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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will address the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 23 September in New York to appraise the world community about the challenge faced by Pakistan in wake of the recent climate-induced catastrophic floods, besides sharing concrete proposals for collectively tackling the existential threat posed by climate change.

Foreign Office spokesperson Asim Iftikhar said Sunday that the Prime Minister will participate in the high-level debate of the 77th session of the UNGA in New York from 19-23 September 2022.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb and senior officials.

The spokesperson said that the Prime Minister, in his address to the UN General Assembly on 23 September, will focus on the challenge faced by Pakistan in wake of the recent climate-induced catastrophic floods in the country.

The Prime Minister will outline concrete proposals for collectively tackling the existential threat posed by climate change. He will also share Pakistan’s position and perspective on regional and global issues of concern including Jammu and Kashmir, which is one of the long-standing unresolved disputes on the UN agenda, the spokesperson added.

On the sidelines of the UNGA Session, he added that the Prime Minister will participate in the Global Food Security Summit, jointly organised by the African Union, European Union and the United States, and a Closed-door Leaders Gathering on COP-27 bringing together select world leaders to discuss climate change.

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“These will be important platforms to deliberate on effective measures required at the global level for addressing the two most pressing challenges, confronting the international community today,” he added.

Diplomatic sources said that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is also expected to interact with various world leaders on the sidelines of the Summit, including with US President Joe Biden.

The Prime Minister will hold a number of bilateral meetings with his counterparts from various countries, President of the General Assembly, the UN Secretary-General, as well as, heads of International Organisations, IFIs and philanthropic organisations.

“Leaders will also have the opportunity to interact during the receptions hosted by the UN Secretary-General and the President of the United States,” Asim Iftikhar said, adding that the Prime Minister will also hold interactions with the international media.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will also have an extensive program attending various high-level meetings and events, bilateral meetings with a number of his counterparts, media and think-tank interactions, besides chairing G-77 and China Annual Meeting of Foreign Ministers, OIC Annual Coordination Meeting of Foreign Ministers, and participation in the meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir.

The Foreign Minister is also expected to hold meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in New York in which the two sides are likely to hold discussions on a number of issues, including bilateral relations and cooperation in various areas, such as trade and economy.

Centre of multilateralism, the United Nations, is the most vital international body, promoting international peace and security, development and human rights, and providing the foundations of a stable and sustainable world order. As the most representative and inclusive multilateral forum of nation states, the UN General Assembly offers the best platform to the international community for advancing shared objectives and common solutions to the common challenges faced by humanity. “The Prime Minister’s participation in the UNGA session is a manifestation of Pakistan’s abiding commitment to multilateralism, with the UN playing a central role in international affairs for promoting peace and prosperity worldwide,” Asim Iftikhar said.

He added that both in its national capacity and as the current Chair of the largest international grouping of developing countries - the Group of 77 and China – as well as the current Chair of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers, Pakistan will serve as the collective voice of the Global South to promote international peace and security, sustainable development and human rights for all, in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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