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UN restores Islamabad’s status as family station for its international staff

Updated June 21, 2019

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The International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations on Thursday announced that it shall be discontinuing the non-family status of Islamabad station. — AFP/File
The International Civil Service Commission of the United Nations on Thursday announced that it shall be discontinuing the non-family status of Islamabad station. — AFP/File

The International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) of the United Nations on Thursday announced that it will be restoring Islamabad’s status as a family station, effectively allowing UN personnel to travel with their families to Pakistan.

A letter from the office of the ICSC chairperson, Larbi Djacta, notifying the development, states: "I, under the delegated authority of the Commission, discontinued the non-family status of the duty station Islamabad, Pakistan effective 14 June 2019."

The letter states that the decision was made following a security evaluation of the capital city and on the recommendation made by the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations Department for Safety and Security.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi welcomed the decision in a statement on Twitter.

"Good news! Based on comprehensive security review, UN restores Islamabad’s status as family station for its international staff. I warmly welcome the decision," he wrote.

Maleeha Lodhi, Pakistan's Ambassador at the UN, responded to Qureshi's tweet with: "This is a positive development on which we all worked together."

According to the ISCS website, "a non-family duty station" is one where the United Nations Department of Safety and Security decides that "for reasons of safety and security, all eligible dependants are restricted from being present at the duty station for a period of six months or longer".

"Family restrictions for reasons of safety and security and designation of non-family duty stations are normally reviewed twice a year [...] non-family designation may be introduced or lifted outside the scheduled time if the security situation so warrants."