Islamabad, April 07, 2021 (PPI-OT): Honourable Ministers,
Secretary General D-8,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, I thank Turkey, the outgoing Chair, for providing an effective leadership to the Organization. I also congratulate and extend my best wishes to Bangladesh as the incoming Chair of the D-8 Summit. I also appreciate the D-8 Secretary General for effectively steering the Organization.
The theme of the Summit- “Partnership for a Transformative World: Harnessing Power of Youth and Technology”- is both apt and timely. We are living today in a highly digitalized but unequal world. And COVID-19 has further accentuated these differences. Most of the developing countries have low integration into the global economy, the global supply chains and the world of education and culture. This inequality not only increases the gap between the rich and the poor countries, but also breeds discontent among the masses, especially the youth.
The future belongs to the youth. They must have a role in shaping that future. The D-8 is especially endowed with a youthful population. Around 60% of the 220 million Pakistanis are under the age of 30. Investing in youth is therefore a key priority of our government. And we are empowering them through education, employment and engagement. Young people have ideas on how to break out of the constraints under which the societies and economies of developing countries continue to operate.
They realize that our responses need to be innovative and advanced in terms of technology application. We must acknowledge that we are living at an inflection point in history. We are moving from the stage of mass production in industrial goods to the age of mass communication and mass development of products based on ideas. The new way is to produce in a highly decentralized and interdependent world economy. We must transform ourselves to the needs of our markets. Unless our economies adapt to this new paradigm of development in the fourth industrial age, we will not be able to compete as equals.
Our vision of regional cooperation and development is anchored in ‘responsibility within and beyond’. We believe that economic inter-dependence and enhanced connectivity and trade could pave the way for mutually beneficial cooperation. And the D-8 could be the fulcrum that could take this vision forward. While we, as an Organization, have come a long since its inception in 1997, the progress falls far short of the promise and the potential. We must renew our commitment for an early realization of D-8 vision and objectives. For a strong partnership, we need to fully implement various instruments and agreements for mutually beneficial collaboration, create opportunities for entrepreneurs, and mobilize our private sector.
We welcome the adoption of the Decennial Roadmap 2020-2030, and are confident that the milestones and priority areas outlined in it will stimulate cooperation. Pakistan has always contributed to strengthening of the D-8. We have ratified almost all D-8 instruments. Landmark documents –the D-8 Charter and the Global Vision – were signed in the 2012 Islamabad Summit. I am glad to share that Pakistan has hosted four key sectoral meetings in the last four months, a clear demonstration of our resolve to do our part in furthering the work of the Organization.
To conclude, let me reaffirm Pakistan’s commitment to the vision and objectives of the D-8. We will continue to play an active role in enabling the Organization to achieve its full potential.
I thank you all.
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