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The United Nations discusses ways to ensure a resilient recovery that puts countries on track to reduce inequality and protect the planet.
On Tuesday, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) President Munir Akram urged developed nations to fulfill their commitments of US$100 billion in annual funding to help support developing countries fight climate change.
Speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York, Akram, also Pakistan's permanent representative to the UN, made the remarks while underscoring the importance of the United Nations in minimizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the current crisis, "the UN has played a very positive role," he said, citing the response of the secretary-general to set up the humanitarian response emergency fund and resident coordinator system to better respond to the needs of each country.
The ECOSOC chief expressed the hope that the UN will continue "to press for the fulfillment of the commitments made by the developed countries, not only in a vaccine issue, but also the financing issue."
On the triple crisis of the pandemic, economic recession and climate change that the world is facing, he warned that the reversal in progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals "set back development by several decades."
To underline his stance, the ECOSOC chief cited what International Monetary Fund (IMF) Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Monday that "developing countries were being held back by slow vaccination rates."
Regarding climate finance, Akram said that in 2009 developed countries committed to providing developing countries US$100 billion per year in climate funding. "It's now 2021. So, if you accumulate that number, it's US$1.1 trillion that ought to have been available," he said.
The high-level political forum on sustainable development will discuss ways to ensure a resilient recovery that puts coronavirus-hit countries on track to meet the UN's 2030 Agenda to reduce inequality and protect the planet.