Statement by Ambassador Dr. Maleha Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, at the General Debate of the Second Committee of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly (3rd October 2016)

Mr. Chairman,

My delegation congratulates you on assuming the chairmanship of this important Committee. Our felicitations also to other members of the Bureau.

We are confident that under your leadership, the Committee will make meaningful progress in this session.

I assure you of my delegation’s full support.

Let me also express our gratitude to Under Secretary General Wu Hongbo for his comprehensive review and incisive analysis of global economic trends and prospects.

Pakistan also aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the Group of 77 and China.

Mr. Chairman,

Last year was historic in crafting and setting out a new global development narrative – a narrative endorsed and owned by every country.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement have renewed faith in multilateralism and international development cooperation. We commend the Secretary General’s leadership in efforts aimed at achieving these significant and historic milestones. These will undoubtedly become part of his enduring legacy.

The high level engagement through landmark Summits in New York, and later in Paris, demonstrated that we all share a common vision and commitment for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.

The unprecedented scope of the 2030 Agenda’s development goals is testimony to this aspiration and resolve.

The accomplishment of this new development paradigm however, poses imposing implementation and leadership challenges. Unwavering political support and ownership must not only continue, but will need to be reinforced at every step.

Mr. Chairman,

There is sufficient empirical data to establish that some of the major challenges that are faced by the developing world, such as climate change, hunger and poverty cannot be addressed without comprehensive support mechanisms that include everyone with an interest in global sustainable development.

Availability of matching resources will remain a critical test of our cooperation and renewed global partnership, envisioned in the 2030 Agenda.

Greater self-reliance and utilization of indigenous resources, complemented by international cooperation will be at the heart of this effort. At the same time, creating an enabling international environment is extremely important for mobilization of all types of resources.

The Addis Agenda provides some concrete deliverables, complementing the means outlined in the agenda itself. These must be fully realized, including ODA commitments, which remain an important source of financing for development in many developing countries, particularly SIDS and LDCs.

Mr. Chairman,

The new agenda has to be effectively followed up and periodically reviewed for it to remain central over the next decade and a half.

Thematic discussions and national reviews during the High Level Political Forum this year have shown that we are moving in the right direction. But this is just the beginning. We have many miles to go.

In our view, the most significant aspect of our work in the Second Committee this year should be ensuring effective follow up and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. We must mainstream SDGs and its associated targets in the Committee’s Agenda.

The UN Development System’s (UNDS) role in supporting MDGs was commendable. It established itself as a very reliable development partner.

The UNDS will continue to play a critical role in supporting developing countries in achieving the new SDGs.

But the range of issues covered by SDGs and their universal nature require recalibration of the entire UNDS, taking into account all aspects, including organizational, institutional, functional, financial and operational.

In our quest for comprehensive change, we must not forget that we are not starting from scratch. We need to build on our gains and seek to identify and address the challenges in the system.

Institutional recalibration and breaking the inertia in governance systems will remain a key challenge.

Making the UN responsive to the emerging needs of the developing world will have to be squarely addressed in a transparent and inclusive manner in our deliberations. The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) process in this Committee provides us an opportunity to address this in a holistic manner.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan has always flagged the critical role of trade in development. There are glaring and persistent inequities in the international economic and trading systems that need to be addressed.

Many of the serious and long standing concerns of the developing world, relating to agriculture, misuse of subsidies, intellectual property rights, and opaque and restricted use of various standards remain unresolved.

This does not augur well for building an equitable international economic regime. Greater collaboration to address inequalities and ensure inclusion in trade, finance and investment will be important to realizing the SDGs.

UNCTAD has always remained at the forefront of the global trade and development agenda. It has provided invaluable policy advice, technical assistance, and has also provided a platform for intergovernmental consensus building.

Let me take this opportunity to also congratulate the Republic of Kenya for successfully hosting the 14th session of UNCTAD in July this year.

The Conference fully endorsed the central role of UNCTAD in achieving the SDGs by adopting a framework that will guide UNCTAD's work over the next four years primarily focused on realizing the 2030 Agenda. We fully support this.

Mr. Chairman,

Climate Change is one of the defining issues of our times. Addressing it is at the centre of the new development agenda.

It is encouraging to see that 62 States Parties have already ratified the Paris Agreement, accounting for around 52% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking action to reverse the adverse impact of Climate Change is our national priority. We joined the consensus in Paris in line with our firm commitment to the principles and objectives of the Climate Convention.

Pakistan signed the Paris Agreement on the day it opened for signature in April this year. We remain fully committed to implementing it. We have already initiated necessary legal procedures for early ratification.

Mr. Chairman,

Finally, I would like to underscore that the right of self-determination is a fundamental right enshrined in the United Nations Charter. For peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, this continues to hold out the hope that its promise will be realized.

As we implement the new Agenda, we must not overlook the dire situation and suffering of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation. We must pledge to remove the obstacles to the full realization of their right to self-determination, which prevents their economic and social development and their ability to achieve and implement sustainable development goals. We must ensure that they are not left behind

I thank you.