G77 Meeting | Editorial

Pakistan’s chairing of the Group of 77 (G77) meeting is a good opportunity for the country to work on its foreign outreach and advocate for its foreign policy goals on a global platform. The G77 is a coalition of 134 developing countries, designed to promote their collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the United Nations.

This is the third time in the bloc’s history that Pakistan will chair the group—the last time Pakistan chaired was in 2007. 2022 is a good year to chair—it is time to address the ground-breaking changes in the region that took place in the last two years, changes that require new policies and friendships to navigate the coming decade.

One of the stances that Pakistan is pushing for in this meeting is that of debt restructuring and allocation of more resources for developing nations to rejuvenate the global economy. This is a cause that Pakistan has spearheaded since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

It is one that the other members of the G77 can also get behind, considering that Pakistan found a lot of support for the cause in 2020, ultimately becoming successful in reducing the burden of debt. The current situation is untenable for several developing countries—despite surviving the coronavirus pandemic, investing in vaccination programmes and health infrastructure, many countries find themselves in a near debt crisis. Pakistan’s gross public debt was just about Rs40 trillion as of June 2021.

India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh all face bad credit scores. At the same time, world institutions and developed countries keep making the restrictions on foreign aid and loans much harsher. This is an important topic to engage in dialogue with countries, who might have differences in policy with Pakistan, but face the same tough cash-strapped economic conditions, despite witnessing a growth in the economy, in the aftermath of the pandemic.​

Source: Published in The Nation

January 17, 2022

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