Tag Archives: United Nations

Address by H.E. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Before the UN General Assembly

Address by

H.E. Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif

Prime-Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan

The General Debate of the Sixty-eighth Session The United Nations General Assembly

New York, 27 September 2013

Mr. President, Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I congratulate you on your election as the President of the United Nations General Assembly. It is a fitting recognition of your distinguished career.

I also commend Mr. Vuk Jeremic, for his outstanding leadership of the General Assembly in the past one year.

Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has led the organization ably and wisely. We were glad to receive him in Pakistan in mid-August, as our honored guest on the anniversary of the Independence Day of Pakistan.

Mr. President,

I stand here today before this Assembly, soon after my country has seen a new dawn.

I come before this house in all humility, as the elected Prime Minister of Pakistan, for the third time. I feel exonerated, as my supporters and I stood firm in our commitment to democracy in the long years of exile, exclusion and state oppression,

I am happy to inform the distinguished delegates that we now have a strong Parliament, an independent judiciary, a free media and a vibrant civil society.

But there is no room for complacency. We cannot lower our guard. Democracy needs constant vigilance and strong institutions. It needs careful nurturing. Most importantly, it is not promises, but good governance that sustains democracy.

My Government has put people at the centre. We will work to give them peace and security, an environment of growth and development. I am pursuing an inclusive approach for the entire nation.

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Media Should Focus On Pakistan Flood, Not Quran Burning Pastor

Pakistan continues to suffer from the historic flooding that submerged over a fifth of the nation.  With over 2o million people displaced by the disaster, and billions of dollars in damage, it is disgraceful how little attention is being paid to the ongoing effects of the floods.

As we posited recently, media headlines – or the lack thereof – are considered a major reason why humanitarian relief is not coming as quickly as it should.

What is more disgraceful, though, is that the American media appears to be giving more attention to the Florida pastor who is organizing an event to burn Qurans than to the needs of Pakistani people.

A search of Google News this morning returned 9,921 links for the keywords “Quran Burning” over the past week, and only 5,854 links for the keywords “Pakistan floods”. This is shameful.

The United Nations has declared the Pakistan flooding the worst humanitarian crisis ever. It presently affects over 21 million people. While the death-toll has, thankfully, been relatively low, the destruction has been immense. With over 20 percent of the nation submerged by flood waters, houses, crops, business, and national infrastructure has been destroyed across the nation. And the disaster is growing.

U.N. Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said earlier this week that,

“Everything I saw and heard today confirmed that this disaster — already one of the largest the world has seen — is still getting bigger.”

The Council on Foreign Relations has warned that, beyond the immediate human suffering caused by the floods, the disaster threatens the stability of a close American ally.

The deadliest floods in Pakistan’s sixty-three-year history have killed over 1,600 and affected nearly fourteen million people. The devastation is sorely testing the government’s capacity, and setbacks are likely in its efforts toward economic growth and development, fight against militancy, and the country’s civil-military relations.

Despite the clear and present danger posed by ignoring Pakistan’s need for relief and reconstruction, the American media has focused more on the publicity stunt of a small-time extremist. Rather than give a platform for the divisive and destructive antics of small-time fanatics, agenda setting media organizations should devote more time and resources to raising awareness and promoting constructive solutions to the needs of our friend and ally, Pakistan, in this their time of need.

UN Report Reminds of Vital Importance of Supporting Democracy in Pakistan

A United Nations Commission yesterday released a report on the facts and circumstances of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto.[PDF] While stopping short of pronouncing criminal guilt, the report serves as a searing indictment of General Pervez Musharraf and the actions – or lack thereof – of authorities under his regime. While the report will likely spur criminal investigations in Pakistan, it serves as a harsh reminder of the vital importance of supporting the struggling movement for democracy in Pakistan.

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