ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Wednesday said that global climate change was a major threat to the planet and future generations.
Addressing the closing ceremony of “Third Inter-Parliamentary Union Regional Seminar on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals for Parliaments of Asia-Pacific,” he thanked the member countries for showing unwavering solidarity with the people of Pakistan in the current difficult time.
The speaker termed the move of the National Assembly of Pakistan a resounding success to make members of the Asia-Pacific region agreed for presenting an emergency resolution at the forthcoming IPU General Assembly in Rwanda.
“Unwavering solidarity that all participating countries have expressed in support of the resilient people of Pakistan stands tall in an exemplary and united effort to face the devastation caused by the recent floods.” the speaker added.
He informed the participants of the event that Pakistan faced record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains that triggered floods, which had killed more than 1,391 people; displaced 33 million people; swept away houses, roads, railway tracks, bridges, livestock and crops.
The speaker said that the Climate Change Risk Index of 2021 reports that Pakistan ranked eighth among countries most vulnerable to climate crisis despite contributing less than 1% to global carbon emissions. “Pakistan is paying a heavy price for climate change,” he added.
He also stressed, “Parliamentarians have the important role in supporting and overseeing the implementation of SDGs.
The speaker also claimed that uncompromising resolve to implement the SDGs national plan would make this planet more livable, prosperous and safer place for future generations.
Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf also extended felicitation to all participants for the successful organization of the 3rd IPU Regional Seminar for the Asia Pacific Region Parliaments on Achieving SDGs.
He also expressed his gratitude to the President of the IPU Mr Duarte Pacheco and the entire IPU staff for their continuous and close cooperation with the National Assembly of Pakistan.
Convener SDGs MNA Ms Romina Khursheed Alam also drew the attention of participants to devastating floods that had affected one-third of the country and impacted over 33 million people.
The flood’s preliminary economic damage estimates exceed $10 billion. Food insecurity and malnutrition were already at critical levels in areas severely impacted by the floods. Pakistan has only contributed 0.4% of global CO2 emissions since 1954, but it is paying a heavy price for climate change.
She also requested the Speaker to move an emergency item at the forthcoming IPU General Assembly in Rwanda to highlight the plight of the flood-affected people of Pakistan and the consequences of climate degradation. Former prime minister and opposition leader in the Senate Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani congratulated the speaker for organizing a successful event and highlighting the damage caused by the recent flood in the country.
Former PM Gilani said people to people contacts were important to bolster relations amongst the regional countries.
He said this forum provided an opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences in different fields.
In his remarks, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance Saleem- Mandviwalla called for serious efforts to deal with the issue of climate change. (APP)