PM Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly session

PM Imran Khan’s speech at the UN General Assembly session

Prime Minister Imran Khan has said his government is committed to reduce poverty from 24.3 percent to 19 percent by 2023.

He was virtually speaking at the High-Level Side Event to the UN General Assembly Session titled, "Poverty at Crossroad: Using Leadership and the Multidimensional Poverty Index to Build Back Better" today (Thursday).

The Prime Minister said his aim is to create an Islamic welfare state based on the principles of Riasat-e-Madina through inclusive equitable growth and economic modernization.

He said around one billion people, almost 15 percent of the world's population, are lacking the income and capabilities to live with dignity. He said poverty imposes massive human suffering and it is the most pervasive violation of human rights.

He said poverty is also the root cause of socio-economic instability and of most political and security problems across the world. He said, that is why, poverty eradication is the first among UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

The Prime Minister said his government is implementing a multisectoral poverty alleviation programme in the name of Ehsaas, which is the largest poverty eradication programme in Pakistan's history.

Regarding adverse impacts of COVID-19 on the people, Imran Khan said one hundred million people are likely to be pushed back into extreme poverty. He said COVID virus does not discriminate, but it is the poor and vulnerable who have suffered the most from it. He said in Pakistan, we have been able to control the virus through our strategy of "smart lockdowns".

He said despite our financial difficulties, we implemented a 1.25 billion dollars package to deliver emergency cash to over 15 million families, covering over a 100 million people.

Imran Khan said apart from the direct attack on poverty, we need to address its systemic causes. He said at the national and international levels, the structures of finance, production and trade must be made fair and equitable.

He said exploitation of the resources of the poor countries must stop, illicit flows of the fruits of corruption and crime must be halted and the stolen assets be returned to the countries of origin. He said developing countries must be helped to recover from the COVID crisis, to realize the SDGs and to ward off the impacts of climate change.

The Prime Minister emphasized on mobilizing financial resources needed by the developing countries through debt relief, creation of new Special Drawing Rights and expanded official development assistance.

He said the realization of SDGs can be accelerated, especially through major investments in sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, transport, housing, water and sanitation. He said new technologies must be mobilized and the digital divide bridged to enable developing countries to leapfrog into a modern development paradigm.