UN Resident Coordinator,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I extend a very warm welcome to you all for joining us today to celebrate the landmark 75th Anniversary of the United Nations.
I am grateful to the UN Resident Coordinator and his team for co-hosting this event with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Born out of the ashes of the World War-II, 75 years ago, the United Nations was founded “to save the succeeding generations from the scourge of war”; to uphold fundamental human rights and dignity; to establish justice and respect for international law; and to promote social progress and better standards of life.
I wish to recall a famous saying by Pakistan’s founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, in 1948.
“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in principles of honesty and fair-play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the UN Charter.”
These lofty ideals continue to inspire and guide Pakistan’s foreign policy.
The UN Day reminds us of our collective responsibility to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and lends an opportunity to renew our commitment to the noble ideals enshrined in it.
We have gathered here at a time when the foundational pillars of the United Nations are under stress. While unilateralist, populist and xenophobic tendencies are rising, Pakistan remains committed to the promotion of multilateralism. United Nations is a central pillar of the multilateral architecture and provides formidable support to human endeavours for collectively addressing complex challenges.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Pakistan’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping is one of the most visible manifestations of our commitment to multilateralism. Pakistan is one of the longest-serving and largest contributors to the UN peacekeeping. Since 1960, we have contributed over 200,000 peacekeepers to 46 Peacekeeping Missions around the world. More than 150 of our bravest have rendered the ultimate sacrifice in this cause.
Pakistan also continues to co-host one of the oldest Peacekeeping Missions – the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
Pakistan also continues to host 3 million registered and unregistered Afghan refugees, which remains one of the most protracted refugee crises in the world.
Development of friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, is enshrined in the UN Charter.
It is deplorable that these universal ideals continue to be violated and defied with impunity – nowhere more egregiously than in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) – where a just struggle of a people to realize their inalienable right of self-determination is being suppressed with brutal use of force.
India’s gross and systematic violations of human rights in IIOJK have been extensively documented by international human rights and humanitarian organizations as well as the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in its successive reports.
Led by ‘Hindutva’ ideology, the BJP-RSS regime in India is incessantly resorting to aggressive posturing against Pakistan and other neighbouring countries that seriously imperils regional peace and security.
The UN Security Council must exercise its legal and political authority to ensure the full implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir, stipulating a free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices for the exercise of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Pakistan is one of the few countries which have successfully restricted the spread of Coronavirus. Our Government followed a strategy of ‘smart lockdowns’ to ensure that we save people from dying from the virus, and from dying from hunger. The threat, however, is not over yet and we continue to actively seek following of necessary SoPs.
In the same vein, Pakistan was also able to combat the threat of Desert Locust, the worst of its kind in more than 25 years.
I wish to commend the role of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and other financial institutions in helping the Government to calibrate its response for overcoming these two emergencies, simultaneously. This is yet another example of how international solidarity and cooperation can best serve the humanity.
I also thank all other UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes working in the country for their partnership with Pakistan in helping us advance our socio-economic development objectives.
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 Harneis, for the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals.
Lastly, given the presence here of a large number of Heads of Missions based in Islamabad, I take this opportunity to reiterate our request for their valuable support for the candidature of Pakistan’s Chairman Senate, Senator Sadiq Sanjrani, for the post of President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), for which the elections will be held between 1 to 4 November 2020.
I wish to conclude by reiterating Pakistan’s firm and abiding commitment to multilateralism, with the United Nations playing a central role.
I thank you.