and challenges in addressing inequalities and poverty in all its dimensions,” she said.
Earlier, the Pakistani envoy also welcomed the Commission’s theme, “Strategies for eradicating poverty to achieve sustainable development for all”, and said that social development offers a comprehensive framework to generate economic growth, achieve social justice, reduce poverty, protect the environment and strengthen governance. INP