ISLAMABAD: Senator Sania Nishtar stressed the need for the commitment of world leaders to formulate policies of socio-economic recovery, creation of decent jobs, social protection and poverty eradication to overcome the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dr Sania was speaking via video link at the UN General Assembly side meeting on “Employment and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication – Financing for Development in the Age of Covid-19 and beyond “. She represented Pakistan at the meeting which was also attended by Heads of State and Government.
Presenting Pakistan’s point of view, Dr Sania said the poorest people and the poorest countries had been hit hardest by the pandemic, adding that “the world is now on a divergent recovery path”.
“In Pakistan, we have been lucky so far as we have been able to contain the health and economic impacts of the pandemic through our policy of ‘smart locks’ and social protection,” she said.
“Our economy is back on a healthy growth path. And Pakistan’s welfare program, Ehsaas, is recognized as a global model.
Dr Sania urged the international community to promote systemic and structural reforms in the global economic architecture. She presented the following points: there is a need to expand financial access for developing countries through a more equitable distribution of IMF quotas; lower the cost of private loans to developing countries; stop and reverse illicit financial flows from developing countries; the establishment of a fair international tax regime; massive mobilization of public and private investments is necessary to facilitate the transition to green and digital economies; reform of the world trade regime is necessary to allow developing countries to expand their exports to world markets on a preferential basis; and crises caused by the coronavirus be used as an opportunity to design social protection policies.
Dr Sania also referred to the idea presented jointly by Nigeria, Costa Rica, Turkey and Pakistan, with the cooperation of the World Bank, for the establishment of a universal system of social protection and a knowledge platform. She urged every country to join the global platform to mainstream social protection as a policy instrument to “build back better”.
Posted in Dawn, September 30, 2021