Islamabad, July 13 (PTI) Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday called for universal access to coronavirus vaccines and financial support from rich nations to help the world fully recover from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He delivered a keynote address to the United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development.
“First, universal and affordable access to the COVID-19 vaccine is essential to defeat the virus and revitalize world trade, investment and growth,” Khan said, adding that the world is ramping up vaccine production, including in developing countries and needs to make sure it spreads quickly.
He said adequate funding needs to be mobilized to enable developing countries to meet the triple challenge of COVID recovery, implementing the SDGs and realizing environmental goals.
“There are synergies with these three challenges that should be used to ‘build better’,” he said during his virtual address.
Khan said high-income countries had allocated $ 17 trillion to boost their economies, while developing countries needed at least $ 4.3 trillion to recover from the crises and implement the SDGs.
Khan had tabled a proposal to create new IMF Special Drawing Rights as an effective means of raising development finance last September and welcomed the US $ 650 billion deal to create new SDRs.
He also hoped that at least $ 150 billion would be reallocated through the IMF, World Bank and other development banks and institutions to fund sustainable development projects and programs in developing countries.
He also said developed nations’ pledge to provide $ 100 billion annually for climate finance should be met.
Khan said investing in sustainable infrastructure – which affects 92 percent of the SDGs – needs to be a central part of development strategies and the UN should initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue to mobilize $ 1 trillion annually in investments in sustainable infrastructure.
He also called for the structural and systemic deficiencies of the international financial and trade architecture to be addressed comprehensively and urgently. PTI SH MRJ AKJ MRJ
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