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We must breathe new life into multilateralism: Mr Abdulla Shahid, at the World Sustainable Development Summit

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Making an emphatic pitch for multilateralism at the World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2022 in New Delhi on Friday, Mr Abdulla Shahid, President of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly and the Foreign Minister of Maldives asserted that the era of isolationism is long over.

“We will not succeed if we ignore the world around us, if we prioritize one region or issue over others, or if we neglect marginalized and vulnerable communities. We must breathe new life into multilateralism and shape it so that everyone benefits,” Mr Shahid said at the valedictory session on ‘Collective Action for Ensuring a Sustainable and Equitable Future’ at The Energy and Resources Institute’s (TERI) annual flagship Summit.

Mr Shahid called upon the international community to “support initiatives to provide debt relief to economically vulnerable countries such as SIDS, LDCs, and LLDCs; to support industries crucial to their economic well-being, such as tourism; and to strengthen global regimes for development cooperation and assistance.”

COP 26, said Mr Shahid, did not meet expectations, but there is ground for cautious optimism, he added. “Much more political will and cooperation will be required to enhance the ambition for rapid emission reductions over the coming decade to avoid dangerous levels of climate change,”.

The Act4Earth initiative which seeks to continuously engage with stakeholders across the board on issues related to sustainable development and climate action was launched at the WSDS and will have two components: COP Compass and SDG Charter. “The COP Compass will be engaged in research on climate negotiations and action as well as on the Global Commons,” said Ms Anuradha Mathur, Associate Fellow, TERI. The SDG Charter will work on areas of sustainable development, inclusive energy transitions and mainstreaming SDGs through policy briefs and policy dialogues as well as management development programmes.

Two documents associated with the initiative – the Act4Earth Strategy Paper and Act4Earth Manifesto – were released during the session. The Act4Earth Strategy Paper aims to drive ambitious and urgent action on climate change and sustainable development through knowledge, dialogue and capacity building. The Act4Earth Manifesto is a nine-point roadmap to keeping the planet healthy. “The Act4Earth Manifesto is informed by the discussions at WSDS,” said Ms Nivedita Cholayil, Research Associate, TERI.
Chairing the session, Mr Nitin Desai, Chairman and Governing Council, TERI, said, “Today every company dealing with fossil fuels is trying to get out of fossil fuels. In order to deal with the challenge of sustainability, it is important to get the corporations, trade unions and local authorities on board. The WSDS brings these entities together — to talk and explain to each other aspects of sustainability.”

In her address, Ms Kathleen McGinty, Vice President and Chief Sustainability Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer, Johnson Controls said, “Equity and care for each other is the pressing business we are called to attend.” Commenting on TERI’s expansive role in driving conversations on sustainability, Ms McGinty said, “TERI uniquely brings together the whole spectrum — from research to technology to action.”

In his address, Mr Manjeev Singh Puri, Distinguished Fellow and former diplomat, observed that, “TERI has done yeoman service for India, the developing world and the globe at large.” Dr Shailly Kedia, Senior Fellow, TERI pointed out that WSDS 2022 had over 12,000 registered participants from 143 countries. In her address, Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, expressed the hope that WSDS 2023 will be held in person or at least in a hybrid model. “Initiatives such as the Act4Earth stress on continuing engagement with stakeholders around the year on issues of sustainability,” observed Dr Dhawan.

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Pakistan’s Imran Khan calls for march on Islamabad to press early polls

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Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan has called for his supporters to march peacefully on Islamabad on May 25th to press for fresh elections.

Khan, who served as prime minister for over three and half years, was ousted in April through a no-confidence vote in parliament by an alliance of all major political parties.

Since his ouster, he’s addressed rallies in several cities as he mobilises for a grand show of strength in the capital on Wednesday.

Khan’s call on Sunday came after a marathon session of leaders from his Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Pakistan Justice Party, in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

He describes the march as a move to protect the country’s sovereignty, as he alleges that the vote that removed him was a US-organised plot.

READ MORE: Shehbaz Sharif elected Pakistan’s new PM after Imran Khan’s ouster

READ MORE: ‘Are we your slaves’: Pakistani premier hits out at West over Russia letter

Parliament dissolution, fresh elections

In his speech, Khan urged authorities not to oppose the march, which will gain strength outside of Islamabad before heading to the city centre.

