Pakistan News

UN chief urges Pakistan, India to hold talks

UN chief urges Pakistan, India to hold talks

UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged India and Pakistan on Sunday to “continue their peaceful dialogue”.

A statement issued by his office said that in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the secretary general also advised Pakistan to stay engaged with Afghanistan.

A Pakistani official said the prime minister also raised the Kashmir issue during the meeting.

Also read: PM Nawaz urges Ban Ki-moon for plebiscite in Kashmir

The two also discussed the “fight against terrorism and violent extremism”, the secretary general’s office said.

The UN leader “stressed the necessity for Pakistan and India to continue their peaceful dialogue. He encou­raged Pakistan to continue engaging Afghanistan in order to help stabilise the country”, a UN spokesperson said. The meeting focused on UN-led peacekeeping efforts and the secretary general’s office said the UN leader thanked Pakistan for its im­portant contributions to UN Peacekeeping Operations.

(According to APP, Prime Minister Sharif urged the UN chief to play a role in defusing tensions between Pakistan and India and help end the violations of Line of Control for promoting peace in the region. He also called for the implementation of UN Security Council’s resolutions on the Kashmir dispute, and holding of a plebiscite to determine the wishes of Kashmiri people.)

Gender equality

Earlier, the UN chief while addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) conference said that global goals for development could not be achieved without ensuring gender equality and women’s empowerment.

He said the new global goals, adopted earlier this week, could not be achieved “without full and equal rights for half of the world’s population, in law and in practice”.

“Today, world leaders are signalling their personal res­ponsibility for gender equality and women’s empowerment,” said Mr Ban. “This is as it should be.” But, he said, while progress had been made in many areas, there was still a long way to go.

Sustainable Development

Prime Minister Sharif ass­ured the international community that Pakistan was committed to a shared vision of inclusive growth and development. He said Pakis­tan also wanted to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’.

The assembly formally adopted the new framework, “Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Develop­ment, which comprises 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.

‘This is an agenda reflective of both ambition and action in our joint effort against poverty, hunger and human deprivation,” Prime Minister Sharif told the gathering.

He noted that at the beginning of this century, the international community had committed itself to a development agenda that brought international focus on poverty eradication and human development.

That commitment rescued over a billion people from extreme poverty, he said, while pointing out that “poverty, inequality, and lack of opportunity remain stark realities of our time”.

That’s why, he said, the world needed a new agenda of change, which enjoyed inherent vitality, as well as wide social acceptability.

He said that for Pakistan the SDGs complemented its own developmental needs and priorities, as articulated in our ‘Vision 2025’.

“This document provides a policy framework for the integration of the new goals in our national economic and development planning,” he said. Mr Sharif called the new agenda a blueprint of Pakistan’s “political commitment to the process.” He said his government had initiated wide-ranging reforms, aimed at expanding the resource base, stemming illicit capital outflows and ensuring optimised use of resources.

Published in Dawn, September 28th , 2015

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