Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan. (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Addressing the United Nation’s Resident Coordinator, Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary expressed that we are incredibly pleased to have partnered with the UN Resident Coordinator to host this event, marking the 76th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Thank you for joining us to celebrate this auspicious occasion together.
The United Nations was born 76 years ago, out of the ashes of a catastrophic war. It emerged as a ray of hope to preserve peace and security and promote international cooperation, prosperity, and human dignity. It embodied the collective resolve of member states to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war and establish conditions for justice, social progress, and better living standards in more extensive freedoms.
The principles of equal rights and self-determination, which are at the heart of the UN Charter, were instrumental in securing the decolonization and liberation of many States in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
As we celebrate the achievements of the United Nations today, we must remember that the UN’s mission of decolonization is not yet complete. The people of Jammu and Kashmir still await the exercise of their inalienable right to self-determination as promised to them by the resolutions of the UN Security Council.
Decades of conflict in Afghanistan have had a devastating impact. After the people of Afghanistan, it is Pakistan that has suffered the most. We have endured more than 80,000 casualties and suffered economic losses of over $150 billion. Pakistan continues to host over 4 million Afghan refugees for more than four decades.
The world must prevent the situation in Afghanistan from deteriorating into a disaster. The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan is dire, with nearly 18 million Afghans in need of urgent assistance. Pakistan supports the UN efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and prevent Afghanistan’s economic collapse, which could prolong the suffering of the Afghan people. It could trigger instability, conflict and an exodus of people. Afghanistan’s access to its financial resources is essential to prevent further worsening of the fragile economic situation and the collapse of its economy, adversely affecting Pakistan.
We commend the UN Secretary-General for taking the lead in rallying support for addressing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and ensuing economic stability.
For its part, Pakistan will continue to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people. We have supported international efforts for evacuation and will continue to support all efforts for peace, stability, and development in Afghanistan.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over. It is the poorest and the most vulnerable who have suffered the worst of its effects. COVID-19 vaccines are still not available everywhere and for everyone. No one is safe until all of us are safe.
The international community must respond with solidarity to address the multiple challenges of economic recovery from COVID, the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the prevention of the looming climate crisis.
As one of the most vulnerable countries, Pakistan has taken steps to combat climate change, including our internationally appreciated ten billion tree tsunami project.
However, the international community needs to take collective action to implement the Paris Agreement, especially the pledge of the developed countries to provide $100 billion annually as climate finance to developing countries.
For its part, Pakistan has always strived to contribute constructively to the work of the United Nations. Our representation and participation in UN bodies highlight the role we have played in promoting the fundamental principles of the UN Charter.
Pakistan has served as a member of the UN Security Council for seven terms. We have presided over the Economic and Social Council six times. Our regular representation on the Human Rights Council manifests our resolve to uphold universal human rights and values.
Pakistan has been one of the largest troop-contributing nations for peacekeeping missions of the UN. Over 200,000 Pakistanis have served in UN 46 peacekeeping missions in 26 countries. I wish to pay tribute to all men and women peacekeepers, including those from Pakistan, serving in the most fragile and conflict-ridden areas of the world. Some 161 Pakistani peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of international peace and security.
Pakistan is the first country to deploy Female Engagement Teams (FETs) in peacekeeping missions.
Pakistan also hosts one of the oldest peacekeeping missions – the United Nations Military.
The UN remains the most vital international body, whose principles remain stable and sustainable world order foundations.
Pakistan will continue to play its part in our shared agenda. As we commemorate this important milestone today, we reiterate our commitment to working under the auspices of the UN for principle-based and prosperity-driven international cooperation to promote peace and economic development.
Today, Pakistan reaffirms its abiding commitment to multilateralism. The UN plays a central role in international affairs to promote peace, security, development, human rights, and fundamental freedoms for all.
Multilateralism has been and will remain a central feature of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
I take this opportunity to thank all UN Agencies, Funds, and Programmes that have partnered with Pakistan, helping us advance our socio-economic development objectives. I am pleased to see that some of their contributions are showcased here today.
We will continue to work with the UN Secretary-General and the remarkable UN Country Team in Pakistan, ably led and coordinated by Mr. Julien Harnies, to attain Sustainable Development Goals.
Wish you all, a Happy United Nations Day!
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