Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Sunday departed for New York to represent Pakistan at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which will be held on September 22. PM Kakar will apparently be the first interim prime minister to represent Pakistan at the UN General Assembly. According to a press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, the premier will attend the UNGA session during his five-day visit and hold meetings with global leaders on the sidelines of the moot. The prime minister will also attend an important conference on climate change, the press release stated. Furthermore, PM Kakar is scheduled to interact with the international media and visit prominent US think tanks. Meanwhile, interim Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani arrived in New York on Sunday. He was received by Deputy Permanent Representative at the Pakistan Mission to the UN Aamir Khan and other diplomatic officials. With the high-level segment of the 193-member Assembly’s 78th session, hundreds of New York Police Department (NYPD) personnel on Sunday began erecting roadblocks and check points around UN Headquarters in Manhattan to turn the area into a high security zone to protect the visiting world leaders. In his address, the prime minister will outline Pakistan’s perspective on a range of regional and general issues of concern, including the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. He will also elaborate on the significant measures taken by his caretaker administration to consolidate the country’s economic recovery and efforts to mobilize domestic and external investment. In addition, the prime minister will hold bilateral meetings with counterparts from various countries as well as with the heads of international organizations, philanthropic organizations and corporate leaders. He also has a number of media engagements. US President Joe Biden, as leader of the host country, will be the second speaker on Tuesday, the opening day of the annual gathering of world leaders who take the pulse of the planet and tackle global challenge. The list of speakers indicates the presence of 145 Heads of State and Government, 6 Vice Presidents, 4 Deputy Prime Ministers and 38 Ministers or Chiefs of Delegations — a total of 196. This year’s theme is “restoring trust and reigniting global solidarity”, but the credibility of the UN is currently being undermined by geopolitical conflicts, divisions and paralysis at the Security Council, as economic, humanitarian and climate-related crises continue. In an interview with APP, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador, Munir Akram, underscored the need for a plan to counter the grim challenges facing the world. “The 78th session of the General Assembly is meeting in a complex international environment, marked by conflicts, especially in Europe and Africa, growing great power tensions in Asia, a slowing global economy, 60 developing countries in financial distress, and as yet no clear strategy on how to address these challenges,” Ambassador Akram said. Russia’s war in Ukraine, well into its second year, will again be a focus of the debate with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy attending in person for the first time since the conflict started. The war is exacerbating food price inflation in emerging markets and developing economies and adversely impacts some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries. Several top-level meetings happening during the General Assembly focus on priorities of developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia: climate, health, financing for development, and how to get the Sustainable Development Goals – a global “to do” list created in 2015 – on track. In a series of briefings, UN officials have said that efforts to address Global South needs, including tackling poverty and diseases and improving access to clean water and energy, are trailing far behind the target that U.N. member countries have set for themselves through the SDGs. Briefing Pakistani newsmen, Ambassador Akram, who has served twice as chairman of the Group of 77 (developing countries) plus China, said that Pakistan stands for the immediate expansion of concessional financing by the Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), reduction of borrowing cost for developing countries, and allocation of $500 billion new Special Drawing Rights (SDRs). With 134 members, G77 is the United Nations’ biggest intergovernmental group of emerging countries.