Debt cancellation for poor countries; PM’s 10-point agenda

(04 December 2020) Addressing the special session of UN General Assembly on the Covid-19 pandemic, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan presented a 10-point agenda for urgent action, underlining the measures the international community needs to take to defeat the Covid-19 pandemic.

He demanded debt suspension till the end of the pandemic for low-income and most affected countries adding that debt of least developed countries that are no longer in a position to repay their loans, should be cancelled.

Other items on the agenda include: restructuring of the public sector debtof other developing countries under an agreed inclusive multilateral framework; a general allocation of special drawing rights of $500 billion;expanded concessional financing to lower income countries through multilateral development banks; and creation of a new ‘liquidity and sustainability facility’, which should provide short-term loans at lower costs.

The agenda also includes a reminder to rich nations to fulfill 0.7 per cent of their official development assistance commitmentsand mobilizing the required $1.5 trillion annual investment in sustainable infrastructure. The prime minister also urged the international community to help meet the agreed target of mobilising $100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries.

He also called for immediate action to stop the massive illicit financial outflowsfrom developing countries to rich countries, to offshore tax havens. Mr. Khan also suggested immediate return of assets stolen by corrupt politiciansand criminals back to these countries.

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