Pakistan calls for decisive action to reverse detrimental effects of climate change on developing countries


Islamabad: Pakistan has called for addressing “quickly and decisively” the threat posed by climate change to developing countries, especially the small island states that face existential peril of rising sea levels, says a press release received today from Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the UN.

Speaking in the Security Council on Wednesday, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon gave a wide-ranging description of the dangers of global warming, and said conflict, not cooperation, was fast becoming the world condition. “If we are to have any chance at disaster prevention or consequence management, we must act quickly and decisively,” he said, as coming catastrophes would exacerbate current conflicts.

Today, the Pakistani envoy said, climate change was an inescapable reality for Pakistan, which was manifesting itself with increasing ferocity. Pakistan, he added, was among the worst victims of “climate injustice”, and dealing with the phenomenon was an imperative. Against that backdrop, climate change affected almost all sectors of the country, including water resources, energy and agricultural productivity, he told the 15-member Council, which debated the impact of climate change on international peace and security.

“While there is a global scientific debate going on about the level and timing of the glacial melt, the signs in Pakistan are ominously clear. In the province of Sindh with hundreds of thousand arable acres, water is down to less than half capacity,” he said.

Pakistan’s vast glacial area covers around 15000 square km, which were in rapid retreat, he said, adding the rate of glacial recession has gone up by 23% in the previous decade. Of Pakistan’s total area, 24% is cultivated out of which 80% is irrigated by water flowing through the predominantly glacier fed rivers of the county. Last year’s unprecedented floods in Pakistan have demonstrated the urgency of addressing the threat that climate change poses.

With that, Ambassador Haroon underlined the vital work undertaken by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), stressing the importance of the mandates of the United Nations principal organs and the need for the Assembly and the Economic and Social Council to retain their pre-eminence.

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