Islamabad, 9 May 2022 (TDI): The Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari addressed the High-Level Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI).

The meeting was held in a virtual format in New York. Pakistan’s Foreign Minister appreciated China’s initiative to launch GDI. He stated that GDI was a useful platform to rev up efforts to enforce the globally approved Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Reflecting on the numerous problems imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change as well as geopolitical developments, the Foreign Minister communicated deep concern over the regression in the execution of SDGs.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari advised the GDI Group of Friends to address the challenges faced by the developing world. He urged them to support emergency actions to increase collaboration in public health and vaccine equity.

Likewise, he also underscored collaboration to stimulate trade and industrialization, ensure food security, promote a global green economy, enhance energy production, and eliminate the digital divide.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari highlighted that the multiple crises have widened the gap in financing for development. In this context, he called upon the global community to muster sufficient resources for SDGs to provide at least $100 billion yearly as climate finance.

Talking about the All-Weather Strategic Cooperative Partnership of Pakistan with China, especially through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) the Foreign Minister reaffirmed his resolve to further strengthen ties.

Chinese President, Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative during his address at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021.

In this regard, China launched a Group of Friends of GDI in New York in January 2022. The Group of Friends of GDI in New York was joined by Pakistan and more than 50 other countries.

It is an informal collaboration and coordination mechanism to strengthen policy dialogue, share best practices, and promote practical cooperation to realize the SDGs for advancing the objectives of GDI.