Statement by H.E. Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations at the General Debate of the Second Committee (New York, 5 October 2009)

Mr. Chairman,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

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

We thank the outgoing Bureau, in particular Ambassador Uche Joy Ogwu, for the very able stewardship of this Committee during the 63rd Session of the General Assembly.

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.

We also thank the Under Secretary General for his comprehensive review and incisive analysis of the global economic trends and prospects.

Pakistan also wishes to align with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Sudan on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

The global development scenario remains complex. The development emergency, in particular, that we faced, when we met last year, has not relented. It is expected to persist, perhaps with less intensity for some, as there are hopeful preliminary signs of recovery.

Unfortunately, for others including many in this Chamber, it may just be the beginning of the crisis.

Clearly, there is no room for complacency.

On the contrary, we see an urgent imperative to close our ranks and redouble efforts to address the daunting development challenges that the world confronts today.

The sense of urgency and spirit of collaboration, which helped us conclude successfully at the United Nations Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and its Impact on Development, must not be allowed to subside.

In fact, it can and must be extended beyond, to first secure early implementation of the decisions taken at the Conference to mitigate the impact of the crisis in the short term and to address systemic and structural weaknesses of the global financial and economic architecture.

Secondly, to address some of the other important global challenges, where the negotiation processes are facing a deadlock including trade and climate change.

In this backdrop, our work in the Second Committee this year assumes particular significance.

We see it as a moment of opportunity and leadership to build a real global partnership to deal with global threats and challenges.

We trust that you would live up to the challenge by leading from the front and seizing the moment to bring unity to our ranks.

Mr. Chairman,

As we start our deliberations, a welcome first step is the establishment of the Open Ended Working Group of the General Assembly to follow up on the implementation of commitments made at the UN Conference on Global Financial Crisis. We look forward to the Working Group starting its work at the earliest

The breakdown in the Doha Round of Trade Negotiations, unfortunately, robs us of the opportunity to use trade as a vehicle for stimulating consumption, production and promoting employment - the essentials to pull the world out of present recession.

In addition, there are growing signs of protectionism either due to the ongoing economic and financial turmoil or under the guise of addressing climate change. We believe such unilateral measures would negatively impact upon the growth prospects of the developing countries and do not bode well for the success of the Doha round of trade talks.

An all round effort, involving all the stakeholders is, therefore, needed to provide the much needed political propulsion to break the long-standing deadlock in the WTO negotiations and to bring the Round to an early, successful, and truly development oriented conclusion.

Similarly, in this resource constrained and knowledge driven world, easy access to and transfer of technology is the other source of hope for building requisite capacities among the poor to allow them to effectively pursue better living standards.

Let us collectively reflect as we commence this year on how best we can advance our common interest of accessing technology and securing its transfer, including through steps to overcome the constraints of the global IPR regime.

Mr. Chairman,

Climate Change remains one of the most daunting challenges of our times. We congratulate the Secretary General for convening the Climate Change Summit last month. His important and timely initiative afforded a good opportunity for all sides to better understand each others’ perspectives and contributed to building trust, a critical and much needed elements for moving forward in the process of negotiations.

For Pakistan, as a low-income country, the twin challenge of ensuring sustained development in the wake of the multiple global economic crises, while responding effectively to the imperatives of climate change, is particularly daunting. Climate change would not only adversely affect Pakistan, because we are less able to adapt than developed countries, but it would also pose additional challenge in tackling poverty, improving health care, increasing food security and improving access to sources of energy.

We look to Copenhagen with a determination to reach a consensus. Indeed, all of us will have to contribute. Developed countries, by committing to obligatory, time bound, deep and verifiable emission reductions as well as commitments on transfer of technology, capacity building, in terms of human and infrastructure development, and sufficient and adequate financial assistance for developing countries to adapt to climate change. Developing countries, by committing to introduce low-carbon strategies in their socio-economic growth plans and undertaking voluntary measures on mitigation and adaptation, subject to availability of finance and technology transfer.

Mr. Chairman,

The complex development scene also demands an ever more vigilant monitoring of the global scenario with a view to accurately assess the country vulnerabilities and how various vulnerabilities particularly those related to Climate change are impacting the poor countries and their food security needs.

We support a new, comprehensive, science based approach to vulnerability covering physical, economic and climate related aspects. Such an approach, we believe, would allow for more effective and equitable allocation of resources.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan has also been a strong proponent of UN developing an effective mechanism to monitor the implementation of agreed development goals and commitments.

In this regard, a comprehensive matrix needs to be developed to assess the actions taken by all relevant actors – national governments, development partners, international institutions, civil society and the private sector – for the “full realization” of the MDGs and IADGs.

We can also tap ECOSOC’s Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) and Development Cooperation Forum (DCF) to devise issue specific mechanisms for tracking and monitoring commitments made including financial commitments by donors.

Mr. Chairman,

As an agrarian economy, for us, agriculture holds the key to poverty reduction. Hence, we believe that there is a need to adequately and urgently address agriculture development and food security issues in the context of national and international development policies.

Recognizing this, Pakistan gladly co-sponsored the resolution that established this new item on our agenda this year. Bringing food security discussions to UN, we believe, is an important and timely step towards making the UN, a truly dynamic organization seized of real life issues.

In the same vein, my delegation would also support giving greater attention to health issues, particularly non-communicable diseases, in our discussions in the Committee this year.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan also accords high priority to South-South cooperation as a manifestation of solidarity of countries of the South. The South’s significance in global economy has enlarged exponentially, mainly due to emerging economies. This has opened up new opportunities as well as new challenges for developing countries.

The Second UN Conference on South-South Cooperation will be an important opportunity to address these challenges and consolidate positive trends. We would like to thank the Government of Kenya for its generous offer to host the Conference.

Mr. Chairman,

The G-20 Pittsburgh Summit has opened a new chapter in global development cooperation. The Summit decision to designate G-20 as the premier forum for economic and development issues is particularly significant.

We do acknowledge and appreciate the importance of such processes in promoting dialogue and consensus building. However, they can not be a substitute or replacement for the UN or other global multilateral processes including the work that we do in this Committee.

Similarly, we also believe that while the importance of efficiency and effectiveness cannot be overemphasized, it must not be at the expense of legitimacy, inclusiveness, transparency and equity that UN and other global processes bring to the table.

As we examine the Summit Outcome and do it with the seriousness that it deserves, we look forward to engaging with others in understanding the implications of this important development for our work at the UN particularly in this Committee.

Pakistan remains committed to the UN playing a central role in advancing the broad development agenda and in promoting a genuine and enhanced global partnership for development.

I thank you.