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PM calls for equitable COVID-19 vaccine supply to developing countries

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Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday presented a five-point agenda to address the structural barriers in global prosperity, proposing equitable supply of COVID-19 vaccine to developing countries and suspension of debt repayments for most stressed countries until end of pandemic.

The prime minister, in his keynote address at the fourth session of virtually held United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Intergovernmental Group of Experts (IGE) on Financing for Development (FfD) in Geneva, called for a viable framework for equitable and affordable supply of COVID vaccine to developing countries.

“The coverage of the COVAX facility must be expanded. This would enable the developing countries to spend their precious resources on socio-economic development needs,” he said.

Calling the pandemic an opportunity to address the structural barriers hampering global prosperity and development, he suggested the suspension of debt re-payments for the most stressed countries until the end of the pandemic and restructuring of their public-sector debt under an agreed and inclusive multilateral framework.

Moreover, the expansion of concessional financing through multilateral development banks was also essential, he emphasized.

Imran Khan called for a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of 500 billion dollars to help alleviate balance-of-payment pressures.

Reiterating his decades old stance of return of stolen assets held by corrupt politicians and criminals, the prime minister viewed that the illicit financial outflows from developing nations caused more poverty in that world than any other factor.

“Reportedly, a staggering amount of 7 trillion dollars is parked in “haven” destinations. And it is also reported that one trillion dollars annually leaves the developing countries for these “haven” destinations,” he told the meeting also addressed by prime minister of Barbados, vice president of Plurinational State of Bolivia, and second vice president of Government of Spain.

The fifth point of the proposed agenda was meeting the agreed target of mobilizing 100 billion dollars annually by developed countries for climate action in developing countries.

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