Parliamentarians to play role in addressing challenge of climate change: Speaker


Speaker National Assembly Raja Pervaiz Ashraf on Tuesday said legislators of various parliaments in the world would have to understand their role and contribute for effective mitigation of climate change’s challenge which is real threat to human security.

He stated this while addressing the “Third Inter-Parliamentary Union Regional Seminar on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals for Parliaments of Asia-Pacific” here at the Parliament House.

The Speaker said that Pakistan is ranked eight amongst the countries most vulnerable to climate change despite contributing less than one percent to global emissions. He said the recent flood in Pakistan caused irreparable loss of precious lives and destruction to basic infrastructure including roads, houses, schools and basic health units.

He said that Pakistan is hosting this crucial seminar for the Asia Pacific nations at a critical juncture as only few days ago, we faced record monsoon rains and melting glaciers in northern mountains that triggered floods, which have killed more than 1,391 people; displaced 33 million people; sweeping away houses, roads, railway tracks, bridges, livestock and crops worth around 30 Billion US Dollars.

He urged the participants to avail this opportunity to especially focus their deliberations on this grave global climate change challenge to human security.

He said that floods come as the climate emergency continues to wreak havoc across the globe. Europe is confronting its worst drought in 500 years while China is facing an unprecedented heat wave that has dried up rivers and lakes and in Mississippi, USA, residents were told to evacuate the city as it braces for more flooding.

The Speaker said that the Climate Change Risk Index of 2021 reports that Pakistan is ranked eighth among countries most vulnerable to climate crisis despite contributing less than 1% to global carbon emissions.

He said that e UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently visited our flood-ravaged areas on the weekend and urged the community to stand with Pakistan in this time of crisis.

The Speaker said that UN Secretary General called upon G20 countries to immediately boost their national greenhouse gas emission reduction targets every year and for new mechanisms for debt relief for climate-vulnerable countries such as Pakistan.

The Speaker said that irreparable loss of precious lives and destruction of even the basic infrastructure such as roads, houses, schools and basic health units by the recent floods, makes it imperative for the Parliament of Pakistan to leave no stone unturned in our efforts of Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rebuilding.

He said that this seminar would provide us a very timely opportunity to re-assess the national and regional strategies toward achieving the SDGs till 2030 in wake of huge socio-economic jolt to our countries due to the covid-19 pandemic especially.

It would also help to assess challenges of providing decent work, equitable health and ensuring food security in a world marred by adverse effects of climate change in the form of extreme droughts in some regions while flash floods in other, he maintained.

He thanked President of the Inter Parliamentary Union Duarte Pacheco and the entire IPU team for their tireless support to the National Assembly of Pakistan and its National Parliamentary Taskforce on SDGs in jointly organizing this important seminar.

The Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that two-day international seminar will help MPs and delegates from the region to deliberate upon a wide spectrum of related thematic sessions on imperative topics such as envisioning inclusive development in the wake of socio-economic challenges of the Asia Pacific Region, climate change, hunger and malnutrition, promoting quality education and decent work for youth and ensuring equitable access to health.

He assured that National Assembly of Pakistan will continue to perform a proactive role as a passionate IPU member state through consolidation of joint endeavors for strengthening the democratic tradition in the Asia Pacific Region including but not limited to introducing innovative parliamentary mechanisms for institutionalizing the 2030 development agenda.

He said that Parliaments are the citadel of people’s aspirations that utilize their recognized authority through numerous parliamentary tools of representation, legislation and oversight of the executive especially with regards to human emancipation of vulnerable strata of society. He hoped for seminar’s conclusive outcomes ensuring the benefit and mutual good of all people living in the Asia Pacific Region at large.

He wished success to all the Members of Parliament from the Asia Pacific region, the Parliamentary delegations, all national as well as international dignitaries and area experts attending the Third Regional Seminar for the Asia Pacific Region Parliaments on Achieving the SDGs.
He said that seminar would surely provide concrete way forward on all of the crucial themes under discussion especially with regards to the dire threat of global climate change that endangers people beyond borders and nationalities.

Convener National Parliamentary Taskforce on SDGs, Pakistan, MNA Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam, MP in her welcome address said that Inter Parliamentary Union and National Assembly of Pakistan have organized this regional seminar to devise ways to achieve sustainable prosperity.