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Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, who traveled from Islamabad to New York to preside over a United Nations Security Council Special Session on Counter-terrorism spent a busy day today. In addition to chairing the SC Session, she hosted a working lunch of the members of the Security Council with UN Secretary General BAN Ki-moon besides having a separate meeting with him. She also met with Mr. Vuk Jeremic, President of the General Assembly.

The Foreign Minister had bilateral meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Luxembourg – Jean Asselborn, British Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs – Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Vice Foreign Minister of China – Cui Tiankai, and Permanent Representative of the United States – Susan Rice.

In the evening, the Foreign Minister spoke to a select gathering of opinion leaders at the prestigious Asia Society of New York on the “Democratic Journey of Pakistan”.

As the Foreign Minister presided over the Council Session, fifteen Council Member and a large number of other UN Member States today expressed strong solidarity with Pakistan in its fight against terrorism.

The strong expressions of support were made by Ministers and Permanent Representatives of the Security Council and UN Member States in the open debate entitled “A Comprehensive Approach to Counter-terrorism” convened by Pakistan in its capacity as President of the Security Council. Fifty-two countries, including Council members, made statements.

At the end of the debate, the Council adopted a Presidential Statement reiterating its resolve to work on a comprehensive strategy to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

At Foreign Minister Khar’s invitation, several Ministers had traveled from their capitals to New York to attend the Special Session. They included Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn of Luxembourg, British Senior Minister of Foreign Affairs Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai of China, Special Representative Alexander Zmeevsky of Russia, Minister Youssef Amrani of Morocco, Minister Kofi Esaw of Togo, Under Secretary Maria Del Carmen Squeff of Argentina, and Special Envoy Yashar Aliyev of Azerbaijan.

Pakistan’s Foreign Minister said that no partial or no uni-dimensional approach can address the evolving and sinister threat of terrorism. That is why Pakistan has been pursuing a comprehensive approach consisting of 3Ds: deterrence, development and dialogue.

Besides applauding the Foreign Minister’s statement, Members of the Council expressed condolences over the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan and praised Pakistan’s resilience in the face of this threat. Several speakers cited the courage of Malala Yousafzai.

United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) BAN Ki-moon, while addressing the Security Council’s open debate, chaired by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister, appreciated Pakistan’s initiative to organize the debate on counter-terrorism in the Security Council and gave special briefing to the Council members regarding the UN efforts to fight the global threat of counter-terrorism.

The Foreign Minister and the UN Secretary General, in a separate bilateral meeting, discussed a wide range of issues, including evolving regional situation, peace and stability in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism, and Pakistan’s active and consistent contribution to UN peace-keeping Missions. Foreign Minister Khar said that despite the cross-LoC killings and provocations, Pakistan had shown maximum restraint and responsibility.

The Secretary General expressed concern at the violent incidents on the Line of Control. He called for de-escalation of tension and use of the dialogue process to resolve this issue.

16 January 2013

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