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Sunday July 14, 2024

Pakistan, China to sign MoU to combat poverty

MoU is expected to be signed during upcoming visit of PM Shehbaz Sharif to China on November 2

By Mehtab Haider
October 26, 2022
—File Photo
—File Photo

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China have agreed on signing an MoU on Global Development Initiatives (GDI) in order to combat poverty and explore specific development cooperation projects by using Chinese grants and interest-free and concessional loans.

The MoU is expected to be signed during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to China on November 2. According to the MoU, the China International Development Cooperation Agency and the Economic Affairs Division through friendly consultations have reached a consensus on strengthening development cooperation and promoting the implementation of Global Development Initiative (GDI).

Both sides agree that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron friends, and their traditional friendship has been firmer with time. Both sides agree that global developments have entered a critical juncture and developing countries are facing serious challenges in achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The GDI, proposed by President Xi Jinping, will effectively promote a global development partnership that is united, equal, balanced and inclusive, and gives a strong impetus to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

Both sides are willing to actively expand cooperation under the framework of the GDI. Both sides agree to explore specific development cooperation projects by using Chinese grant, interest-free loans, concessional loans, global development and South-South cooperation fund, etc. The Pakistani side is willing to actively consider applying for a certain percentage of funds to match projects as appropriate.

Both sides agree to work together to promote the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and actively engage in tripartite cooperation to implement more projects to promote economic development and improve people’s livelihood in Pakistan.

Both sides agree to focus on the following aspects: Poverty reduction, healthcare, education, infrastructure, agriculture, plan and consultation, culture and sports, law enforcement cooperation, human resource development, think tank exchanges and other projects in line with the GDI.

Both sides agree to establish a consultation mechanism and hold regular online or offline meetings. Delegations of directors will be sent to each other annually to enhance exchanges, solve problems in a timely manner and promote efficient implementation of development cooperation.

Both sides agree to conduct regular joint inspections to monitor and evaluate assistance projects, and ensure the integrity and effectiveness of the projects. According to press release issued by the Ministry of Economic Affairs Division (EAD) the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework – UNSDCF (2023-2027) was signed with the Government of Pakistan for five years (2023-2027) at the Ministry of Economic Affairs on 25th October.

Secretary Economic Affairs Division Dr. Kazim Niaz signed on behalf of Pakistan, while the UNSDCF was represented by the Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator Julien Harneis. The secretary EAD warmly welcomed the UN coordinator and appreciated the role of the United Nations for developing the first ever UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework UNSDCF (2023-27) for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan. He further said the priorities of the federal and provincial governments were in sync with the UNSDCF.

“Pakistan is grateful for the United Nation’s support to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and for its continuous support during the flood relief and rescue efforts. The Government of Pakistan is committed to working with the United Nations in Pakistan to make a lasting contribution to national development priorities to improve the living conditions of the people in the country,” said Secretary Kazim Niaz.

The Cooperation Framework is the result of a year-long, nationwide consultative process between the government and technical line ministries, resident and non-resident UN agencies, national and international civil society organizations, said Mr. Harneis. He assured of the UN’s continued support to Pakistan as the work begins on fulfilling the obligations and commitments set in the framework.

The UNSDCF for Pakistan advances five priority outcomes; basic social services, gender equality and women’s empowerment, climate change and the environment, sustainable inclusive economic growth and decent work, and governance and will be implemented from January 2023 to December 2027.