NEW YORK - Pledging to promote Pakistan’s national interests at the United Nations, Munir Akram, the Pakistani Ambassador-designate to the United Nations (UN), has said that his mission is to help advance the legitimate struggle of people of the Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) for their right to self-determination.

“I am highly honoured to have been asked to represent Pakistan at the United Nations once again, and I am most grateful to Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and the Government of Pakistan for the confidence they have reposed in me,” Ambassador Akram said in his first statement after assumption of his office.

“At the UN,” he said, “My central endeavour would be to uphold the security and dignity of my country and to promote the legitimate struggle of people of Jammu and Kashmir for ‘Azadi’, while alerting the world to India’s threats against Pakistan.”

Referring to the threats to Pakistan emanating from the East and the West, he said challenges were always accompanied by opportunities.

Citing Prime Minister Khan’s address to the UN General Assembly, in which he had expressed Pakistan’s desire for peace with all its neighbours in order to realize its priority goal of economic and human development, Ambassador Akram said, “We are facilitating the peace process in Afghanistan and mediating reduction of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.”

He said, “Pakistan’s objectives at the United Nations encompass a number of important issues: building global and regional security and arms control; strengthening UN peacekeeping; countering Islamophobia; addressing climate change; promoting the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals); preventing cross border corruption and money laundering; ensuring equitable reform of the Security Council and strengthening the capacity of United Nations to fulfill its vital functions.”

Pakistan’s delegation in New York, Ambassador Akram said, would work with all friendly member states to promote those goals.

Expressing gratitude for the messages of felicitations from friends in Pakistan and the welcome extended to him by old friends at the UN, he pointed out he had a “young, capable and enthusiastic team” at the mission and the able support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments.

“Working together, we will, Insha Allah, promote Pakistan’s national interests at the United Nations and revive our country’s image and role as an influential member of the world body,” Ambassador Akram concluded.