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PM urges ECO member states to collaborate in fight against climate change

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasized a close cooperation among the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) states by galvanizing their joint efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of global warming.

Addressing a concluding ceremony of the 2nd conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) countries, the prime minister urged the ECO member countries to take an active part in the global efforts over climate change.

“If strict steps are not taken, the countries in the region will have to face different problems,” he said while prodding for immediate cooperation to control the steep rise in temperatures.

PM Imran stressed upon proper tapping of immense potential and resources of the 10-member Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) for the collective regional progress and prosperity.

He said that according to estimates, the combined population of these countries stood around 450 million ‘making this region a powerhouse. All the ECO ten member-countries were blessed with diverse resources and potentials and their proper utilization would be beneficial for all, he observed.

The prime minister also observed that it was not the countries but the regions which had made progress. After the formation of the European Union, the economic and trade activities cooperation was enhanced bringing economic prosperity in the EU countries, he added.

Imran Khan expressed his pleasure over the holding of the second conference of PAECO, hoping that it would further pave way for the economic cooperation among the member countries.

The prime minister also lauded the unanimous adoption of the Islamabad Declaration which raised a voice for the legitimate rights of the people of Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and Palestine as enshrined in the United Nations Security Council resolutions and recognized under international laws.

He also emphasized close cooperation and coordination among the ECO member states by galvanizing their joint efforts to mitigate adverse effects of global warming which had been impacting the glacial areas of the member countries including Tajikistan.

The prime minister said they had planted one billion trees in KP province and now implementing the ambitious project of ten billion trees across Pakistan, out of which a target of planting one billion was recently met.

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephonic conversation with renowned philanthropist Bill Gates discussed the next steps on COVID-19 response, polio eradication, and climate change.

The Prime Minister had expressed appreciation for the work of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for fighting poverty, combating the COVID-19 pandemic and inequalities around the world.

Recalling his recent letter addressed to Gates on climate change, the prime minister apprised him about Pakistan’s flagship initiatives, including the 10 Billion Tree Tsunami Initiative.

Gates acknowledged Pakistan’s commitment to addressing climate change and agreed that the world must come together to face this global challenge.

While highlighting that food systems are particularly vulnerable to climate change, he emphasized that the global leaders should prioritize investments in agricultural research for adaptation.

He also suggested Prime Minister Khan leverage Pakistan’s unique voice to raise awareness for increasing global support for smallholder farmers.

While commending the Gates Foundation’s strong advocacy to promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, the prime minister underscored the importance of equitable, timely, and scaled delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to low-income countries.

PM Imran Khan and Gates agreed on the importance of urgently stopping the spread of COVID-19, polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases in Pakistan.