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Iraq, Pakistan Welcome Calls to Accelerate Implementation of UN SDGs

Iraq and Pakistan have welcomed global leaders’ calls to accelerate efforts in implementing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, but urged developed economies to do more.

Addressing the SDG Summit, held on the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly, Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister called for increased financing from wealthy nations to assist with worsening poverty, food insecurity and debt distress.

“At the forthcoming COP28, Pakistan will seek climate justice, which includes our developed partners providing $100 billion in climate finance,” said Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar.

Declaring the international system “morally bankrupt,” he added that Pakistan would “press for the creation” of special drawing rights directly linked to SDG targets rather than those offered via the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF created SDRs as a supplementary international reserve asset that can be held only by the fund’s members to be exchanged for currency when needed.

While these traditional SDRs are based on a basket of five currencies — the British pound, the Chinese renminbi, the euro, the Japanese yen and the US dollar — developing countries have been angling for them to be linked directly to attainment of SDG targets.

Kakar was speaking in the wake of the SDG Summit submitting a political declaration to the UNGA that, if endorsed, would commit the international body to doubling down on efforts to reach the 17 SDGs, which include efforts to end hunger and poverty and address climate change.

Following Kakar on the stage, Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani welcomed the summit’s adoption of the political declaration, stressing that achieving the SDGs is a “national mission and a humanitarian duty.”

Al-Sudani said: “Despite the multifaceted challenges facing Iraq, we’re committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.”

He added: “It’s important to work hard with all partners to enhance progress in implementation, and the Iraqi national government’s program has been consistent.

“Iraq deals with all SDGs on one level, and as a result of the nature of the critical situation it’s going through, implementing the sixth goal related to water is a priority in light of the severe drought that Iraq is witnessing and its repercussions.”

Source: Arab News