UN, New York, May 04, 2015
Highlighting the uneven effectiveness of regional organisations in the world, Pakistan told the United Nations that some key regions have yet to harness the promise that regional cooperation offers.
In an oblique reference to South Asia, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi stated that “ cooperative frameworks are not in evidence” in some regions, where disputes persist along with an absence of mechanisms for conflict prevention and resolution.
In her statement to the General Assembly as part of the debate on ‘Strengthening cooperation between the UN and regional organizations’ , she also urged the United Nations to expand cooperation with organizations like South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and enhance their ability to achieve common goals of development and eradication of poverty.
Ambassador Lodhi said that these organizations have the potential to forge partnerships for economic cooperation, regional connectivity, trade, sustainable development, environmental protection and disaster risk reduction. “They can do more in pursuit of these goals, including in partnership with the United Nations, its regional commissions, funds and programmes”, she added.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to peaceful resolution of disputes, and promotion of regional cooperation including through the UN, her statement urged the UN to play a role in preventing and resolving conflicts across the world, especially in regions where unresolved disputes have hobbled prospects for regional cooperation.
According to the statement the most vital area for cooperation between regional organizations and the UN in coming years would be the Post 2015 Development Agenda, which marks a paradigm shift in vision, strategy and programmes to eradicate poverty, transform economies, address inequalities within and among nations and preserve our planet.
Ambassador Lodhi's statement stressed that “A new global polarity between fragility and resilience has joined the more enduring one between poverty and resilience.” And this, her statement added, requires a more holistic and cross cutting approach across different but linked sectors”.
In her statement, Ambassador Lodhi said that regional and sub-regional organizations can and should foster partnerships with the UN to advance implementation of the Post 2105 development agenda. She added, “This requires prioritization and aligning of respective strategies through regional agreements and arrangements. Technical assistance, exchange of information and best practices, as well as lessons learnt can all play a vital role and should to be supported”.
Her statement to the UNGA recalled that the recent earthquakes and floods in South and West Asia had underscored the magnitude of the task of coping with natural disasters and mitigating the human tragedies caused by them. But they also highlighted disaster risk reduction as a critical area that required more cooperation and coordination within SAARC and the ECO.
Pakistan conveyed profound condolences to the government and people of Nepal for the tragic loss of life in the recent earthquake. “This tragedy serves as another reminder of the need to build synergies between regional and international capacities for a safer seismic future”, the statement read.
In the statement Pakistan urged the UN to further strengthen arrangements under the Sendai Framework of Disaster Risk Reduction to generate hope for a safer planet even as the international community moved towards adoption of the post 2015 Development Agenda.