UNGA President lauds Pakistan’s commitment to multilateralism at Pak Day reception in New York

NEW YORK, Mar 22 (Alliance News): Pakistan’s journey has been punctuated by remarkable achievements and an unwavering spirit expressed in the resilience of its people,” the UN General Assembly President, Dennis Francis, said at a largely- attended Pakistan Day reception on Thursday.

Francis, who was the chief guest at the reception held at the Pakistani Mission to the UN in New York, applauded Pakistan’s “steadfast, devoted and robust commitment” to multilateralism,’ noting the country’s role as a member of the UN, its multiple terms on the Security Council, and its consistent presence and leadership in various UN bodies, including ECOSOC and the Human Rights Council.

He also commended Pakistan’s significant contributions to UN peacekeeping missions, and acknowledged the sacrifices made by Pakistani peacekeepers in promoting global peace and security.

The reception was attended by top diplomats of the New York-based Permanent Missions, UN officials, members of academia, media, civil society organizations and the Pakistani diaspora.

Ambassador Munir Akram welcomed the General Assembly President, highlighting Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to multilateralism and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter.

The Pakistani envoy emphasized Pakistan’s active role as a member state of the UN since 1947, supporting initiatives aimed at promoting international peace and security, sustainable development, and human rights.

In his speech, the General Assembly President extended his warm greetings to Pakistan, pointing out that the auspicious occasion commemorates the adoption of the Lahore Resolution in 1940 and the adoption of the first Constitution of Pakistan in 1956.

“As the largest contributor of police and troop personnel to the UN for decades, Pakistan’s unwavering dedication to maintaining peace globally is clear and manifest,” the President said.

The President of the General Assembly lauded Pakistan’s diplomatic achievements, citing Sir Zafarullah Khan’s presidency of the UN General Assembly and membership of the International Court of Justice. He also praised Pakistan’s efforts in addressing global challenges, including its role in advocating against Islamophobia and its contributions to climate action and environmental sustainability.

Referring to the second recently adopted resolution on measures to combat Islamophobia, the President said,”I take this opportunity to applaud Pakistan’s consistent work – working alongside the membership of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) – to elevate the concern about Islamophobia.”

President Francis had words of special praise for Ambassador Munir Akram. He said when the world confronted the “perfect storm”of economic and development challenges in 2021, “Pakistan’s ECOSOC presidency in 2021, under His Excellency Munir Akram, successfully, achieved a consensus on debt relief and restructuring, larger concessional assistance, and the creation of new Special Drawing Rights.”

The President of the UN General Assembly also praised, “Pakistan’s resilience and extraordinary potential to deal with climate disasters and contribute to the goal of sustainability.”

As a reminder of what Pakistan experienced in 2022, the president recalled, “with climate change being arguably our most formidable foe, the people of Pakistan have remained the victims of a grim calculus of climate injustice.”

Referring to the partnership between Pakistan and the General Assembly, he recalled how the 93-member body rose to the challenge in solidarity with the people of Pakistan and convened an event last year to garner international support for continued assistance of the flood-stricken people of Pakistan. He emphasized the importance of continued collaboration between Pakistan and the UN, particularly in areas such as sustainability and disaster response.

The President extended Ramadan greetings and emphasized the importance of compassion and peace during the holy month. He underscored the significance of fostering goodwill and solidarity among communities, reaffirming the commitment to spread compassion and peace.

In his welcoming remarks, Ambassador Akram stated that Pakistan’s foreign policy was rooted in the principles of the UN Charter, including the non-use or threat of force in international relations, respect for sovereignty, and territorial integrity, right to self-determination and non-interference in internal affairs of states.

He also underscored Pakistan’s consistent efforts to champion the causes of the Global South and promote cooperative multilateralism.

Highlighting Pakistan’s contributions to the UN, Ambassador Munir Akram outlined several notable achievements of Pakistan. These include Pakistan’s service on key UN bodies such as the Security Council, ECOSOC, and the Human Rights Council, as well as its leadership roles in the Group of 77 and China. Additionally, he also acknowledged Pakistan’s significant contributions to UN peacekeeping missions, with over 200,000 service members serving in 46 missions worldwide.

Ambassador Akram also formally announced Pakistan’s candidacy for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the term 2025-2026, and sought support from the international community.

He expressed confidence in Pakistan’s ability to contribute meaningfully to the Council’s mandate for international peace and security.