ISLAMABAD: On Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said there was a need for concerted global actions to combat Covid-19 and resolve the adverse effects of climate change, money laundering and Islamophobia. He also emphasised the need for educational cooperation, world stability and debt relief.
At the 20th meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s (SCO) Council of Heads of State, the prime minister addressed these proposals while speaking through video connection. Joint attempts to combat the lethal epidemic that killed over 1.2 million people and devastated the global economy is imperative, he added. He proposed concrete ideas aimed at galvanising, via the SCO forum, mutually beneficial and result-oriented initiatives.
“In order to lead us through the second wave and beyond, we should establish a SCO information bank of best practises to tackle Covid-19,” the Prime Minister said, adding that a policy and action plan should also be built to minimise the adverse economic effects of the pandemic in the short-, medium- and long-term. The Covid-19 vaccine should be affordable and open to everyone, he added.
Attends SCO summit via video link, presents proposals to tackle climate change, money laundering
Furthermore, the Prime Minister suggested that “we should call for more G20 intervention to resolve common problems such as climate change, environmental degradation, widening inequalities within and within nations, poverty, illness, hunger and sustainable growth,” and to avoid capital outflows from developed countries to rich countries’ offshore bank accounts.
On education, Mr. Khan said that a multi-year SCO Youth Plan should be drawn up with a view to developing collaborations between educational institutions, providing scholarships and exchange programmes in the research sector for young people.
The prime minister said that mankind faced the risk of a gradual recovery and a protracted economic downturn with increasing poverty and injustice, emphasising the dangers posed by the novel coronavirus.
Under the conditions, the need for a common strategy to limit the transmission of infectious diseases, to decrease the consequences and to create new cures has multiplied. But growing geopolitical uncertainties, unilateralism and isolationism are disrupting global peace and multilateralism, ”he said.
PM Khan praised the SCO ‘s call for “positive multilateralism” and shared the hope that the platform will be effective in mitigating the consequences of Covid-19, with its “central values of unity and mutual assistance.”
He lauded China for its “efficient handling” of the virus as well as its assistance to other countries , including Pakistan, to cope with the health crisis, adding that his country had successfully launched phase III trials in partnership with Beijing in vaccine production.
He noted the measures taken internationally to assist poor nations, including by supplying G20 countries with debt relief, but said much needs to be achieved.
Without mentioning any government, Prime Minister Khan called for “faithful application of UN Security Council resolutions for the peaceful settlement of pending conflicts” and called for “unilateral and unconstitutional steps to adversely affect the regional climate in order to alter the status of the territories at question.”
He affirmed that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict and a diplomatic political settlement was the only path forward, adding that Pakistan backed a “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process.”
During these incredibly troubled times, Prime Minister Khan congratulated Russian President Vladimir Putin for effectively heading the SCO and also invited Tajikistan as the organisation’s next chair, assuring them of his assistance.
He suggested a ‘National Debt Reduction Plan’ to resolve developed nations’ debt vulnerabilities and to further build fiscal room for them to offset Covid-19’s impacts and achieve sustainable growth.
He said the SCO was intended to play a pivotal role in the emerging confluence between the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), adding that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, BRI ‘s flagship project, was prepared to play a vital role in this regard.
For world stability, Mr. Khan said that he firmly respected the United Nations’ fundamental position in the preservation of international peace and stability and the pursuit of sustainable global growth. “We emphasise the importance of diligently enforcing the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council for the negotiated settlement of unresolved conflicts in order to establish an atmosphere of stability and cooperation,” he said.
On the Iranian nuclear question, the Prime Minister welcomed the call for successful execution of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action by the SCO and said the overriding aim of the international security system should be to promote fair and unimpaired security for all nations.
Mr Khan said that Pakistan was at the frontline of the war against terrorism and claimed that the use of terrorism-related charges as a political weapon to malign and threaten any country, religion or race was false. “We must also continue to stand strongly against radical and xenophobic trends, including neo-Nazism-inspired supremacist agendas and Islamophobia,” he said.
Another significant area of his government’s attention was the war against corruption and economic crimes, Mr Khan said. We must vigorously condemn the illegal financial flows from developed countries that are impoverishing these countries and significantly slowing their growth efforts, “he said.