Aslam also noted that 140 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the line of duty since 1960
Foreign and local diplomats at a media briefing on Tuesday called for making the United Nations more responsive to world conflicts, highlighting its achievements.
“The UN is an important body that is trying to solve many world conflicts, while also being involved in various development activities,” Ambassador of Argentina Rodolfo Martin-Saravia said while speaking as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps at a press conference at the Press Information Department on Tuesday.
The media meet up was arranged to unveil plans to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the formation of the world body.
Saravia said that since its inception, the UN has been confronted with a series of challenges. He quickly went through some of the UN achievements, noting that, “Argentina, Pakistan, and many other countries have been involved in many peacekeeping missions across the world,” citing the example of 1971 war, when Argentina was among the nations spearheading efforts to bring about a ceasefire in the former East Pakistan. Despite the initial Soviet vetoes, the efforts were eventually fruitful.
That’s why former Prime Minister Zulfikar Bhutto gave the Argentine embassy control of Argentina Park.
Next at bat, Foreign Office Additional Secretary UN and EU Tasneem Aslam said, “We appreciate the UN Information Centre (UNIC) initiative to organise events highlighting the UN’s work around the world,” adding that Pakistan’s conviction to the UN is evident from its strong contribution and engagement.
She noted that the UN has undertaken 71 peacekeeping operations since the 1971 war, and that in 1960, Congo became the first peacekeeping assignment for Pakistani troops.
Aslam also noted that 140 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the line of duty since 1960.
She also appreciated the UN’s active role in bringing about agreements on the post-2015 development agenda and the sustainable development goals (SDGs), which set targets for the next 15 years.
UNIC Director Vittorio Cammarota explained that the 70th anniversary of the signing of the UN charter would be celebrated here with 17 events spread between October 12 and 22. A number of buildings will be lit in blue on UN Day on October 24.
Later, in response to questions, Cammarota explained that there has not been a shift in focus from peace to climate and health, as an “enormous” number of peacekeeping missions are active, although less visible in this region. As for climate change and health, “These things affect all our lives,” he said.
Responding another question, Aslam said there is still no consensus on UN reforms, and that there is a feeling in some circles that the UN Security Council, which has veto power over most of the UN’s decisions, is not working in a transparent manner.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.