New York: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressed the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on Friday 23 September, 2022. He appealed to the international community to support his country in the horrific flood situation that has never seen before.
During his speech, PM urged the global leaders to come forward and help Pakistan to deal with the flooding crisis. “For 40 days and 40 nights, biblical flood poured on us”, he said.
“Even today, huge part of the country are still underwater. 33 million people including women, and children are at high risk of health hazards. More than 1,500 of my people have gone from the world including 400 children”, he added. Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan is paying a high cost for the devastating effects of global warming.
“So my real worry, is about the next stage of this challenge. My question is, will we be left alone, to cope with a crisis we did not create?” he asked. The Prime Minister shed light on the measures and steps taken by his government. However, Shahbaz Sharif made an appeal to the rich countries for a “substantial debt relief”
In response to a question about debt obligations during an interview with bloomberg television, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he had spoken to European leaders and other leaders “to help us, to get a position. How can the world expect us to stand on our feet until we get substantial relief? It’s just impossible,” he said. “The world has to stand with us.”
A UN policy memorandum also suggested that creditors should suspend or provide payment relief to the country’s debts after recent floods exacerbated Pakistan’s financial crisis. Due to the flood disasters, Pakistan has estimated a loss of 30 billion dollars however the government and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres have considered climate change the cause for the floods.
While addressing to UNGA, PM Shahbaz Sharif also rakes up the Kashmir issue, Afghanistan situation, and Islamophobia.