UNITED NATIONS     -    Outgoing Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi on Thursday left New York for home after making a farewell call on the President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani Muhammad-Bande, during which she underscored the need for the world community to play its role in settling the decades-old Kashmir dispute.

“It’s a pre-requisite for peace in the region,” the Pakistani envoy told the 193-member Assembly President in her last call on top UN officials as she wrapped up her assignment here, diplomatic sources quoted her as stating.

During the meeting, she said that the world was witnessing a growing lack of trust in institutions of global governance, including the UN, which are seen by many as detached and removed from the lives of ordinary people, and unresponsive to their aspirations. That perception, she said, was developing when international cooperation was most needed to address some of our most pressing challenges.  In this context, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi urged the United Nations to live up to the principles and purposes of its Charter, respect sovereign equality of States and work towards peaceful settlement of disputes.

She also stressed the need for upholding all fundamental rights, including the right to self-determination. Maleeha Lodhi pointed out that these abiding ideals were on test across many parts of the world, including in Palestine and Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, noting that it was the 85th day of the brutal lockdown since India’s illegal annexation of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5th.

Human rights violations were growing in the iron curtain that has descended on Occupied Kashmir, she told the General Assembly President.  Maleeha Lodhi also conveyed Pakistan’s continued support to the priorities of President for the current session that included eradication of poverty, hunger and enhanced opportunities for quality education for all.  The President of the General Assembly appreciated the work done by Maleeha Lodhi as the Permanent Representative of Pakistan and congratulated her on completion of a very successful tenure, according to the sources. He also shared Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi’s assessment and said that it was unfortunate that de-facto situations were being turned into de-jure realities because some refuse to implement the internationally agreed frameworks.  Muhammad-Band said that international community needs to push countries to address the issues of legality in the inter-State relations.

The President also expressed hope that multilateralism will survive the current push against it, as countries would not want to be left alone, and lose their relevance.

Maleeha Lodhi served as Pakistan’s chief delegate for four and a half years.