Abdullah Hussain Haroon. – File Photo by APP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been re-elected as member of UNESCO Executive Board with a clean slate.

Pakistan secured 156 out of 186 votes. Five countries abstained while twenty-five votes were declared invalid.

No vote was cast against Pakistan, a press release from Pakistan embassy in Paris said on Thursday.

The other countries elected from Asia-Pacific group are Indonesia, Thailand, Korea, Papua New Guinea and Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s re-election to the membership of UNESCO Executive Board is being seen as historic because it took 50 more votes than the number of votes it secured during its last election in the year 2007.

It is the highest number of votes Pakistan has secured since 1999. The increase in popularity of Pakistan in UNESCO ranks is being seen as an acknowledgement of the country’s principled and strong stand on various issues.

This year Pakistan was able to secure Arab votes because of its active and effective role on the question of admission of Palestine to the UNESCO.

The effective representation of Pakistan by Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, the chairperson of UNESCO Programmes and External Relations Committee, played an important role in securing higher position in terms of votes.

The Embassy of Pakistan in Paris also undertook an extensive lobbying campaign before the elections.

Pakistan’s re-election to the Executive Board with overwhelming support coupled with its recent election to UN Security Council as non-permanent member has enhanced its prestige and influence at International fora and has added to the strength to its voice among the comity of Nations.

It is also an acknowledgement of Pakistan’s principled stand on international issues. These are few of the fruits of democracy at home.

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