United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that the situation in the world was “very unfair” as he called on the world to play their part to help countries that haven’t contributed to global emissions, according to English newspaper, Daily Dawn on Saturday.
He made these remarks after visiting several areas of Pakistan ravaged by floods, as he rounded off a two-day trip aimed at raising awareness of the disaster.
A video released by the PM Office showed Guterres seated next to Sharif viewing flood-damaged areas from an aircraft window. “Unimaginable,” Guterres said, surveying the damage.
The secretary-general’s call to action came as Pakistan logged another five fatalities — three of whom were children — in the previous 24-hour period, according to NDMA’s daily situation update. Cumulatively, there are 1,396 fatalities since mid-June, 499 of whom are children.
In an address , he said that humanity had been waging war on nature and the nature was now striking back. “And nature strikes back in Sindh, but Sindh has not made the emission of greenhouse gases that have exacerbated climate change.”
So, he went on, there was a “very unfair situation in relation to the level of destruction we are seeing in Sindh”.
“And it is essential for the international community to understand that Pakistan including Sindh needs today massive financial support to overcome these crisis,” the secretary general emphasised, saying that this was not the matter of generosity, but of justice.
He continued that the world needed to stop “this madness with which we are treating nature”.
“According to the scientific community, we need to reduce emissions by 45 per cent now.”
The UN chief called on the world to provide massive support to work on adaptation — to build resilient infrastructure, to support resilient communities and to create conditions for those who were in the hotspots of climate change, including Pakistan.
“And this needs a huge investment. That’s why we are asking for a strong increase in financing of resilience infrastructure and adaption,” he said.
Furthermore, Guterres expressed total solidarity with the Pakistani people. “We will do everything we can to raise awareness and request those who have the capacity to support Pakistan […] to request that they do it, they do it now, they do it massively and they do it looking into the preparation to face future challenges.”
“Our commitment, strong and emotional solidarity is something you can count on,” he added.
Later, the UN chief visited Larkana and met the flood-affectees. He assured them that UN had appealed to the world for aid in the wake of the catastrophic floods, stressing that it was essential for the world to take responsibility of its actions.
Guterres was also briefed about the situation in Sindh and Balochistan by provincial authorities.
Meanwhile, according to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), the total death toll from floods since June has now reached 1,396, while injuries have crossed the 12,000 mark.
In its daily update, the National Flood Response Coordination Centre (NFRCC) said that a total of 6,579km of roads, 246 bridges and 173 shops were damaged.
It stated that the highest number of human and infrastructural damage was reported in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where rescue and relief operations are underway by the Pakistan Army and district administrations.