By Dr Shahid Qureshi : –
(United Nations- New York) NAWAZ SHARIF, Prime Minister of Pakistan, said that extreme weather was disrupting world economies, particularly in developing countries. 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.
Pakistan had launched its “Vision 2025”, which put people first, he said. In the coming decade, it would develop human and social capital through investment in education, health and gender parity; stimulate sustained economic growth; prioritize energy, water and food security; modernize the public sector; and encourage sector-led entrepreneurship. His Government would also pursue a policy of constructive engagement and remain engaged in the dialogue process needed to settle disputes and build economic and trade relations.
More than six decades ago the United Nations had passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir, he said. However, the people there were still waiting for the fulfilment of that promise. Many generations of Kashmiris had lived under occupation, accompanied by violence and abuse of their fundamental rights. It was the responsibility of the international community to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, he underscored, reaffirming Pakistan’s readiness to work for a resolution of this problem through negotiations.
Afghanistan was going through momentous security, political and economic transitions, he continued, voicing hope that these landmark processes would result in a stronger, more stable and unified country. Condemning terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, he called on the United Nations to facilitate a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian issue.
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.
Full Transcript of Speech
HE Nawaz Sharif Prime Minister of Pakistan
Session of the UN General Assembly
26 September 2014
I congratulate Mr. Sam Kutesa over his election as the President of this Assembly. I assure him that his
priorities – revitalization of the General Assembly, sustainable development, climate change and peaceful
settlement of disputes – are also our priorities. Our delegation will extend its support to him, to achieve
I also pay tribute to Mr. John Ashe for his effective leadership of the past session of the General
We commend the Secretary General’s efforts to find diplomatic solutions to complex challenges to
international peace and security. We appreciate his leadership in hosting a Climate Summit.
Extreme weather patterns are disrupting world economies: In Pakistan, we have directly experienced such
a calamity only recently. The monsoon floods in Pakistan have killed hundreds of people, displaced
millions, destroyed and damaged homes, livelihoods, infrastructure, cattle and crops. We are mobilizing
all our resources and ingenuity to provide relief and to ensure recovery.
The international community should intensify its efforts to move from awareness to commitments to
actions on climate change, which is playing havoc with the economies, particularly in the developing
This is a defining moment for the United Nations, as it embarks on the task of transforming the lives of
billions of people, by investing in sustainable development in the next fifteen years.
We are setting ourselves a vital target of eradicating poverty by 2030. To do that, we need to go beyond
the Millennium Development Goals. We need a new approach to eliminate conflict and violence and
reduce inequality within and among nations. Only then, we will be able to ensure healthy lives, empower
women and girls, improve quality of education, create jobs and guarantee supply of affordable energy.
The time is ripe for such ambition and action. The sustainable development goals crafted so far, must be
woven in an overarching framework. We must prioritize them. First things should come first. Peacel
stability, and inclusive economic growth – all comefirst.
At the national level, we have launched our Vision 2025, which puts people first. This is inspired by our
founding father, Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of a welfare state, based on the principles
of justice, equity and responsibility.
In the coming decade, we will develop human and social capital through investment in education, health
and gender parity; stimulate sustained economic growth; prioritize energy, water and food security;
modernize public sector, and encourage private sector-led entrepreneurship.
We have determined that regional peace and security, political stability in the country, the rule of law and
social justice are absolutely crucial for the realization of these goals. Above all, we will continue to work
for the promotion and protection of human rights.
Energy is key to economic development. Pakistan co-chairs the Group of Friends of UN Secretary
General’s initiative on Sustainable Energy for All. The objectives of this initiative are also our national
It is my government’s aspiration and effort to build a peaceful neighborhood by pursuing a policy of
In South Asia, our people have missed opportunities for prosperity because of unresolved conflicts. We
have a choice today: continue with the status quo or to seize the moment to resolve all outstanding issues
and free up our shared energies for cooperation. To take this course of high statesmanship, we need more,
not less, dialogue and diplomacy. We need to respect each other’s rights and sensibilities. We must have
relationships based on equality, mutual respect and transparency.
We were disappointed at the cancellation of the Foreign Secretary-level talks. The world community, too,
rightly saw it as another missed opportunity.
Pakistan is convinced that we must remain engaged in the dialogue process for settling disputes and
building economic and trade relations. Let us not ignore the dividends of peace.
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.
Many generations of Kashmiris have lived their lives under occupation, accompanied by violence and
abuse of their fundamental rights. Kashmiri women, in particular, have undergone immense suffering and
For decades, attempts have been made, both under UN auspices and bilaterally in the spirit of the Lahore
Declaration, to resolve this dispute.
The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved. This is the responsibility of the international
community. 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.
Pakistan is ready to work for resolution of this problem through negotiations. Our support and advocacy
of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is our historic commitment and a
duty; as a party to the Kashmir dispute.
Afghanistan is going through momentous security, political and economic transitions. As always, Pakistan
stands in solidarity with the fraternal Afghan people. I congratulate the people of Afghanistan over the
successful completion of the electoral process and offer our warm felicitations and good wishes to the
new Afghan leadership.
