Statement by Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the Second Committee (New York, 9 October 2012)

Mr. Chairman,

We congratulate you warmly on assuming the chair of this important Committee. We also felicitate all other members of the Bureau.

  1. We thank the outgoing Bureau for its very able stewardship of this Committee during the 66th Session of the General Assembly.
  2. We align ourselves with the statement delivered by the distinguished representative of Algeria on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. We are once again meeting at a time of high global economic uncertainty and weak global trajectory. The situation is compounded by extraordinary unemployment levels, declining global trade, escalating sovereign debts, increasing threats to food and energy security as well as aggravated global climate challenge.
  2. Despite some progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, high inequality as well as persistent poverty and hunger not only continue but also are the major causes of social unrest and political turmoil witnessed in many parts of the World. Indeed the task before the Second Committee to complement efforts by other mechanism and charting sustainable pathways consistent with diverse national economic and political situations, is critical to the global discourse.
  3. We are confident that under your stewardship, the discussions at the Second Committee will provide us an opportunity to renew and reiterate our commitment to promote socio-economic progress and better standards of life that all nations represented in this room aspire to achieve.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. The discussions since yesterday clearly indicate that the steps taken so far are not commensurate with the unprecedented challenges. It is also evident that strong reliance on adhocism remains a major deficiency. While there is no gainsaying the fact that in an interconnected, interdependent and globalizing world, no country can single handedly deal with the task at hand, this reality is belied by ad-hoc mechanisms or decision making in exclusive settings. This is a tragic mistake to say the least. The last four years have amply exposed the downside of this mode of working. We will, therefore, urge that we harness in full, the potential of the United Nations, which enjoys legitimacy and confidence of all due to its universal membership. We must benefit from the collective wisdom and knowledge of its membership and remain mindful of the fact that whenever called upon, the United Nations has not failed to deliver.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. We are pleased with the results from some important processes shaping the post-2015 development agenda. The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development at Rio this year also laid both policy and institutional foundations for a sustainable world. Some of the important decisions included our resolve to develop sustainable development goals and an agreement to assess financing needs and propose options on an effective sustainable development financing strategy. We also committed to strengthen the Economic and Social Council and decided to establish a High-level political forum. We have challenged ourselves with a huge agenda albeit with the hope that this time we will do it right.
  2. We would particularly like to stress the need to meet deadlines in implementing our decisions. It is unfortunate that together as international community, we have been unable to form the Open Working Group mandated to establish Sustainable Development Goals. We would urge all Member States to show flexibility and move beyond political positions, which have thus far inhibited us from undertaking the important work.
  3. The implementation of this Rio decision cannot be possible without delineating an effective cooperation strategy both within the UN System as well as with actors outside. More importantly, we would need robust, timely and consistent cooperation from the Bretton Woods Institutions in charting and implementing the outcome. We would, therefore, urge you and the Bureau to present at an early date, your thoughts on enhancing cooperation between the BWIs and the Second Committee.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. The second but equally important aspect of our work is delineating a collective pathway towards the post 2015 Development Agenda. We have noted the establishment of a High Level Panel by the UN Secretary General and wish it success in the important work ahead.
  2. While useful to some degree, these panels and their composition have largely remained confined to a specific group of countries. We hope this exclusive approach does not become an additional norm militating against the multilateral spirit while strengthening intra-UN exclusive formats.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. We recognise that countries with different levels of development have different priorities. Nevertheless, in this globalised and interconnected world, the economic difficulties too are global. We have witnessed how countries at different levels of development, have suffered and in some cases grievously. Addressing common challenges, therefore, is our shared responsibility. Accordingly, we look forward to a clear plan of action and strategy under which the High Level Panel would undertake its work. We would urge the Panel to hold regular consultations with the member states in addition to seeking submissions from them. We would also support visits by the High Level Panel to different regions and countries to understand better the magnitude of challenges particularly in addressing the longstanding systemic issues and in overcoming fragilities that have impeded the implementation of the existing development agenda. We believe that the Panel as well as the Second Committee should:

Mr. Chairman,

  1. Pakistan, like other developing countries, has suffered the consequences of global financial and economic crisis. For us, responding effectively to the dangers posed by climate change is particularly urgent. The unparalleled floods in 2010 and then again in 2011 have further exacerbated our development challenges. At the national level, we have made efforts to minimise the negative impact through a revised framework for economic growth, reinvigorated rural economy, and strengthened social safety nets such as the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) through which cash transfers are being made to 6 million poor families.
  2. Pakistan, also, has made efforts to increase revenue collection while curtailing government spending and rationalising energy tariff structures, in addition to rearranging distribution of financial resources among federating units. We are moving towards more open trade and regional economic integration. At the global level, we expect a level playing field and supportive environment. We also attach the utmost importance to improving global economic governance. We are ready to partner with the international community and work together to ensure that we all work together for the promotion of global economic and development interests.

Mr. Chairman,

  1. In conclusion, let me assure you of Pakistanís continued support for 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.