PM Abbasi heads to New York to represent Pakistan at UN

Published: September 18, 2017


Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is set to arrive in New York on Monday to represent Pakistan in the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly where more than one hundred world leaders are scheduled to take part.

In his debut address before world leaders, PM Abbasi will outline Pakistan’s position on key international, political, social and development issues of vital concern to the country.

PM Abbasi who will address the Assembly on Thursday is also expected to to hold bilateral meetings with a number of world leaders and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

PM warns US against ‘starving Pakistan of funds’

On the sidelines of the General Assembly Session, he will address the Council on Foreign Relations besides interacting with the US Pakistan Business Council. PM Abbasi will also have extensive interaction with the international media.

In an interview with Quartz-India, a website owned by Atlantic media company, Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said the prime minister will raise the issue of Kashmir, especially now that the dialogue process between New Delhi and Islamabad is stalled. “When the bilateral track (talks) has been stopped in its tracks by
the present Indian government, then, I think, for Pakistan to raise the issue of Kashmir internationally becomes even more important,” Ambassador Lodhi said.

“It is very important for the international community to hear Pakistan, and they will hear Pakistan. They will hear Pakistan loud and clear.”

On the margins of the session, ministerial-level meetings of many regional and sub-regional organisations will be held, including OIC, NAM, G-77, ECO, SAARC, Commonwealth, D-8 and others. A meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir will also be held.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad underscored Pakistan’s advocacy of multilateralism and the United Nations to promote collective responses to the multifaceted challenges of global peace, security and development.

The statement said Pakistan would continue its constructive role and engagement at the UN with a view to protecting and promoting its national interests, including on core issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, reform of the Security Council, counter-terrorism, human rights, peacekeeping, and a host of development and other matters.

Massive security arrangements have been put in place in around he UN Headquarters in New York ahead of the high-level session in which US President Donald Trump will deliver his first address at the United Nations on Tuesday. The US is traditionally the second speaker on the opening day of the General Debate, after Brazil.

Presidents, prime ministers and other top-level delegates will engage in a week-long debate with a focus on the theme, “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”. “The UN was created for people,” the President of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, said his opening address on September 12.

“The people who need the UN the most are not sitting in this hall today,” he told delegates from around the world. “They are not involved in the negotiation of resolutions. They do not take the floor at high-level events. It is one of the tasks of the General Assembly to make sure that their voices can still be heard.”

Pakistan prepares ‘toughest diplomatic policy’ for US

As of Friday, 90 heads of state have signed up for the debate that defines international responses to many of the global challenges of today, including protracted conflicts, extreme poverty and hunger, the refugee crises and climate change. Ahead of the session, Guterres, the UN chief, also highlighted the grave situation of Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims. He called for Muslims from the country’s Rakhine state to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life, while also urging the international community to help provide assistance for the nearly 400,000 people who have fled into Bangladesh.

“I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military action, end
the violence, uphold the rule of law, and recognise the right of return
of all those who had to leave the country,” the Secretary-General said
in his first press conference since the opening of the Assembly’s 72nd session.

Guterres repeated his call for ‘an effective action plan’ to address the root causes of the situation, which he said he been left to fester for decades and has now escalated beyond Myanmar’s borders, destabilising the region. “The humanitarian situation is catastrophic,” he said, and urged all countries to provide humanitarian assistance.

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