Beijing, Islamabad ties ‘unbreakable,’ says envoy

-Lauds China’s active role at United Nations Hails China’s phenomenal
progress & efforts against poverty

Foreign Desk Report

NEW YORK: Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Munir Akram, has praised China’s leading role at the UN, saying its policies are based on principles of the UN Charter, support for multilateralism and “win-win” cooperation.
Speaking at a virtual reception, hosted by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Jun, to mark his country’s national day, he also lauded China’s phenomenal progress, especially in bringing 700 million people out of poverty and registering double digit Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for 30 years.
“We are confident that under the wise and dedicated leadership of President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist party (CPC), China will realize its ‘dream’ of building a prosperous society,” said Ambassador Akram, who was introduced by his Chinese counterpart to the invitees as a “very, very close friend of China.“We are also confident that China will contribute to the enlargement of prosperity around the world, and especially in the developing countries, through ‘win-win’ cooperation,” the Pakistan envoy said.
Describing Pakistan and China as “old and trusted friends and strategic partners,” he said they were working hard to implement and expand the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Pakistan’s relationship with its “iron brother” was unbreakable. It will go from strength to strength in future, Ambassador Akram added.
“In 1971, I was a young diplomat when Pakistan and other friends sponsored the historic resolution restoring the People’s Republic of China’s legitimate seat in the UN,” he said referring, to the Islamabad-led move that resulted in the expulsion of Taiwan, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, and seating of PRC.
“I look forward to our continued close cooperation in promoting our shared aspiration for a world united in the search for a peaceful and prosperous future for all mankind.” The Chinese ambassador, in turn, thanked his Pakistani counterpart for joining his country’s national day celebrations, saying.”I am proud of the strong friendship and cooperation between China and Pakistan.”
Earlier, The President of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, has called for political will on part of world leaders to achieve biodiversity goals aimed at protecting the Earth’s plant and wildlife. Addressing the first-ever UN Biodiversity Summit, he said it was a biodiverse and hospitable planet that accommodated the emergence and evolution of the human species, providing nutrition, clean air, fresh water, natural medicines and bountiful raw materials
“Our great prophets and holy books prescribed not only respect for each other, but also for nature and its bounties,” he said at meeting which virtually gathers some 70 heads of state/government and a number of top officials.“Unfortunately,” the ECOSOC president said, “in the modern era, we have severely abused nature.”
Half the live coral cover on reefs has disappeared since the 1870s, with accelerating losses due to climate change. As the UN Secretary-General has said, humanity is at war with nature and nature is fighting back, Ambassador Akram noted that impacts of climate change are visible and biodiversity loss will be equally devastating for the future of humanity. Loss of biodiversity increases the likelihood of zoonotic diseases and COVID-19 is a grim reminder of the relation between humans and nature, he said.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals are interlinked and if the biodiversity goals are not achieved, most of the other goals will be difficult to realize by 2030, Ambassador Akram said.A new social and economic paradigm is needed that values nature more than gross national product (GNP) and per capita incomes, he said. In promoting biodiversity goals there is a need to contain the economic greed and policy negligence that is driving humanity to destroy the planet, the ECOSOC chief said.
Moreover, The President of UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, has called for global action to halt illegal deforestation, as forests provide essential ecosystem services, water, accessible energy, sustain human well-being and livelihoods. “It is self-evident that we must stop the process of deforestation,” Ambassador Akram said in his opening remarks at a webinar on “Forests: at the heart of a green recovery from COVID-19”.
“Major reforestation plans are required,” he said, while noting that some South Asian countries were already taking steps in that direction through their national agencies. Through a national programme, Ambassador Akram said a process was underway in Pakistan to plant billions of trees over the next three years. The programme, he said, had also created employment and job opportunities for unskilled labour, counteracting the challenge posed by the COVID crisis, which had caused unprecedented human suffering and pushing around 100 million people into extreme poverty, dependence on forests for livelihood is expected to increase.
In this regard, the ECOSOC president underlined the need to incorporate the adaption of reforestation into the poverty alleviation programmes of national governments. “This is a priority area for the Pakistan presidency of ECOSOC,” he said.
In addition, Ambassador Akram said there was need to use advance technologies, including the drones, for observation and application of solutions to forest and agricultural problems. To do all that, he said, providing financing remained the key to achieving sustainable management of forests, and ECOSOC could help mobilize resources for the developing countries. “I hope to utilize the forum of Economic and Social Council to promote these activities and these objectives in the coming months.”