UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrives in Pakistan

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrives in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: United Nations Secretary General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres on Sunday arrived in Islamabad to attend the International Conference on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees that is being organised by the Government of Pakistan and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Upon his arrival at the Nur Khan Airbase, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Munir Akram, and senior officers of the Foreign Office and the United Nations in Pakistan received him.
The two-day conference in Islamabad, starting on February 17, will be a recognition of Pakistan’s “tremendous generosity” in hosting millions of refugees from Afghanistan over four decades, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said during a regular noon briefing at the UN Headquarters in New York on Friday.
The conference will be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan, while various senior U.S. officials will also attend the conference.
The UN Secretary General will also inaugurate today a photography exhibition at the United Nations Peace Mission to praise Pakistan’s six decades of service for humanity.
The story began in 1960 with Pakistan deploying peacekeepers in Congo, and then to many other countries, including Somalia, Cambodia, Bosnia, in the following years.
During his maiden four-day official visit, the UNSG will also call on President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan. He will hold a separate meeting with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi. During these meetings, Pakistan’s perspective on Jammu and Kashmir dispute will be shared with the UN Secretary General.
The Secretary General’s other engagements include interactions with parliamentarians, media and youths. He will deliver special talks on themes of sustainable development, climate change and peacekeeping.
On Tuesday, he will visit Lahore where he will meet students and attend an event on Pakistan’s polio vaccination campaign. He will also travel to Kartarpur to visit the Sikh holy site of Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib.
Responding to a question, the spokesman said the UN chief will not be visiting the disputed Kashmir region during this trip. He is set to return to New York on Wednesday.
Earlier, on his way to Pakistan, the UN chief tweeted: “Pakistan is one of the most consistent and reliable contributors to the United Nation’s peacekeeping efforts around the world.”
Lauding Pakistan’s contribution to worldwide peacekeeping efforts, Antonio Guterres said he was visiting the country to express his gratitude to the people.

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