Prime Minister Imran Khan virtually attended a special session of the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, during which he presented a 10-point agenda for economic recovery from COVID-19. The session was conducted to address the global impact of the novel coronavirus, as proposed by President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, chairman of the non-aligned movement.
“Today marks an overdue and much-needed moment of reckoning. None of us could have imagined, this time last year, what was to come,” said General Assembly’s president Volkan Bozkir while opening the two-day session.
Addressing the Assembly, the Pakistani prime minister urged the international community to take prompt action for the financial recovery of developing countries hit hard during the pandemic.
He called the pandemic “the most serious global crisis since the Second World War” and laid out a 10-point action plan to deal with its economic repercussions for developing countries.
In the plan, he called for debt suspension for low income countries for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic, and debt cancellation for the least developed countries of the world.
He also proposed the restructuring of the public sector debt of other developing countries under an agreed inclusive multilateral framework, and the general allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion.
The agenda also demanded expanded concessional financing to lower income countries through multilateral development banks, as well as the creation of a new “liquidity and sustainability facility” for provision of short-term loans to developing countries at lower costs.
Other points included fulfilling the 0.7% official development assistance commitments, mobilizing the required $1.5 trillion annual investment om sustainable infrastructure, and achieving the agreed target of mobilising $100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries.
Lastly, the PM demanded immediate action against massive illicit financial outflows from developing countries to rich countries and offshore tax havens. Additionally, he demanded the immediate return of assets stolen by corrupt politicians and criminals back to their countries.