UN Secretary General visits NUST; acknowledges Pakistan’s peacekeeping efforts

Islamabad February 18, 2020 (Mudasser Chudhary)– United Nations Secretary General H.E. Antonio Guterres has said that Pakistan is one of the most consistent and reliable contributors to peacekeeping efforts around the world. Since the first Pakistani deployment to Congo in 1960, Pakistan has contributed over 1,50,000 personnel to 41 peacekeeping missions in 23 countries, adding that 157 military, police and civilian personnel have paid the ultimate price while serving under the United Nations’ flag. The Secretary General made these remarks as he was addressing “Pakistan’s Peacekeeping Seminar & Photo Exhibition,” held at Centre for International Peace & Stability (CIPS) at the National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) here on Monday, February 17, 2020. He visited the university as part of his ongoing visit to Pakistan. He said that CIPS is one of the most important institutions in the world that support peacekeeping activities in an extremely competent and professional way. He maintained that institutions (like CIPS) are improving our knowledge and understanding of threats to peace and sources of instability, saying, “You are doing an important work in the service of peace!” He also expressed his confidence that students of NUST are making the most of their education by aligning their academic endeavours with the broader goals of sustainable and inclusive development, equal opportunities, environmental protection and social progress.

Earlier in his welcome address, Lt Gen Naweed Zaman, HI (M), (Retd), Rector NUST, thanked the esteemed guest for visiting the university, and sharing his vision for global peace and solidarity, justice and human rights. The Rector said that besides contributing to the national objective of making Pakistan a progressive and prosperous country among the comity of nations, the university’s academic and research programmes are also supporting 4 core purposes of the United Nations, adding that NUST is the pioneering university in Pakistan, which is engaged with the UN Sustainable Goals 2030 with all its research aligned to these goals. Highlighting the contributions of CIPS, he said that the Centre trains all UN observers, and till date has trained more than 200 observers from 30 countries, in addition to training all Military / Police personnel going for stints under the UN peacekeeping missions.

The seminar was also addressed by Pakistan Army’s Director General Military Operations (DGMO), Maj Gen Nauman Zakria, HI (M), who enlightened the audience about “Pakistan’s Contributions in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operations,” and Lt Gen Maqsood Ahmed, HI (M), (Retd), who shared his thoughts on “Contemporary Challenges to Peacekeeping, Need for a Paradigm Shift to Action for Peacekeeping.” The seminar was followed by a photo exhibition, where pictures of Pakistani contingents from 1960 to date were displayed, including those of 157 martyrs who laid down their lives for global peacekeeping during deployment under the blue UN flag. Intellectual pursuits by CIPS faculty (CIPS Peacekeeping journals, magazines and books) were also displayed in the exhibition.