Statement by H.E. Ambassador Farukh Amil, Acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations in the General Debate of the Second Committee (New York, 7 October 2008)

Madam Chair,

The Pakistan delegation congratulates you warmly on assuming the chairmanship of this important committee. We offer similar felicitations to all other members of the Bureau.

  1. We thank the outgoing Bureau, in particular Ambassador Ms. Kirsti Lintonen, for the very able stewardship of this Committee during the 62nd Session of the General Assembly.
  2. Let me also express our gratitude to the Deputy Secretary-General for her close engagement in the work of this Committee and her personal commitment to advancing the global development agenda.
  3. Under Secretary-General of DESA Ambassador Sha Zukang and Prof. Ricardo Hausman in their comprehensive presentations have reviewed the current global economic situation and prospects. We thank them for their candid and succinct analysis.

Madam Chair,

  1. We meet at a difficult and extraordinary time, when the world is in the throes of a development emergency triggered by an unprecedented confluence of multiple crises of finance, food and fuel. Only to be further aggravated by the destruction and economic losses inflicted by ever increasing natural disasters on account of changing climate.
  2. As if what we had was not enough, the world economy, in the wake of these daunting challenges, is teetering on the brink of a severe global economic downturn.

Madam Chair,

  1. Clearly, these are no ordinary times. Normal solutions and routine prescriptions, therefore would not work. The questions before us are basic and simple. First, whether the UN including the Second Committee be a passive bystander or a positive and proactive influence in promoting a global dialogue to find effective and sustainable solutions. Second, whether the situation calls for a fundamental rethink and a return to the drawing board or more of the same.
  2. The stakes are too high for us to defer these questions any further. Most importantly, as part of a globalized world, we are all in it together. Not surprisingly, therefore, the troubles of the biggest economy have already started to adversely impact the markets worldwide. There is a growing belief that the deepening financial crisis could tip the world into a global recession.
  3. The poorest and the most vulnerable obviously will be hit the hardest by the unfolding crises.

Madam Chair,

  1. Instead of relying on the exclusive forums of the select few, it is time for the UN to take the lead in promoting a truly global and inclusive dialogue to find durable solutions.
  2. Perhaps this is also the time for us to look more closely at the suggestions made in the UN flagship reports that have been prescient in predicting the present economic slowdown and financial crisis. Somehow, we could not heed to those clarion calls earlier.
  3. The Secretary General and successive Presidents of the General Assembly have shown leadership in convening world leaders to collectively reflect on issues of importance to the world community including Climate Change, Financing for Development, MDGs achievement, Africaís Development Needs and Food crisis.
  4. The extraordinary situation that is developing now also demands urgent global attention under UN auspices. There are several ways in which we can do it. Namely, to convene the special meeting that we all agreed to have in Resolution 60/265 focusing on development or a special meeting of the ECOSOC or a special high level event to be convened by the President of the General Assembly.

Madam Chair,

  1. These dark clouds are not without their silver lining. Challenges are big, but so are the opportunities they bring. After all the East Asian financial crisis played a pivotal role in making Monterrey a reality.
  2. First, the current economic milieu offers a unique opportunity to reinvigorate and further bolster UNís norm setting development cooperation and implementation monitoring roles aimed at promoting economic and social development worldwide consistent with its Charter.
  3. Second, we must avail of this opportunity to reinvigorate our commitment to a genuine global partnership for development - a partnership that is rooted in the belief that as humanity our destiny is interwoven, and that peace and development are inseparable and is premised on mutual trust and common pursuit of agreed goals.
  4. Present crises, we trust, should help give the much needed political propulsion to the forthcoming Doha FfD Follow-up Conference in November to find solutions not only to the longstanding question of providing the desperately needed financing to the developing countries but also how best to address upfront the whole range of contemporary financing challenges.
  5. Third, the multiple crises should also lend a new urgency and fresh impetus to our efforts under UNFCCC rubric to reach early conclusion on the effective implementation of the Bali Plan of Action as well as previous commitments of developed countries on Carbon emissions, finance and technology transfer.
  6. Fourth, access to technology is critical to build requisite capacities in the developing world to meet the challenges of development in a knowledge driven economy. International community needs to agree on how access to, and transfer of technology can be best secured by the developing countries, including through steps to overcome the constraints of the global IPR regime.
  7. Conscious measures are also required to focus on Research and Development on the priorities and problems of the developing countries, including through incentives to the private sector. UN must also take the lead in creating conditions that would enable this to happen.
  8. Fifth, the ongoing collapse of the Doha Round of WTO trade negotiations has regrettably taken away the possibility of trade playing its due role as the engine of growth and development at a time when the world needed it the most. An urgent stock taking of the situation and a new start is needed to reach an early, successful and truly development oriented completion of the Round.
  9. UN can contribute in advancing the debate on this difficult and sensitive issue, among others, by promoting a consensus on the trade and development resolution in the Second Committee as well as reaching an early agreement on the trade Chapter of the Doha FfD Outcome document.

Madam Chair,

  1. As a net food and energy importing country, Pakistan is one of the worst affected countries by the present crises. South Asia where Pakistan resides is also viewed by a series of research studies including the Fourth IPCC Assessment Report, as a region severely affected by climate change. In fact almost half of the 1.4 billion people living in absolute poverty worldwide live in South Asia.
  2. The stakes for Pakistan are obviously high. We are, therefore, ready to engage with all our partners in an active, constructive and creative manner, to address the key challenges that we face today and to advance global partnership for development.

I thank you