A top United Nations official has lauded Pakistan’s role at the UN, especially in advancing the world body’s core causes –from sustainable development to human rights for all.

"Ever since Pakistan joined the UN in 1947, the UN and Pakistan have enjoyed a close relationship," UN Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications Alison Smale said at a largely-attended reception hosted by Pakistan UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi at UN Headquarters in New York.

"We have been gratified again and again by the generosity shown by the Pakistani people towards the UN," she told a big gathering of heads of diplomatic missions accredited to the UN, senior UN officials, media representatives as well as members of the Pakistani diaspora.

Pakistan, Ms. Smale added, had served multiple terms in the Security Council — seven in total — and today it is one of the largest troop and police contributor to UN peacekeeping.

She said, "Its soldiers are risking their lives to advance the cause of peace, and we at the UN couldn’t be more thankful."

According to the latest figures, Pakistan contributes nearly 6,000 military and police personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Western Sahara.

More than 170,000 Pakistanis have served over the past decades in the UN flagship activity. One hundred and forty six Pakistani peacekeepers have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of world peace.

US Democratic Congresswoman Carolyn Malony, who was a special guest at the reception, paid tributes to Ambassador Lodhi’s work in promoting Pakistan’s goals at the UN.

Ms. Malony strongly advocated cultural exchanges between Pakistan and the United States to strengthen the ties between the two countries. She said that cultural diplomacy was an effective way to build understandings between peoples and nations.

Ambassador Lodhi welcomed the guests, saying the United Nations “embodies and represents the finest example of our shared humanity.”