It is our earnest hope that these landmark processes would culminate in the emergence of a stronger, more
stable, and unified Afghanistan. We also hope that the process of inclusive Afghan-led and Afghan-owned
reconciliation would move forward, contributing to greater harmony, stability and prosperity in
Pakistan remains committed to forging a deeper bilateral relationship with Afghanistan on the basis of
equal security and shared prosperity. Our two nations confront common challenges, which call for greater
cooperation and understanding between our two nations.
Afghanistan should become a pivot of strategic cooperation, rather than of rivalry. In the past year and a
half, we have consciously reached out to Afghanistan to address difficult issues and build on
convergences. We have made headway in this effort.
Pakistan continues to host, for the past 30 years, millions of Afghan refugees on its soil. This is the largest
refugee caseload in the world. The international community must maintain and enhance support for the
repatriation of these refugees and provide for their reintegration in Afghanistan.
To stem drug trafficking, it is important to pursue a comprehensive approach to eliminate poppy
cultivation, reinforce border security, and interdict criminals. Pakistan is mainly a victim of drugs transit
and trafficking. Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan and other states in the region, together with the UN,
should step up their efforts to fight this menace.
Pakistan has launched a massive operation to eliminate terrorism. Complementary counter-terrorism
measures on the Afghan side of the border are essential to achieve optimal results.
This past summer, the people of Gaza were subjected to mass atrocities by Israel. We condemned the
indiscriminate killings of civilians – which amounted to genocide. From this platform, I once again
convey Pakistan’s condolences and sympathies to the people of Palestine over their continuing plight.
We welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel. But next steps must also be taken. The blockade of
Gaza must be lifted, Palestinian prisoners freed and illegal settlements halted. The United Nations should
facilitate a just and lasting solution of the Palestinian issue, based on the relevant UN resolutions.
We call on all parties in Syria to renounce military and militant means and hold dialogue to restore peace
and stability in their historic land.
The emergence of new militant entities in the Middle East once again illustrate that terrorism is a global
threat. This primitive force in Iraq and Syria is an aberration, which has no sanction of any religion. It
must be countered with unified and resolute will.
We condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. We are fighting terrorism planted on
Pakistan’s soil. Our valiant soldiers are laying down their lives to take out terrorists and tear down their
evil networks. The entire nation is behind them.
In the past thirteen years, as a frontline state, we have given enormous sacrifices in blood and resources.
Over 50,000 people have lost their lives and thousands have suffered serious injuries. Our economy has
lost hundreds of billions of dollars in direct costs and denied investment opportunities.
Yet, in this fight, each time a soldier falls, another takes his place proudly. It is the resolve of our nation to
fight this scourge to the finish.
At the same time, we have made a plan of action for the relief and rehabilitation of nearly one million
internally dislocated persons. This includes a strategy to prevent return and resurgence of militancy and
creation of a safe environment for the local population.
It is important to counter the narrative of extremists. Inter-racial tensions and defamation of religions
provide fertile ground for conflict. Constructive and serious dialogue among religions is essential to
promote understanding, tolerance and harmony. We remain committed to the UN-led efforts to support
Pakistan’s strong commitment to peacekeeping is rooted in our foreign policy and in our belief that every
nation should contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security. Inspired by this ideal,
Pakistan has maintained high levels of participation in the UN peacekeeping, becoming the largest troop
contributing country. We are contributing more than 1,100 troops to the Central African Republic, despite
the dire situation there.
As a responsible nuclear weapon state, we will continue to support the objectives of nuclear disarmament
and non-proliferation; and pursue a policy of nuclear restraint and credible minimum deterrence.
Pakistan is not participating in any arms race in the region. Yet we cannot be oblivious to the emerging
security scenarios and buildup of armaments. We too, have the obligation to maintain a robust and reliable
I would reiterate the need for an inter-linked mechanism for pursuing nuclear restraint, conventional
equilibrium and conflict resolution. To promote stability, we are prepared to explore new Confidence
Pakistan has maintained the highest standards of nuclear safety and security. At the last Summit at The
Hague that I attended, Pakistan’s recent nuclear measures, especially the establishment of a Centre of
Excellence, were appreciated.
Pakistan is a State with advanced nuclear technology, with an experience of more than 40 years. We are a
mainstream partner in the international non-proliferation regime. Pakistan also has a stringent national
export control system that is fully harmonized with international export control regimes. Though a nonmember,
we are abiding by their guidelines.
Pakistan ought to be a part of these export control regimes, especially the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Pakistan also qualifies for full access to civil nuclear technology, to overcome its energy shortages and
spur economic growth.
The ongoing kiN reform must be comprehensive. We support a reform of the Security Council that would
reflect the interests of all members’ states – small, medium-sized and large – and not the ambitions of a
few. There should be no new permanent seats in the Council. This will be contrary to the democratic
character of this world body. We want the Council to become more representative, equitable, accountable
We meet here today on the cusp of a new era for the international community. Never before has the
United Nations embraced such lofty goals to banish poverty, stimulate development, protect environment
and foster peace, as it will during this session. The future of our planet hinges on our decisions. Let us
deliver them with full responsibility and wisdom. Pakistan will assist this Assembly and the United
Nations as a whole, to make this world a better place for all mankind.
I thank you.