Distinguished speakers laud Pakistani women’s role at UN, calling them ‘role model

In his opening remarks, the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Munir Akram highlighted the achievements of Pakistani women in all facets of public life and said that women have held prominent positions

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New York: On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Mission organized a virtual side-event to highlight the achievements of Pakistani women at the United Nations with the view to project a soft image of Pakistan. Ambassador Munir Akram, the Permanent Representative of Pakistan Mission to the UN, delivered opening and concluding remarks and also moderated the event, says a press release received here today from New York. In his opening remarks, the Permanent Representative, Ambassador Munir Akram highlighted the achievements of Pakistani women in all facets of public life and said that women have held prominent positions, including as Prime Minister, Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Speaker of National Assembly, judge of Supreme Court of Pakistan, Chief Justice of High Court, and important portfolios in the Cabinet, as well as served as federal and provincial secretaries, district commissioners and district police officers, generals, fighter pilots, and UN Peacekeepers. He informed the audience that currently, 22.64% of Pakistan’s diplomats were women, including several were serving Ambassadors. He underlined that at the multilateral fora, dedicated and committed Pakistani women had always kept Pakistan’s flag high. At the United Nations, Pakistani women were working in different entities at the UN Headquarters and in field missions with distinction. Pakistani Women Peacekeepers were providing assistance in conflict and post-conflict situations, and inspiring women around the globe. Pakistan became the first country to achieve the goal of deployment of 15% female staff officers as nearly 450 women have served in UN missions. It also achieved 50 percent female participation across our community engagement platoons in UN Peacekeeping Missions. To highlight some of the achievements of Pakistani women, Ambassador further stated that in 2021, Ms. Helena Iqbal from Pakistan Police has been appointed as police commissioner for the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS). Earlier, Ms. Shahzadi Gulfam of Pakistan Police received the first-ever International Female Police Peacekeeper Award in 2011. He underscored that these women were symbols of courage, selfless commitment, and professional excellence, which were the hallmark of Pakistani women. Under-Secretary-General, Ms. Melissa Fleming who is heading the Department of Global Communication was the guest of honor. In her keynote address, she lauded the achievements and role of Pakistani women at the United Nations. She underlined that it was important to celebrate women and their role every day through advocating for their rights. She emphasized that the pandemic, climate change, and conflict have heightened the vulnerabilities which women face in the world and cited the example of conflict in Ukraine. She underscored that at the UN, with Secretary General’s commitment to gender parity, 50% women at the senior management position had been achieved in 2021. While narrating her own story, she stated that she started her career as a journalist and after several challenging assignments reached the UN to head the Department of Global Communication. She commended the role of men in her life who championed women’s empowerment and supported her. Ms. Fleming thanked Ambassador Akram and Pakistan Mission for inviting us to celebrate together with the women working for and associated with the United Nations, including the Pakistani women who served in various roles around the world. She said that “as women, we can all use our empathy, our leadership, our power, for the health and the well-being of people and our planet”. The special segment of Peacekeeping highlighted the contribution of women in UN peacekeeping. In her keynote speech, Major General Maureen O’Brien, Deputy Military Advisor in the Office of Military Affairs, Department of Peace Operations shared her thoughts on behalf of women serving in peacekeeping operations in the United Nations.

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