PTI govt aligned towards shaping new future for people of Pakistan: UNGA president

PTI govt aligned towards shaping new future for people of Pakistan: UNGA president

ISLAMABAD: United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) President Ms Maria Fernanda Espinosa said she had been encouraged to see that the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was aligned towards shaping a new future for the people of Pakistan.

The new future was based on combating poverty, corruption and opening up to investments and tourism, she said in an interview with Radio Pakistan.

The UNGA president said Pakistan was such a beautiful country, which had so much diversity and so much to show to the world.

The country was on the right track, she added.

Regarding women empowerment in Pakistan, the UNGPA president said there had been a lot of improvement as several women were holding high level positions in the country. They had strong voices in public opinion.

Particularly mentioning Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi, she said the envoy was one of the strongest voices in New York. Ambassador Lodhi was a great advocate for Pakistan and its agenda on sustainable development goals.

Ms Maria said Pakistan's contribution in the war on terrorism was an example. The country had waged a successful and sustained effort against terrorism and its anti-terror efforts had been recognized by the international community.

Pakistan's overall role in regional peace and security, she said, was commendable. It was playing a very constructive role in the Afghan peace process. Peace in Afghanistan was also beneficial for Pakistan.

She also appreciated the way Pakistan generously hosted millions of Afghan refugees over the last several decades. Over two million Afghan refugees were still living in Pakistan, which, she said, spoke volumes about its commitment to peace and security and the international law.

Responding to a question, Ms Maria pointed out that Pakistan was amongst the most important contributors to the UN peacekeeping missions and "we really recognize and respect the contribution made by the country in our peace keeping operations across the world." It also reflected Pakistan's commitment to the United Nations and peace and security, she added.

She expressed the confidence that Pakistan would continue to be supportive of the UN's peace keeping operations. Pakistan was a very strong and reliable partner of the UN and of the multilateralism system, she added. She said apart from her peace keeping contributions, both Pakistan and the United Nations had very good working relationship. The UN country team in Pakistan was working with the government in its endeavours to fight poverty and inequalities, she added.

When asked about the Kashmir dispute and tension in relations between Pakistan and India, the UNGA president called for peaceful resolution of all conflicts, including that of Kashmir.

She said Kashmir was a longstanding dispute and its solution called for dialogue. The UN Security Council had a responsibility towards that end but most importantly, the conflicts needed to be resolved by the parties involved through political will and constructive dialogue.

She stressed for resolution of conflicts, saying it was important to bring relief in the lives of the people who sufferred from them.

Ms Maria said the role of the UN was to work towards preventing conflicts, and sustaining peace and development in the world. "We follow with greater attention the hotspots especially in terms of the conflicts that affect the rights of the people and the development.

Briefing about the role and functions of UNGA, she said it was the body that represented all the 193 states. She said the UNGA was the policy setting body for the international laws. It was the most democratic body because every state, either small or big, was equally represented in it.

She said according to the UN Charter, "our efforts are focused towards fighting poverty, inequalities and ensure implementation of the sustainable development goals." She was very committed to making the work of UN General Assembly more efficient and more relevant and closer to the people "we serve," she added.