Islamabad, December 31, 2020 (PPI-OT):In 2020, the world found itself confronting the most serious global threat since the establishment of the United Nations. The crisis triggered by the COVID-19 proved to be a major health, economic, as well as a humanitarian crisis. Right at the onset of the COVID crisis, Pakistan advocated for a strong international response based on solidarity and cooperation to address the challenges faced by developing countries. Pakistan’s successfully outlined its vision on key global issues, which includes effective COVID-19 response and relief measures, as well as support for developing countries to respond to the pandemic and to achieve SDGs. At the 31st special session of the general assembly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Imran Khan made a strong call for financial support for developing countries and presented his 10-point agenda aimed at supporting developing States in the recovery process. it was in the midst of a global health emergency that Pakistan assumed the Presidency of the ECOSOC to steer the work of this vital organ of the UN.
As President of the ECOSOC, Pakistan has called for a people-centric response to the pandemic by governments and international institutions – one which supports global economic recovery and the achievement of the SDGs, while leaving no one behind. In particular, Pakistan has strongly called for an equitable and universal access to vaccine, while giving priority to vulnerable groups. Alongside, Pakistan has highlighted the need for investments in sustainable infrastructure to lift eliminate poverty, deploying science and technology to build back better, and aligning digital technologies and IP regime to SDGs and climate objectives. We continued to stand firm in our stance and solidarity with the right of self-determination for our Kashmiri brethren. India’s destabilizing policies and actions, and the crimes being committed by Indian forces against innocent Kashmiris, especially since 5th August 2019 were exposed at every forum.
At Pakistan’s request, and with the support of China, the Security Council discussed the situation in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir twice in 2020 – most recently on 5 August 2020 at the first anniversary of the unilateral and illegal action of BJP-RSS regime. Pakistan continuously engaged with senior UN leadership to apprise about the serious developments in IIOJK. This is the first time that both the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly visited Pakistan in the same calendar year.
The visits highlighted Pakistan’s multifaceted and vital relationship with the United Nations where Pakistan has always played a leading role in all three pillars of UN work namely peace and security, human rights and development. Pakistan also raised the issue of Indian-state terrorism and presented a dossier to the UN Secretary-General and the head of UN Executive directorate for Counter Terrorism. The issue of fake Indian propaganda and its disinformation campaign against Pakistan is being raised at every relevant forum of the UN. At the UN, we continued to promote and highlight Pakistan’s key role in facilitating the Afghan peace process.
Alongside, we have also been warning the international community against the role of spoilers which can undermine peace efforts in Afghanistan. Pakistan contributions as a leading refugee hosting country were acknowledged by the UN and the international community. Pakistan was recognized by the UN Refugee Agency as the largest host to a protracted refugee situation. Pakistan continues to show remarkable generosity by providing refuge to millions of Afghan nationals. Pakistan-sponsored resolution reaffirming the right of self-determination for peoples subjected to colonial, foreign and alien occupation was adopted by consensus the General Assembly. Pakistan also raised the issue of Islamophobia in the UN. The existential threat faced by Indian Muslims at the hands of extremist Hindutva ideologists in India was also highlighted.
The UNGA also adopted Pakistan-led resolution on “inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue” by an overwhelming majority. This resolution was part of Pakistan’s diplomatic campaign to raise awareness about rising Islamophobia. The UNGA’s First Committee dealing with disarmament and international security also adopted four resolutions tabled by Pakistan on regional disarmament, conventional arms control, and confidence building measures at regional levels and negative security assurances.
Pakistan also joined a key group at UN to coordinate actions aimed at elimination of violence against women and girls. Pakistan continued to stand out in its peacekeeping contributions. Pakistani peacekeepers carried out their duties in far flung missions. Specifically, the role of Pakistani peacekeepers in Darfur, Congo, and other missions was highly commended by the international community. 69 Pakistani peacekeepers were awarded medals in the Liberian mission for the acknowledgment of their contributions in the West African country.
At the Climate Action Summit, Prime Minister Imran Khan joined world leaders in calling for greater climate action and ambition. The PM elaborated national initiatives to mitigate the effects of climate change. Specifically, the ambitious goal to have 60% clean energy in the country by 2030 was also announced during the Summit. International community’s continued trust on Pakistan is evident from our successes in elections to UN Bodies. This year, Pakistan was re-elected to serve for three more years in the Human Rights Council by obtaining highest votes in the Asia Pacific region.
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