UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has supported Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call for a ‘Global Initiative on debt relief’ to provide debt relief for the developing countries in wake of economic meltdown generated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking at a regular virtual press briefing in New York, the Spokesman of the UN Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric said, “PM Imran Khan’s initiative is in the same spirit as the Secretary-General’s position.”
He shared that UN Chief believes that debt relief should be a significant part of the COVID-19 pandemic, including immediate waiver on interest payments for the current year. It is necessary to use the minimum resources of the under-developed economies to combat the coronavirus crisis.
UN Secretary-General has cleared his position privately and publicly, particularly in the letter he sent to the G20, the spokesperson added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan requested the world leaders, leading financial heads, and the United Nations Secretary-General for the initiation of ‘Global initiative on debt relief’.
The prime minister compared the financial situation of the developing countries especially Pakistan where the government had been striving simultaneously to avoid the spread of the deadly coronavirus through holding of lockdowns and saving the people from death due to hunger.
Developing countries are at a high risk of facing coronavirus socio-economic impacts, he added.
The proposed global agreement aimed to provide the developed countries with the basis for immediate debt relief, at their request and without certain restrictions.
The initiative was based on the conviction of the prime minister that enhanced fiscal flexibility was key to recovery from the ongoing pandemic crises. Prime Minister Khan also urged leaders around the world to step up steps to help developed countries resolve COVID-19’s catastrophic effects.