NEW YORK: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan will, on behalf of the Government of Pakistan, sign the Paris Agreement on climate change, adopted by more than 190 countries in December last, at a high-level ceremony on Friday at UN Headquarters in New York.
Nisar Ali Khan, who was speaking to US-based Pakistani media on Wednesday evening, said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has asked him to stay back in New York, where he was leading Pakistan’s delegation to the UN General Assembly’s Special Session on the world drug problem, to sign the agreement. The 193-member Assembly’s session is due to end Thursday evening.
More than 150 countries are expected sign the “historic” Paris agreement at the ceremony convened by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Nisar Ali Khan said Pakistan had played a key role in the deliberation leading to the agreement, which sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius.
The agreement is due to come into force in 2020.
UN officials say the signing ceremony Friday will set a record for international diplomacy: Never before have so many countries inked an agreement on the first day of the signing period. It could help pave the way for the pact to become effective long before the original 2020 deadline – possibly this year- though countries must first formally approve it through their domestic procedures.
The United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP-21 was held in December 2015 in Paris, where 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal.
Pakistan joined the consensus in Paris in line with its firm commitment to the purposes and objective of the Climate Convention. Although Pakistan’s contribution to global warming is very little, it is extremely vulnerable to its adverse impacts, as overall temperature has increased.
About the General Assembly on the world drug problem, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told Pakistani journalists that Pakistan’s robust measures to counter illicit drugs had met with significant successes. “We are now poppy-free,” he said.
Pakistan, the minister said, was proud of the fact that it saved the world from over 1.86 billion narcotics doses in the last three years. Pakistan also seized 342 tons of illicit drugsā€¯, he said, adding that being the top contributors in international seizures beyond its territorial borders, it contributed to almost 25 tons of illicit drugs seizures around the world.
Chaudhry Nisar told the international community of Pakistan’s concern over the emerging trends in some parts of the world to legalize the use of illicit drugs, saying that this would give a fillip to drug demand thus igniting the supply chain, which will have a direct fallout on our region.