There, he said his supporters will remain until Parliament is dissolved and new elections are called.

Thousands have come to his rallies in the past.

Khan claims America wanted him gone because of his foreign policy choices in favour of Russia and China, and a visit he made on Feb 24 to Moscow, where he held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin as Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine.

He has also said the US dislikes his strident criticism of Washington’s war on terror.

The US State Department has denied any involvement in Pakistan’s internal politics.

READ MORE: Pakistan boosts Imran Khan’s security after his claim of deadly plot

Source: TRTWorld

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China, Pakistan vow to strengthen all-round cooperation

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China and Pakistan vowed on Sunday to further deepen all-round cooperation in areas such as energy, industry, agriculture, information technology and transportation infrastructure.

The agreement was made during a meeting between Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province.

Noting that this is Bilawal’s first bilateral visit abroad since assuming office last month and also the first offline high-level interaction between the two countries after the establishment of the new Pakistani government, Wang said the visit has further consolidated the traditional friendship between the two countries.

The solidarity and cooperation of the two countries has become an important stabilizing factor in a turbulent and changing world, he said, calling for joint efforts in building a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future.

Bilawal, for his part, said Pakistan, as an “iron-clad” friend of China, is glad to see its achievements and is convinced that no force can stop it from moving forward.

The Pakistan-China friendship is the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign relations, and also the inevitable choice of Pakistan, he said.

The Pakistani side is committed to the one-China policy, and supports China in safeguarding all of its core interests, he added.

The two sides also agreed that any terrorist attack against Chinese citizens in Pakistan is unacceptable and any despicable attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship will not succeed.

Three Chinese teachers and a Pakistani national were killed in an explosion at the University of Karachi on April 26, which was claimed by the Baloch Liberation Army.

Wang said, China supports Pakistan in speeding up the investigation of the case, finding the perpetrators and punishing them, and will continue to provide support and assistance to Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.

The two sides agreed that the world has entered a period of turbulence and change, and the international community’s call for peace and development has become stronger, he said.

The two sides also agreed that the sound situation of peace, stability, cooperation and development in Asia is the result of the concerted efforts of countries in the region and should be cherished all the more, he added.

(Cover: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) meets Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari in Guangzhou City, south China’s Guangdong Province, May 22, 2022. /China’s Foreign Ministry)

 

Source: CGTN

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Australia swears in Anthony Albanese as new PM

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Centre-left leader is sworn in as Australia’s 31st prime minister, a few hours before flying out to attend an international security summit in Tokyo.

Australia’s Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as the country’s new prime minister as he promised a “journey of change” vowing to tackle climate crisis and rising living costs.

Along with Albanese, deputy Labor leader Richard Marles and three key ministers in waiting –– Penny Wong in foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers as treasurer and Katy Gallagher in finance –– were sworn in on Monday at a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra.

Albanese was sworn in a few hours before flying out to attend an international summit in Tokyo. Albanese, who says Australia is willing to engage with the world on climate crisis, is joining a summit on Tuesday with the US, Japanese and Indian leaders, known as the Quad.

“It’s a big day in my life but a big day for the country, when we change the government,” Albanese told reporters outside his Sydney suburban home ahead of the ceremony.

“I want to channel the opportunity that we have to shape change so that we bring people with us on the journey of change. I want to bring the country together.”

Albanese said he spoke to US President Joe Biden on Sunday night and was looking forward to meeting him during the Quad summit on Tuesday alongside the prime ministers of Japan and India.

He will return to Australia on Wednesday.

Back after nine years in opposition 

Labor will retake power after nine years in opposition as a wave of unprecedented support for the Greens and climate-focussed independents, mostly women, helped end nearly a decade of rule by the conservative coalition.

Labor’s campaign heavily spotlighted Albanese’s working-class credentials –– a boy raised in public housing by a single mother on a disability pension –– and his image as a pragmatic unifier.

Centre-left Labor still remains four seats short of a majority of 76 in the 151 seat lower house with about a dozen races too close to call, according to television channels.

Some predicted Labor might get enough seats to govern on their own.

Official results could be several days away, with the counting of a record 2.7 million postal votes underway on Sunday.

Source: TRTWorld 

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