BRI, CPEC aimed to connect the world, says Pakistan permanent envoy in UN

Islamabad: Pakistan has said that China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects were aimed at connecting the world.

“The Belt and Road initiative by China and the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are kind of connectivity projects that could contribute most greatly to the promotion of economic and social development on the ground for our peoples,” said Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Akram.

Addressing a virtual meeting organized by the Mission of Kazakhstan on ‘How to build stronger confidence in Asia and make CICA more responsive to the challenges of the 21th Century,’ he underscored the need for equitable coronavirus vaccine distribution.

The envoy called for ensuring right decisions in this regard. “We must address the financial problems that are facing so many developing countries,” Ambassador Akram said.

He referred to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s action plan on debt relief, Special Drawing Rights (SDR) creation, and other measures of financial support to the world’s poorest countries, said an official statement issued here Saturday.

The envoy called on the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) to play an “active role” in resolving conflicts and disputes, like Jammu and Kashmir, to promote peace and security in the region.

After welcoming remarks by Kazakhstan’s UN Ambassador Magzhan Ilyassov, the online meeting was addressed by the country’s First Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Shakhrat Nuryshev, who underscored the need for enhancing cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia.

CICA was first proposed by former Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, with the principles of UN Charter as its basis.

In his speech, the Pakistani envoy said that CICA, which is committed to addressing conflicts and disputes in the region, must take an active role in resolving them.

“The dispute over Jammu & Kashmir is a major threat for conflict between two nuclear weapon states in the region,” Ambassador Akram said, adding, “We must try to see if we can contribute to the resolution of this dispute, and similar disputes, which exist in our part of the world.”

He added: “It (CICA) must try to address the problems that arise from threats to peace and security in the region – threats, which arise, not only from terrorism, but also from the threat of conflict between member states of our organization.”

Ambassador Akram also cautioned the organization to be on guard becoming a theatre for outside powers who wish to pursue their agenda of competition and perceived geo-political rivalries.

“We must continue to stand against unilateral coercive measures as well as any politicization of the United Nations Security Council sanctions architecture that undermines the principles and purposes of the UN Charter as enshrined in numerous declarations of CICA,” the Pakistani envoy said.

This forum, he said, stands for the peaceful settlement of disputes and resolution of conflicts on the basis of the UN Charter and principles of international law.

“I hope that we will create a mechanism under the institutions of CICA to be able to address conflicts, counter military doctrines that are dangerous for the maintenance of peace and security, and address the arms race, which has been unleashed by certain powers across the world,” Ambassador Akram said.

On the development side, he said that the most important contribution that CICA could make would be to accelerate the objective of promoting connectivity between its member states, citing projects like the Uzbekistan-Pakistan-Afghanistan railway line.

“CICA could be one of the organizations that could take the lead in promoting such international decisions,” he said.

Ambassador Akram said Pakistan will play an active and a constructive role in promoting CICA’s objectives, as outlined by Kazakhstan President Nazarbayev initially and now being carried forward by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.