World must not overlook people under occupation, says Pakistan’s envoy to UN

Maleeha Lodhi. (Photo courtesy: social media)
Updated 11 October 2018
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World must not overlook people under occupation, says Pakistan’s envoy to UN

  • Colonial and foreign occupation is a huge obstacle to economic and social development, says Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi
  • Prime Minister Imran Khan’s socioeconomic priorities are in sync with the 2030 global development agenda, asserts the Pakistani envoy

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has urged the international community to ensure that people suffering under colonial and foreign occupation are not left behind in the inclusive world envisioned in UN’s 2030 development agenda aimed at ending poverty, fighting inequalities and tackling climate change.

Speaking in the General Assembly’s Second Committee, which deals with economic and financial matters, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said that colonial and foreign occupation was a huge obstacle to economic and social development, and to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Let me underline Pakistan’s continued support to people living under colonial domination and foreign occupation,” she said in the Committee’s general debate.

“A people’s right of self-determination is a fundamental human right, enshrined in the UN Charter,” the Pakistani envoy said.

“As we envision an inclusive world in 2030: ensuring that no one is left behind, we must ensure that people under colonial and foreign occupation are not left behind either.”

Ambassador Lodhi also cited the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as a “shining example” of South cooperation, saying the mega project’s scale and scope was enormous, with huge economic and developmental benefits to the two countries, as well as to the region and beyond.

New Pakistan Government’s Priorities

In her speech, she highlighted the socio-economic priorities of the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government, saying they were in sync with the 2030 global development agenda.

These priorities include revitalizing the economy, uplifting the agriculture sector, providing sustainable and affordable energy, conservation, sustainable use of water resources, ensuring green growth, reform of the governance structure, enhancing accountability, and transformation of the health and education sectors.

“While domestic resource mobilization and greater self-reliance are at the heart of this effort,” Ambassador Lodhi stressed, “we believe an enabling international environment, greater access to financial resources and technological support remain critical to achieve our priorities.”

The challenges faced by multilateralism and rule-based cooperative arrangements can adversely affect the realization of development objectives that the international community has set for itself, she said.

On corruption and illicit financial flows, Ambassador Lodhi said that accountability and recovery of stolen assets was a corner stone of the agenda of Pakistan’s new government.

“We firmly believe that enhancing international cooperation is critical to combat illicit financial flows, especially for recovery of stolen assets”, she stressed.

Dr. Lodhi also underlined the importance attached by Pakistan on effective and efficient management of water resources. She said that as a water-stressed country Pakistan was aware of this emerging threat that can undermine its sustainable development gains, retard economic growth and push people back to poverty.

“We have recently adopted a National Water Policy, offering a comprehensive approach to water issues, which is focused on increasing water storage capacity through a number of large-scale projects,” Ambassador Lodhi said.

She cited the example of Diamer-Bhasha Dam, and said that once materialized this would serve as a major source for clean energy, drinking water and irrigation.


Pakistan plans to boost space program with UAE collaboration

Updated 59 min 47 sec ago
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Pakistan plans to boost space program with UAE collaboration

  • Pakistan in talks with the UAE for help in “satellite manufacturing and relevant applications”
  • Signed last year an agreement with China to send its first mission into space by 2022

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is exploring options to collaborate with the United Arab Emirates for its nascent space program, a senior official at Pakistan’s bureaucratic space agency said on Thursday, in joint ventures that could potentially boost the country’s socioeconomic development and national security.

Last year, Pakistan announced that it had signed an agreement with China to send the country’s first mission into space by 2022. 

“The UAE is one of our best friends in the Muslim world and collaboration in space-related activities will help both the Emirates and Pakistan,” Hassam Muhammad Khan, spokesman for the Pakistan Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco), told Arab News.

He said that space technology required “huge funds and special skills” and thus Pakistan was in talks with the UAE “in satellite manufacturing and relevant applications.” 

Khan said Pakistan was a strong believer in the peaceful use of outer space and wanted to use technology only for socioeconomic development and national security. 

“The UAE has its own strengths in space technology and we want to benefit from them,” he added.

Pakistan currently has four remote-sensing and communications satellites in total – two ground stations and two in orbit. In July last year, Pakistan launched two satellites with the help of China, enhancing its ability to predict and ascertain levels of precipitation, and runoff water, for a given area in the country.

Dr. Qamar ul Islam, the head of the Department of Space Science at the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, said Pakistan lacked satellite launch facilities and capabilities and thus had “to seek assistance of friendly countries.”

“The real issues Pakistan faces at the moment are lack of funding, but our collaboration with the UAE in the space sector can really prove beneficial for both countries,” he told Arab News. “It has become crucial for Pakistan to have a good presence in outer space to protect its sovereignty and ensure security.”

Pakistan participated in this year’s Global Space Congress held in Abu Dhabi on March 19 for the first time and shared the details about their satellite related projects with the audience. SUPARCO was representing Pakistan in this event in UAE where the secretary of SUPARCO Dr. Arif Ali said that the commission was in initial level talks with the UAE for potential collaboration in its space program.