NEW YORK, Aug 17 (APP):Namaz-i-Janaza for Dr Nafis Sadik, a former Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific, was held at the Islamic Cultural Centre in New York on Wednesday.
The solemn ceremony was attended, among others, by Ambassador Aamir Khan, acting Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Pakistan’s Consul General in New York Ayesha Ali, officers of the Pakistan Mission to the UN and the Consulate General as well as retired and serving UN officials and friends and relatives of the deceased.
Later, her body was taken to a graveyard where it was buried, with prayers for the departed soul.
Dr. Sadik, a Pakistani national, passed away on Sunday in New York where she had settled after retirement from the UN service. She was 92.
In separate statements, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram paid tributes to Dr Sadik’s leadership qualities.
“When Dr Sadik took up her post at UNFPA in 1987, she became the first woman to head one of the UN’s major voluntarily-funded programmes,” the UN chief said.
“She consistently called attention to the importance of addressing the needs of women, and of involving women directly in making and carrying out development policy, which she believed was particularly important for population policies and programmes.
“Dr Sadik will be remembered for her significant contributions to women’s health and rights and population policies and for her tireless efforts to combat HIV/AIDS.
The secretary-general extended his sincere condolences to her friends and family.
Ambassador Munir Akram said, “I am deeply saddened by the passing of Dr Nafis Sadiq, a proud Pakistani woman, a great leader and a visionary internationalist, who served her country and the international community with a bold vision.”
“She was a role model for generations of women in Pakistan and across the world. She was also my friend and mentor. I will miss her,” he added.
UNFPA Executive Director Dr Natalia Kanem also praised Dr Sadik’s services.
“As Secretary-General of the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo in 1994 and architect of its groundbreaking Programme of Action, Dr Sadik was a trailblazer who made indelible contributions to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights, women’s leadership and global development.
“Her bold vision and leadership in Cairo set the world on an ambitious path – a journey that passed through Beijing and the 1995 World Conference on Women, helped shape the Millennium Development Goals and anticipated the transformative vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 integrated and universal Sustainable Development Goals. This journey has helped transform the lives of millions of women and girls.
“On behalf of UNFPA, I extend sincere condolences to Dr Sadik’s family, to the Government and people of Pakistan, to women around the world and to all who are mourning her loss.”