Middle Income countries contribute almost half of the global GDP (Gross Domestic Product), but they are also home to 73% of the world’s poor,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN General Assembly which held a high-level meeting on gaps and impediments faced by middle-income countries in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Speaking in the debate, the Pakistani envoy urged the United Nations and all other stakeholders to focus attention on middle-income countries, which have large concentration of the poor population, for achievement of SDGs.

Though middle-income countries face common challenges, she said, they differ in the extent of poverty, natural resource endowment, development potential and economic and social performance.

“There is therefore no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to development,” Ambassador Lodhi said, adding that development assistance by the United Nations development system should respond to the varying development needs of host countries.

Also, she said that Official Development Assistance (ODA) would continue to be an important for the delivery of the 2030 Agenda, and underscored the need to assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability and financial inclusion.

But as it currently stands, ODA’s scope and size, relative to the GDP of middle-income Countries, was limited, affording only limited capacity to expand their fiscal space, the Pakistani envoy said.

Pakistan, she said, looked forward to the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Buenos Aires Plan of Action (BAPA) to be held in Argentina in March next year.

Describing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a “shining example” of South-South cooperation, Ambassador Lodhi said its benefits were not restricted to participating countries, but would include the region and beyond.

“In addition to South-South cooperation, triangular cooperation, which allows traditional donors and other partners to join South-South initiatives are also important,” she said, calling it an additional means of leveraging resources and building linkages through capacity-building initiatives.
Ambassador Lodhi said that Pakistan regarded South-South cooperation as a complement to, and not a substitute for, North-South cooperation, and urged the UN development system to continue its efforts to mainstream support to South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation.