Pakistan

Pakistan marks sixtieth anniversary of United Nations as massive relief operation continues

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(Islamabad, 23 October 2005): The 24 October sixtieth anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter in 1945 will be observed tomorrow in Pakistan, amid the largest-scale relief operations the Organization has ever undertaken in the country. President Pervez Musharraf and UN Resident Coordinator Jan Vandemoortele have contributed the following messages to mark the anniversary.

MESSAGE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN FOR UNITED NATIONS DAY, 24 OCTOBER 2005

As we mark the 60th Anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations on this day, the Government and people of Pakistan are faced with the stark challenge of providing succour to the millions of people who have been left homeless by the devastating earthquake of 8th October 2005. The magnitude of the destruction caused by this catastrophe is colossal. However, the positive and prompt response of the UN, the international community and the NGOs in supplementing our rescue and relief efforts have reinforced our belief in the spirit of global humanism.

We would like to express our gratitude to the UN for issuing the immediate Flash Appeal to the international community for providing urgent relief to the unfortunate victims of the earthquake. The people of Pakistan deeply appreciate the dedication shown by the UN agencies, relief workers and volunteers who responded to our immediate requirements.

We hope that the international community will pay greater attention to the more important and equally challenging task of rehabilitation and reconstruction. The United Nations-sponsored Ministerial meeting of donors in Geneva on the 26th October 2005 is the first but crucial step in meeting this challenge.

I would like to reiterate Pakistan's unflinching commitment to the objectives of the UN and assure the UN family in Pakistan our continued support.

MESSAGE OF UNITED NATIONS RESIDENT COORDINATOR JAN VANDEMOORTELE

On behalf of the United Nations System in Pakistan, I wish to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to the Government and people of Pakistan for the horrific trauma they have endured for the past fortnight.

The United Nations acted very quickly soon after the earthquake struck the country. UN agencies, the Government, donors, NGOs, international organisations and Pakistani and international military contingents quickly joined hands to carry out relief operations. Indeed, this cooperation is the largest ever undertaken between the UN System and the Government and people of Pakistan.

Close cooperation between the United Nations and Pakistan started when the country joined the World Organisation in 1947. Since then, Pakistan has been playing leading roles in various UN fora and peacekeeping operations. In fact, it was only in December last year that Pakistan completed its term as a non-permanent member of the Security Council for the sixth time. Pakistan is currently assuming the presidency of the Economic and Social Council. Pakistan ranks at the top in terms of countries that provide personnel to UN peacekeeping operations.

The magnitude of the humanitarian challenge caused by this disaster will require all of our collective and synchronised energies if we are to have any meaningful impact. As we observe the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations today, we reaffirm our commitment to providing relief, rehabilitation and long-term reconstruction to those suffered from the earthquake.

For further information, please contact Amanda Pitt, Public Information Officer: Tel. + 92 (0) 301 532 3985, or by e-mail at pitta@un.org; Stephanie Bunker, OCHA NY, +1 917 367 5126, mobile +1 917 892 1679; Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA Geneva, +41 22 917 2653, mobile +41 79 473 4570.

House No. 26, Street: 88, G-6/3, Islamabad, Telephone: 051-227.0610/282.1012, Fax: 227.1856
E-mail: unic@dsl.net.pk