Developed countries should distribute resources fairly to help mitigate the suffering of developing nations and ensure world peace, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif told a gathering of some 40 world leaders in Paris on Thursday, at a summit aimed at charting a fresh approach to tackling poverty and climate change.
Before the summit, PM Shehbaz met several world leaders and heads of the United Nations and International Monetary Fund (IMF) and highlighted the challenges faced by developing nations, particularly because of climate change.
During his speech at the event, the premier stressed the need for a fair and equitable formula for the distribution of financial resources in the world. He decried the response of international institutions to Pakistan’s appeals for funds after floods in 2022, saying that it was offered loans whereas billions were being spent on the defence of “a country or countries”.
“Of course, we are very grateful to our friendly countries across the globe for their valuable and timely contribution, but largely, the cash amount had to be generated from our resources,” he said.
“And when we approached international institutions, they said, ‘Well, we can give you loans.’” Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decried on Thursday the response of international institutions to Pakistan’s appeals for funds following catastrophic floods in 2022, saying that it was offered loans whereas billions were being spent on the defence of “a country or countries”.
“On one hand, you are ready to provide everything for the defence of a country or countries — that is perfectly okay — but when it comes to the question of saving thousands and thousands of people from dying, then [one has] to borrow money at a very high cost. Then you have to … beg and borrow and further deteriorate your already very precarious financial situation,” he said.
The premier emphasized the need for a “fair, equitable, and judicious” formula for the distribution of financial resources. Otherwise, he said, “This world will never live in peace”.
PM Shehbaz also said he was not at the summit to “mourn and cry” but that he “belonged to a country where people are very brave”.
PM Meets Macron, IMF Chief
In a meeting with the French president on the sidelines, PM Shehbaz said the disastrous impacts of climate change had exacerbated the difficulties of the already suffering developing states. He appreciated the French president for hosting the summit and inviting him to the event as well as for the warm hospitality.