Maleeha briefs new UN chief on situation in South Asia, Afghanistan

United Nations—Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Maleeha Lodhi, met UN Secretary General designate Antonio Guterres on Wednesday and briefed him on the situation in South Asia and Afghanistan. Guterres, who was elected as the new UN Chief on October 13, discussed varying options and challenges confronting the world, according to informed sources. The ambassador also congratulated him on behalf of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the PM’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaj Aziz. The UN Secretary General designate expressed deep admiration for Pakistan’s resilience, not just in hosting refugees, but also in confronting different challenges it faced over the years.
During his meeting with Lodhi, he recalled his six previous visits to Pakistan and the support and welcome he received as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, a post he held for 10 years. Guterres will formally take over the position of UN Secretary General on January 1, next year after Ban Ki-moon, completes his term at the end of this year.
The UN Secretary General designate pledged to act as an ‘honest broker’ after his appointment. “We must make sure that we are able to break this alliance between all those terrorist groups or violent extremists on one side and the expressions of populism and xenophobia on the other side,” he said and added, “These two reinforce each other, and we must be able to fight both of them with determination.”
Guterres, 67, was Prime Minister Portugal from 1995 to 2002. He entered politics in the year 1976 during Portugal’s first democratic election after five decades of dictatorship.—INP

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