UN Chief Antonio Guterres arrived in Pakistan for International Conference on Afghan Refugees

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UN Chief Antonio Guterres arrived in Pakistan for International Conference on Afghan Refugees

ISLAMABAD - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres arrived in Pakistan on Sunday to attend the international conference on Afghan refugees.

The two-day conference titled “40 Years of Afghan Refugees Presence in Pakistan: A New Partnership for Solidarity” will be held in Islamabad. The UN chief who is on his first visit to the country since assuming office will address the conference.

The conference would be a recognition of Pakistan's "tremendous generosity" in hosting millions of refugees from Afghanistan over four decades, the UN chief’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told the regular noon briefing in New York.

The conference will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Khan and is being organised by the Government of Pakistan and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

Pakistan is one of the largest refugee-hosting nations in the world, home to an estimated 2.4 million registered and undocumented people who have fled Afghanistan, some as far back as the Soviet invasion of 1979.

Many live in camps, while others have built lives for themselves in Pakistan's cities, paying rent and contributing to the economy.

In a press release issued last week, the foreign office said senior-level participation was also expected from the UN, multilateral developments banks, civil society, and the country's private sector.

"This conference is taking place at an important juncture when efforts at consolidating peace in Afghanistan are making progress," it added.

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