New York, 18 December 2021 (TDI): On 17 December 2021, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram, discussed the ongoing situation of Afghanistan in a virtual session of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

The topic of discussion of the virtual session was: “The Global Compact on Refugees Three Years On: Translating Cooperation into concrete Responses to Forced Displacement”.

Remarks of the Ambassador Munir Akram

The Pakistani diplomat painted the grey picture of humanity in Afghanistan due to ongoing humanitarian and economic chaos and urged the international community to step forward to address the current situation to combat the endless cycle of crisis.

While mentioning the present concentration of refugees in Pakistan for the longest period of 40 years, he said that Pakistan has already provided shelter to over 3.5 million Afghan refugees and will not be able to provide a home to more refugees.

He further said that to end the shadows of oppression, deprivation, and starvation, the International community needs to realize the urgency of odd hours in Afghanistan to prevent a massive outflow of Afghan refugees.

In his remarks, he said that Pakistan has always believed in maintaining peace and harmony within the region and beyond. He further mentioned that the role of Pakistan in the peace-making process has been inclusive.

The envoy also highlighted that Pakistan has adopted a consistent approach towards Afghan refugees by maintaining international and humanitarian standards.

Ambassador Akram also underscored that before and during the outbreak of the global pandemic, Pakistan has provided unhindered access to basic facilities to all refugees. In this regard, he said, states from all over the world supported Pakistan to maintain its standards of human rights.

Pakistani diplomat said: “The international community should introduce fully-funded repatriation programs for refugee-hosting countries and countries of origin; increase ODA (official development assistance) for countries of origin to enable them to receive returnees; invest in developing their infrastructure; introduce programs for creating livelihood opportunities; and lift sanctions for providing unhindered humanitarian assistance, as in the case of Afghanistan,” 

The hosting of the 17th Extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Council of Foreign Ministries by Pakistan on 19 December 2021, was also mentioned during the virtual session of UNHCR to address the ongoing humanitarian and economic crisis in Afghanistan.

In his remarks, the Pakistani envoy further said that if timely assistance is not granted to the Afghan masses, then the international community would have to host a massive outflow of refugees despite the other global and national challenges.