UNGA set to debate global issues of peace and security; PM Abbasi arrives Monday

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IFTIKHAR ALI

UNITED NATIONS, Sept 17 (APP): Preparations are being finalized for
next Tuesday’s annual high-level debate of the 72st session of the UN General Assembly in which more than one hundred world leaders, including Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, are scheduled to take part.
Presidents, prime ministers and other top-level delegates will engage
in the week-long debate with a focus on the theme, “Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”.
“The UN was created for people,” the President of the General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, said his opening address on September 12.
“The people who need the UN the most are not sitting in this hall today,” he told delegates from around the world. “They are not involved
in the negotiation of resolutions. They do not take the floor at high-level events. It is one of the tasks of the General Assembly to make sure that their voices can still be heard.”
As of Friday, 90 heads of state have signed up for the debate that defines international responses to many of the global challenges of today, including protracted conflicts, extreme poverty and hunger, the refugee crises and climate change. “Combined with the number of heads of government expected to attend, the list was well over 100,” Brendon Varma, Spokesman
of the General Assembly President, told reporters.
The Assembly has 174 items on its agenda after a new item was inscribed on Friday. it is entitled: “The responsibility to protect and the
prevention of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.”
Massive security arrangements have been put in place in around he U.N. Headquarters in New York ahead of the high-level session in which US President Donald Trump will deliver his first address at the United Nations on Tuesday. The U.S. is traditionally the second speaker on the opening day of the General Debate, after Brazil.
Prime Minister Abbasi, who is scheduled to arrive in New York on September 18, will address the Assembly on Thursday. In his debut address before world leaders, he will outline Pakistan’s positions on key international political, social and development issues of vital concern to the country.
In an interview with Quartz-India, a website owned by Atlantic media company, Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that the prime minister will raise the dispute, especially now that the dialogue process between
New Delhi and Islamabad is stalled.
“When the bilateral track (talks) has been stopped in its tracks by
the present Indian government, then, I think, for Pakistan to raise the issue of Kashmir internationally becomes even more important,” Ambassador Lodhi said. “It is very important for the international community to
hear Pakistan, and they will hear Pakistan. They will hear Pakistan loud
and clear.”
The Pakistani leader will also hold bilateral meetings with a number
of world leaders and United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Ahead of the session, Guterres, the UN chief, highlighted the grave situation confronting Myanmar’s persecuted Rohingya Muslims. He called for Muslims from the country’s Rakhine state to be granted nationality or at least a legal status that would allow them to lead a normal life, while
also urging the international community to help provide assistance for
the nearly 400,000 people who have fled into Bangladesh.
“I call on the Myanmar authorities to suspend military action, end
the violence, uphold the rule of law, and recognize the right of return
of all those who had to leave the country,” the Secretary-General said
in his first press conference since the opening of the Assembly’s 72nd session.
Guterres repeated his call for ‘an effective action plan’ to
address the root causes of the situation, which he said he been left to fester for decades and has now escalated beyond Myanmar’s borders, destabilizing the region.
“The humanitarian situation is catastrophic,” he said, and urged
all countries to provide humanitarian assistance.
On the sidelines of the General Assembly Session, Prime Minister
Abbasi will address the Council on Foreign Relations besides interacting with the US Pakistan Business Council.
The Prime Minister will also have extensive interaction with the international media.
On the margins of the session, ministerial-level meetings of many regional and sub-regional organizations will be held, including OIC, NAM, G-77, ECO, SAARC, Commonwealth, D-8 and others.
A meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir will also be held.
A statement issued by the Foreign Office in Islamabad underscored Pakistan’s advocacy of multilateralism and the United Nations to promote collective responses to the multifaceted challenges of global peace, security and development.
The statement said Pakistan would continue its constructive role and engagement at the UN with a view to protecting and promoting its national interests, including on core issues such as Jammu and Kashmir, reform of
the Security Council, counter-terrorism, human rights, peacekeeping, and
a host of development and other matters.