UNICEF executive director acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts towards child rights, SDGs

FM Qureshi, German counterpart discuss bilateral, regional issues

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ISLAMABAD, Executive Director of United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Catherine Russell on Monday acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts for realization of child rights and the progress towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi here at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, she appreciated the response of the Government of Pakistan in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UNICEF official, who is on her maiden foreign visit after assuming office, affirmed continued collaboration with Pakistan on ensuring child rights and sustainable development agenda in line with the government’s priorities and UNICEF’s mandate.

She also expressed gratitude for Pakistan’s support to UNICEF in facilitating its humanitarian operations in Afghanistan.

UNICEF executive director acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts towards child rights, SDGs

FM Qureshi congratulated Ms. Russell on her appointment and expressed the hope that collaboration between Pakistan and UNICEF would further strengthen during her tenure.

He outlined the government’s commitment to the promotion and protection of the rights of children and recalled the proactive role played by Pakistan internationally in furthering this cause.

The foreign minister appreciated the vital work being carried out by UNICEF, both globally and in Pakistan, for the realization of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially those related to children.

He shared the steps taken domestically to strengthen the protection and welfare framework for women and children in the country such as the Ehsaas program and Naya Pakistan Qaumi Sehat Card.

He highlighted that Pakistan’s COVID-19 response was fully inclusive covering its citizens and refugees alike.

Qureshi emphasized that despite progress over the years, children remained vulnerable across the globe particularly in places of protracted conflicts and foreign occupation such as in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). Later on, Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Germany Annalena Baerbock on Monday exchanged views on the bilateral relations as well as important regional issues.

Foreign minister Qureshi, during a telephonic call, said that Germany was a valued, longstanding partner of Pakistan.

Pakistan was committed to further enhancing bilateral relations in all dimensions, particularly in the fields of trade and investment, energy, climate change, radicalization etc, he added.

Discussing Afghanistan, the foreign minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve in supporting the international community in its efforts to strengthen peace and stability in Afghanistan.

He also highlighted Pakistan’s role in evacuation operations from Afghanistan.

FM Qureshi, German counterpart discusses bilateral, regional issues.

The foreign minister informed that Pakistan had so far facilitated over 90,000 evacuations.

The urgent need was to avert a humanitarian crisis and economic meltdown in Afghanistan, which would adversely impact stability in the region and beyond, he stressed.

The two foreign ministers exchanged views on the situation in Ukraine.

Foreign minister Qureshi also briefed his German counterpart on the grave human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), being committed by India after its illegal, unilateral action of 5 August 2019.

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock appreciated Pakistan’s assistance in its evacuation operations from Afghanistan and hoped for Pakistan’s continued support in this regard.

The foreign minister invited the German foreign minister to visit Pakistan at the earliest convenience, adding that her visit would be helpful in preparing for the Prime Minister’s visit to Germany.

He also congratulated his German counterpart on recently assuming her office.

Pakistan and Germany have maintained a good trajectory of bilateral relations and remain committed to further enhance our cooperation. The two countries celebrated 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations in 2021.

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