"Intersectional Challenges: Pakistan's Plea to the UN for Sustainable Solutions"

"Intersectional Challenges: Pakistan's Plea to the UN for Sustainable Solutions"
© Nazar Rybakr/Magdeleines, 2022.


Eleonora Bruno

Pakistan Researcher, 

Global Human Rights Defence

Pakistan, addressing the United Nations, has stressed the detrimental effects of debt burdens on economic progress. It urged the UN to enhance its commitment to assisting developing nations in confronting challenges related to debt sustainability. Pakistan highlighted how this burden obstructs endeavours in climate change and gender equality, stressing the necessity for heightened aid in these critical domains. 

During a recent gathering organised by the Group of Friends on Gender Parity to mark International Women’s Day, Pakistan’s UN envoy, Ambassador Munir Akram, highlighted the vital nexus between climate finance, debt sustainability, and the predicament of women in regions under foreign occupation. Akram stated that debt sustainability remains a pressing concern for many developing countries grappling with the devastating effects of climate change. He emphasised the importance of innovative financing mechanisms to balance climate finance with debt sustainability. Aligning climate finance with debt relief strategies, according to him, enables developing countries to manage financial obligations effectively while advancing climate action. 

Addressing the challenges faced by women under foreign occupation, particularly in Indian-occupied Jammu, Kashmir, and Palestine, Ambassador Akram outlined a spectrum of difficulties, including systemic oppression and severe human rights violations. He emphasised the heightened vulnerability of women in such situations to violence, exploitation, and discrimination. While commending the UN Secretary-General’s achievements in gender parity at the senior UN management level in 2021, Ambassador Akram underscored the crucial role of gender parity in empowering women and creating inclusive workplaces and societies. He noted an existing imbalance in the representation of women from developed and developing countries at the UN, advocating for equitable geographical representation to make the organisation more dynamic and reflective of global realities. 

Pakistan's call for a holistic approach intertwining gender parity, climate action, and debt sustainability resonates with the necessity for building a more inclusive and sustainable future for all. In a meeting commemorating International Women’s Day, the UN Chief launched a plan to boost the empowerment of women and girls worldwide, underscoring the need to match rhetoric to tangible resources and actions towards equality.

Sources and further readings:

[1] Iqbal, A. (2024, March 11). Debt burden hinders progress, Pakistan tells UN. DAWN.COM.

 https://www.dawn.com/news/1820614/debt-burden-hinders-progress-pakistan-tells-un [Accessed 11th March, 2024]