Pakistan’s Diplomatic Stance: A Look Ahead to UNGA Address


Pakistan's interim PM scheduled to address UN General Assembly session on  September 22 – FO | Arab News

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar speaks during a media briefing at the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad on August 31, 2023. (Photo courtesy: Government of Pakistan/File)

By Ayesha Khan   22 September 2023

Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar departed for New York on Sunday with the purpose of representing Pakistan at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 22.

This mission is noteworthy as it marks the potential distinction of Prime Minister Kakar being the first interim leader to represent Pakistan at the UN General Assembly. A press release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office delineates the key objectives of his visit. During his five-day sojourn, Prime Minister Kakar is scheduled to actively participate in the UNGA sessions. Concurrently, he will engage in substantive discussions and consultations with prominent global leaders on the sidelines of the UNGA proceedings. In addition to his participation in the UNGA sessions, the Prime Minister will also take part in a pivotal conference centered on the discourse of climate change, thereby reaffirming Pakistan’s resolute commitment to addressing urgent environmental challenges. The press release underscores the Prime Minister’s aspiration to promote international dialogue through interactions with the global media. Furthermore, Prime Minister Kakar’s itinerary encompasses visits to influential think tanks located in the United States, facilitating the exchange of ideas and insights on matters of profound global importance.

Prime Minister Kakar’s speech at the UNGA will navigate through the turbulent waters of global politics. He is expected to emphasize the escalating great power competition and its detrimental effects on the developing world. With the resurgence of Cold War dynamics, the developing nations find themselves at the crossroads of power plays. Kakar will likely stress the importance of cooperation between major powers in addressing pressing global challenges, including health crises, climate change, and the pursuit of clean energy solutions. Pakistan, like many other nations, relies on a harmonious international landscape to overcome these shared issues.

The Ukraine crisis, which has sent shockwaves across the globe, is another critical focal point. Prime Minister Kakar will likely discuss the crisis’s far-reaching implications, particularly on food and energy security, which disproportionately affect the Global South and developing countries. The erosion of multilateralism and the declining effectiveness of the UN in conflict resolution will also be on his agenda. Pakistan’s commitment to upholding the international order based on the UN Charter, respecting territorial integrity, and championing multilateralism will be passionately articulated.

Kakar will not shy away from addressing the growing tide of Islamophobia and Xenophobia worldwide. In an age where hate speech and discrimination persist, he will stress the importance of fostering understanding and inclusivity.

In the realm of environmental concerns, the adverse impact of climate change will take center stage. Prime Minister Kakar will underline the responsibility of major global players to assist countries like Pakistan, which are among the most affected by climate change. This includes not only financial aid but also the transfer of green technologies and sustainable practices.

Kakar’s speech will also delve into the complex regional dynamics of South Asia. As one of the least integrated regions in the world, South Asia continues to grapple with unsettled disputes and simmering tensions. The rise of Hindutva-driven politics in India, the saffronization of state institutions, and rapid modernization of the Indian Armed Forces all have ramifications for regional stability. The Prime Minister is expected to express concerns over Indian unilateralism, particularly in the context of Jammu and Kashmir, including the abrogation of Article 370 and defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

Furthermore, he will highlight the dangers of the deliberate spread of falsehoods and false narratives to stoke division and animosity among different religious groups and neighboring nations. The propensity for false flag operations will also be addressed, with Pakistan advocating for peaceful dialogue as the way forward. Prime Minister Kakar is likely to extend an olive branch by reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment to a serious and sustained dialogue with India, grounded in the principle of mutual respect.

In the context of Afghanistan, the Prime Minister will underscore the advantages of peace in the region for Pakistan and regional connectivity. Pakistan’s support for international concerns, such as inclusivity, girls’ education, and preventing the use of Afghan soil for terrorist activities, will also find mention.

The potential rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran is an important development for peace and stability in the Middle East. Kakar is expected to commend this diplomatic initiative and its positive implications for the region.

Prime Minister Kakar will address the increasing global food and energy insecurities, recognizing the pressing need for collective action to mitigate these challenges. Pakistan’s significant contributions to UN peacekeeping operations will be acknowledged, underlining the country’s commitment to maintaining international peace and security.

On the matter of UN Security Council reform, Kakar is likely to express support for efforts to make the institution more representative. However, he will caution against creating new centers of privilege, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach that addresses the concerns of all member states.

In conclusion, as Prime Minister Kakar assumes the role of Pakistan’s representative at the UNGA, his speech will serve as a diplomatic compass, guiding Pakistan through the complex maze of global and regional issues. It is a chance for Pakistan to reaffirm its commitment to international cooperation, multilateralism, and peace while raising its voice on critical matters that affect not only Pakistan but the world at large. The world will be listening attentively to this diplomatic overture, hoping for a message of unity, understanding, and a commitment to a better future for all nations.