Remarks by the Foreign Secretary at the UN Day Islamabad, 24 October 2019
Honourable Resident Coordinator,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I extend a warm welcome to everyone for joining us in celebrating the United Nations Day.
We are thankful to Resident Coordinator Knut Ostby, and his team, for jointly hosting this event with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We are also grateful for the Secretary General’s inspiring message.
It was on 24th October, seventy-four years ago, that the Charter of the United Nations came into force.
The Charter begins by underscoring the determination of the Peoples of the United Nations, to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
It contains lofty ideals – from establishing conditions for peace and justice to promoting social progress and better standards of living in larger freedom.
The foreign policy vision of our founding father, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah, was inspired by similar ideals.
In one of his most important pronouncements, the Quaid said in February 1948:
“Our foreign policy is one of friendliness and goodwill towards all the nations of the world. We do not cherish aggressive designs against any country or nation. We believe in all principles of honesty and fair-play in national and international dealings and are prepared to make our utmost contribution to the promotion of peace and prosperity among the nations of the world. Pakistan will never be found lacking in extending its material and moral support to the oppressed and suppressed peoples of the world and in upholding the principles of the UN Charter.”
The UN Day reminds us of our collective responsibility to abide by the Purposes and Principles enshrined in the Charter.
For us, in Pakistan, it is another occasion to renew our commitment to the realization of the Quaid’s vision as well.
Pakistan is proud of its collaboration with the United Nations, spread over more than seven decades.
Multilateralism remains the cornerstone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
Our contributions to the UN Peacekeeping are the most visible manifestation of this commitment.
As one of the largest and most consistent Troop Contributing Country, Pakistan has contributed 200,000 peacekeepers to 46 Peacekeeping Missions around the world.
156 of our Blue Berets have rendered the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
We salute those who have laid down their lives while serving humanity.
The photo exhibition that we have organized today highlights Pakistan’s contributions to different facets of UN’s work, including peacekeeping.
Notably, Pakistan also hosts one of the oldest peacekeeping Missions — the United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
We deeply value UNMOGIP’s work in monitoring the volatile situation on the Line of Control and believe that its strengthening has become critically important in view of the recent developments.
Pacific settlement of disputes and respect for fundamental human rights, dignity, and worth of the human person, are among the Charter’s cardinal principles.
Unfortunately, human rights are being violated, and international law being flouted, in many parts of the world.
Nowhere is this more egregious than in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where a just struggle of a people, to realize their inalienable right of self-determination, is being suppressed with brutal use of force.
The inhuman lockdown imposed on 8 million people since 5 August 2019 has created a dire human rights and humanitarian situation, over which the concerns of the Kashmiris, of Pakistanis, and of people of goodwill everywhere continue to grow.
The international community has the moral and political responsibility to ensure that this humanitarian nightmare is immediately brought to an end, the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people are respected, the grave risks to peace and security are effectively averted, and the Jammu & Kashmir dispute is peacefully resolved.
The Security Council has the inescapable obligation to ensure full implementation of its relevant resolutions, stipulating a free and fair plebiscite under UN auspices, and enabling the people of Jammu & Kashmir exercise their right of self-determination.
Pakistan’s commitment to multilateralism in general and the United Nations in particular remains firm and abiding.
We stand ready to work with the Secretary General in implementing UN reforms to make the Organization more effective and responsive.
Our common goal remains to build a better world, a world in which no one is left behind!
I thank you.