Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today hailed the strong partnership between the United Nations and Pakistan on a wide range of issues, and voiced his hope that the country can build on the recent achievement of its first democratic transition between two civilian governments.
“I welcome this milestone and believe this is a fitting time to deepen the already strong bonds between Pakistan and the United Nations,” Mr. Ban told reporters in Islamabad at a joint news conference with the newly inaugurated Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif.
“I count on the Prime Minister’s leadership to build on this achievement and deepen participatory democracy in Pakistan,” he added.
This is the third visit to the South Asian nation for the Secretary-General, whose two-day programme coincides with the celebration of Pakistan’s 67th Independence Day.
In their meeting today, Mr. Ban and the Prime Minister discussed a range of topics such as Pakistan’s role at the UN and its valuable contributions to peacekeeping operations; efforts to meet the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals; humanitarian issues, including the need to invest furthers in disaster risk reduction; and developments in the region, including the situation in Afghanistan.
“I am very pleased that we have had a very good exchange of views on how the United Nations and Pakistan can work together to strengthen our partnership and addressing many regional and global challenges,” Mr. Ban told the press.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the second day of his visit which coincides with the celebration of Pakistan’s 67th Independence Day. UN Photo/Mark Garten
“I firmly believe we need to widen our lens and look at Pakistan beyond any one dimension, prism or perspective. This is a vibrant, dynamic country full of promises and possibilities,” he added.
“Pakistan is an important partner and a pivotal global player across the board.”
Mr. Ban also held talks with President Asif Ali Zardari on many of the same issues and challenges. In addition, he attended part of the Independence Day celebrations and met with Pakistani women parliamentarians.