ISLAMABAD: Pakistan won two key elections at the UN on Monday securing membership to the Committee on NGOs and the UNICEF Executive Board, says a press release received here today from New York.
Pakistan was re-elected for the sixth time to the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) by the 54-member Economic and Social Council (ECOSCO) by receiving 43 votes from the 53 member states present and voting. There were five candidates against four seats in the Asia Pacific Group. “Pakistan’s election to the Committee is a strong vote of confidence by the international community in our role and contribution in the work of the United Nations”, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Dr. Maleeha Lodhi said after the victory. “As a member, Pakistan will continue to promote cooperation by the UN with civil society organizations working alongside governments to improve the lives of people across the world”, she added. The Committee oversees the implementation of the legal framework governing NGOs participation in the work of the UN.
It considers the applications of NGOs for consultative status and makes recommendations to ECOSOC. This consultative status provides NGOs access to a range of fora at the UN, including the Human Rights Council, ECOSOC and its subsidiary bodies, UN conferences, and events organized by the President of the General Assembly. “Pakistan has a diverse and thriving civil society”, Ambassador Lodhi said and added, “The government has always demonstrated a longstanding commitment to and encouraged participation of civil society in discussions aimed at finding solutions to the challenges faced by the world today”. She assured countries that voted for Pakistan of the country’s firm commitment to uphold the purposes and the principles of the UN Charter, including through its membership of the Committee on NGOs. Pakistan was also elected to the UNICEF Executive Board on Monday.
Pakistan’s last term in the Executive Board was from 2013-2015, during which Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi also served as its President. UNICEF was created by the UN General Assembly in 1946. It is a permanent agency of the UN System. It works in 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, to defend their rights, and to help them fulfill their potential. “Pakistan attaches great importance to protecting and promoting the rights of children, which is both smart economics and a moral obligation”, Ambassador Lodhi commented after the election and added that Pakistan was one of the co-initiators of the 1990 World Summit for Children, which led to the adoption of the landmark Conventions on Rights of Child. “As a member of the UNICEF Executive Board, Pakistan reaffirms its commitment to implement the ambitious SDG targets on improving child health and education, addressing malnutrition, ending violence against children, eradicating poverty and reducing inequality among children”, Dr. Lodhi remarked.