UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has formalised diplomatic ties with six island nations as it gears up for election to a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council next week.

“In elections, every vote is crucial,” emphasised a senior diplomat from Pakistan’s UN Mission, highlighting the significance of these alliances by stressing that “each vote holds equal weight”.

The Caribbean island of Saint Lucia is the latest on the list, followed by St. Kitts and Nevis, the Marshall Islands, the Commonwealth of Dominica, the Dominican Republic, and the Republic of Kiribati. Some of these nations are part of the West Indies Cricket Association, and Pakistan has strong cricket ties with them.

Ambassador Munir Akram, Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, and his counterpart from Saint Lucia, Ambassador Menissa Rambally, signed the joint communiqué on behalf of their respective countries in New York on Tuesday.

Speaking on the occasion, Ambassador Akram said both Pakistan and St. Lucia had been cooperating at multilateral forums, including the Commonwealth, and stated that the establishment of formal relations would serve as the basis to expand bilateral ties.

Ambassador Rambally pointed out that former West Indies cricketer Darren Sammy, who hails from St. Lucia, is also an honorary Pakistani citizen, “who always speaks highly of Pakistan and the hospitality of its people”.

Pakistan is aiming to join the UN Security Council for the eighth time on June 6, representing the Asia-Pacific group within the United Nations.

“Pakistan’s election to the Security Council as a non-permanent member for the term 2025-26 would provide an opportunity to promote international and regional peace and stability,” Ambassador Akram said.

Pakistan has also made significant contributions to peacekeeping operations under the United Nations.

Pakistan has participated in 46 UN peacekeeping missions across 29 countries. As of 2023, 168 Pakistani peacekeepers have lost their lives during UN missions since 1948.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2024

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