Pakistan leader, in Assembly address, spotlights climate change, regional concerns

27 September 2014

The Prime Minister of Pakistan today spotlighted the impact of extreme weather events on his country and also urged the international community to resolve the ongoing dispute over Kashmir, which is one of the longest-running issues on the United Nations agenda.

Extreme weather is disrupting world economies, particularly in developing countries, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, said, adding that recent monsoon floods in his country had killed hundreds of people, displaced millions, and destroyed and damaged homes, livelihoods, infrastructure, cattle and crops.

The Government was mobilizing all its resources and ingenuity to provide relief and ensure recovery. He called on the international community to intensify its efforts to move from awareness to commitments on actions addressing climate change.

On regional concerns, he said that more than six decades ago, the United Nations passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. “The people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise,” he said noting that despite attempts under UN auspices and bilaterally, many generations of Kashmiris have lived under occupation, with women particularly undergoing immense suffering and humiliation.

“We cannot draw a veil on the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” Mr. Sharif said.

During his address in the UN body, the Prime Minister also raised the issues of Afghanistan to whom he reiterated the country’s solidarity, and called for the lifting of the blockade on Gaza.

As a responsible nuclear weapon State, he said, Pakistan would continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, and pursue a policy of nuclear restraint and credible minimum deterrence. To promote stability, it was prepared to explore new confidence-building measures, he added. He also said that, in regard to the reform of the Security Council, there should be no new permanent seats on it; instead, the body should become more representative, equitable, accountable and transparent.

Some 196 speakers are expected at this year's annual debate. Meeting on the theme of “Delivering on and Implementing a Transformative Post-2015 Development Agenda,” the speakers include representatives from the 193 UN Member States, as well as the Observer State of the Holy See, the Observer State of Palestine and the delegation of the European Union.


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