(Islamabad 24 October 2011): “The mission of the United Nations is to build a better world, to leave no one behind, and to stand for the poorest and most vulnerable in the name of global peace and social justice,” said United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, on UN Day 2011.
In Pakistan, United Nations works together in solidarity with the people of Pakistan through 19 UN agencies and offices and with 3,000 national staff, addressing both development and humanitarian issues.
The United Nations programmes in Pakistan support national efforts to end poverty, address socio-economic challenges and achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Promotion of human rights and equality cuts across all UN programmes. The UN works closely with the Government, civil society organizations and humanitarian partners on the ground to help save lives affected by natural disasters, to assist those men, women, boys and girls displaced, and to equip and empower them to prepare for future calamities, including support to Afghan refugees. All UN work from relief to recovery and development is done alongside the people of Pakistan. National organizations, both governmental and non governmental, implement many UN supported programmes, with strong ownership of the Pakistani people.
“UN day is an appropriate occasion to pay tribute to the people of Pakistan for their longstanding partnership with the United Nations in peacekeeping, development and the recent emergency relief efforts,” said Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, “Pakistan has contributed significantly to peacekeeping efforts around the world and is an active participant in many key areas of work of the United Nations, including its strong leadership in UN reform both globally and in Pakistan. Pakistan’s election to the UN Security Council is a testimony to the country’s important role in the international stage.” Pakkala said.
For half a century, Pakistan has made invaluable contributions to maintaining international peace and security through deploying UN peacekeepers. More than 130,000 Pakistani peacekeepers have served worldwide for the cause of helping humanity.
Pakistan plays a crucial role in South Asia to facilitate regional cooperation for economic growth, peace and coexistence.
In recent years, the people of Pakistan have endured mega disasters from the 2005 earthquake to the devastating 2010 floods. Again, the 2011 monsoon rains triggered flooding affecting 5.4 million people and compounding existing vulnerabilities due to last year’s devastating floods that affected more than 18 million people across Pakistan.
On this UN day the United Nations renews its commitment to the people of Pakistan to work together in responding to crisis, support recovery from crises and rebuild communities, as well as support equitable and inclusive development. The United Nations calls for the global community to extend necessary support to the Pakistan Floods 2011 Rapid Response Plan that seeks US$357 million to enable the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to support the Government in addressing emergency needs of food, water and sanitation, health care and shelter for up to 5.4 million people. The United Nations estimates 1.4 million women and girls of childbearing age in the 8 most severely affected districts in Sindh would require immediate access to lifesaving health services as well as psycho-social and protection support. The Rapid Response Plan is currently funded at only US$70 million. This funding gap will have to be filled urgently.
To date, the UN and its humanitarian partners have distributed nearly 321,000 tents and tarpaulins and approximately 300,000 sets of household goods to flood affected people. More than 1.2 million people have received medicines and medical care, and 1 million people have received food. The UN also provided close to 600,000 people with access to safe drinking water.
“For the past 64 years and for years to come the United Nations remains steadfast in our commitment to be of service to the people of Pakistan in development, relief and recovery efforts. The 19 UN organizations working in Pakistan represent an enormous wealth of technical expertise and global good practices that is at the disposal of the people of Pakistan.” said Timo Pakkala, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan.