Islamabad, Pakistan, 13 August 2013 - Ban ki-moon Secretary-General's remarks at inauguration of Centre for International Peace and Stability
May ya haan aakar bahut khush hoon! [I am so happy to be here.]
It is a great honour and privilege for me on the occasion of my visit to Pakistan to participate in the inauguration ceremony for this Centre for International Peace and Stability – and it is a privilege to do so on the eve of your country’s Independence Day tomorrow.
I sense great confidence and hope here today.
But the feeling that overwhelms me is gratitude: gratitude as the United Nations Secretary-General and gratitude as a global citizen for what Pakistan and her people have been doing for international peace and security.
More than 100 countries contribute troops and police for United Nations peacekeeping missions. Pakistan is number one.
It is impossible to speak about the history of United Nations peacekeeping without highlighting such contributions of Pakistan. I thank you very much.
Today, more than 8,000 of Pakistan’s finest soldiers, men and women, serve in our complex and challenging missions – from Darfur to Haiti to Liberia… from the Western Sahara to the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Nearly one out of ten UN peacekeepers around the world hail from Pakistan.
And in the Ivory Coast, United Nations troops from more than 50 countries are led by Pakistani Force Commander, General Iqbal Asi. And you have five more generals working in different missions.
Pakistan has matched its leadership on the ground with leadership at United Nations Headquarters.
As President of the Security Council earlier this year, Pakistan has spearheaded an important debate on multi-dimensional peacekeeping operations. This led to the adoption of one of the most significant and unique peacekeeping operations of the United Nations which is called the (Force) Intervention Brigade.
Pakistan’s engagement has been crucial in addressing vital peacekeeping issues across the spectrum and across time.
Your country’s long history with United Nations [peacekeeping] began more than half a century ago when the first Pakistani troops deployed in faraway Congo, Africa.
Year in and year out, Pakistan has remained one of the largest contributors.
That commitment to global peace has come at a heavy price.
We will never forget and we will forever remember the noble sacrifice of the 136 Pakistani military, police and civilian personnel who lost their lives while serving under the United Nations flag. This includes 24 Pakistani peacekeepers who perished in Mogadishu two decades ago in the most deadly day in the history of United Nations peacekeeping.
As the Commander of UN Forces in Somalia later said, “many are alive today because of the willingness and skill of the Pakistani soldiers in [the] most difficult and dangerous combat circumstances.”
As we look forward, let us honour these fallen heroes, their country and their cause: Pakistan and peace.
The great Pakistani poet-philosopher Allama Iqbal once wrote: “The ultimate aim…is not to see something but to be something.”
This Centre demonstrates Pakistan’s determination to be a force for peace by drawing on its experiences, sharing its knowledge and deepening its contribution.
Training is a strategic investment in peacekeeping and here you will build the skills in preparing peacekeepers to take on a new generation of challenges.
Peacekeepers today face increasingly volatile threats. Those bent on an ideology of destruction are better equipped and willing to use brutal forces and brutal tactics.
Small groups are better able to inflict large-scale damage. An incident in one part of the world can pose risks for operations in another.
The United Nations is rising to these challenges – through more dynamic mandates ... integrated military and political efforts ... assistance in the reform of national rule of law institutions ... and the use of new technologies to help in better implementing our mandates and to provide better security for our troops.
Let me be clear that these new tools – such as unmanned unarmed aerial vehicles – are for information purposes only. They are essentially flying cameras.
But armed unmanned aerial vehicles are a different matter.
As I have often and consistently said, the use of armed drones, like any other weapon, should be subject to long-standing rules of international law, including international humanitarian law. This is the very clear position of the United Nations. Every effort should be made to avoid mistakes and civilian casualties.
I also deeply appreciate this Centre’s focus on conflict prevention – which is also a high priority of the United Nations.
We are reinvigorating the United Nations’ use of preventive diplomacy and mediation. We can now deploy mediation specialists within 72 hours to any part of the world wherever and whenever we have symptoms of crisis. We have 15 field-based political and peace-building missions.
We are working to strengthen electoral assistance and support civil societies so that agreements reflect the will of the people. And we are putting a focus on the need to include women into key positions in peace processes.
Unfortunately, there are places where efforts continue to come up short. In Syria, international, regional and domestic deadlock has denied a negotiated solution to a tragic civil war that has already killed more than 100,000 people and generated instability across the region.
In the absence of the political solution, the United Nations is mobilizing all necessary resources through humanitarian agencies, working together with the Member States and humanitarian civil organizations to provide necessary humanitarian assistance to those refugees and to those internally displace people, inside and outside Syria.
I once again call on all the parties and the Security Council to act now and end the bloodshed.
I know this Centre will focus on gaining deeper understanding of the threats to peace and the sources of instability. I applaud your efforts to establish a Department of Peace and promote peace education. Around the world – we must do more to take on the drivers of conflict, including oppression, exclusion and inequality.
The first step is by simply recognizing that security and development should go hand in hand. In order to achieve lasting stability, people need schools for their children … they need food on their tables … and they need to have hope in their lives.
When there is no development peace cannot be sustainable. When there is no peace and security you cannot engage and promote development for their people. Therefore these should go hand in hand.
This message was reinforced for the first time when I travelled together with the President of the World Bank, Dr. Jim Young Kim, to the Democratic Republic of the Congo last May.
Yet every day around the world, resources are drained on weapons that should never be used for conflicts that should never be fought. This must change.
Budget priorities should reflect people’s priorities: education and energy, empowerment and good jobs. Human rights and human dignity. Reaching out and building bridges with one’s neighbours.
We must strive to overcome short-term crises of security by putting in place the long-term foundations of peace through sustainable development.
This is the pathway to achieving the dream of your country’s great founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah: “peace within and peace without”.
Earlier this year, many friends of Pakistan gathered at the United Nations headquarters to mark 50 years of Pakistan’s participation in peacekeeping.
We were joined by an outstanding Pakistani officer, Shazadi Gulfam, the first-ever recipient of the International Female Police Peacekeeper of the Year award.
She said something that has stayed with me long.
“Working as a peacekeeper,” she said, “made me realize that human suffering has no language, caste or creed. It can be felt across human hearts and minds even if they do not speak the same language or share the same religion. This experience,” she said, “helped me immensely in my national duties as well.”
What a wonderful testament to the mission of peacekeeping and the mandate of this Centre.
They remind us that we share a common fate. By helping others, we help ourselves. By building peace in one corner of the world, we nurture it in another. And by keeping the peace, we keep alive the goals and ideals of the United Nations.
Thank you for your commitment to this cause.
I look forward to an ever stronger partnership with Pakistan as we pursue our shared goals of peace, security and stability for the world’s peoples.
For Reference click hereUN USG Visit to CIPS
The efforts and contribution in imparting pre-induction training to all cadres of UN Peacekeepers together with a PhD course in Peace and Conflict Studies under one roof is the commendable work of the CIPS/NUST.
Speech by the President. Mamnoon Hussain, the President of Pakistan at Inaugural Session of International Seminar on Peace & Conflict Studies
23-24 Oct 2014
Rector NUST Engineer Muhammad Asghar, Foreign and national delegates, Dear Students,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Please accept my gratitude for inviting me to the International Seminar on Peace and Conflict resolution as
the chief guest. It is indeed a matter of singular honour for me to be among the galaxy of national and international
scholars of peace and conflict resolution. I am grateful to the delegates who have travelled all the way from different
parts of the world to participate in this seminar. I hope your stay at Islamabad proves to be enjoyable and rewarding.
It was a much needed seminar in the perspective of security situation that our motherland is facing. We are faced
with a nameless, faceless, stateless enemy determined to destabilize our country politically, economically and militarily.
The enemy is determined to influence the events in the region and wants to occupy the driving seat. Unstable Pakistan
suits the ambitions of the invisible stakeholder. Flight of capital, ambition to control our nuclear assets, weaken
our institutions, control our economy and the sea-lanes is its desire.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Pakistan is faced with numerous problems due to the mischief of this enemy but the good thing is that we
are aware now more than ever before of the designs of our foes. Our invisible enemy has done us tremendous damage
over the decades. A covert enemy is many times more dangerous than the overt one, and we have to beware of
both. The covert enemy is extremely smart, intelligent, resourceful and influential. It leaves no traces behind. All the
traces lead to our own people. The faces, language and the techniques are indigenous. Only the agenda is foreign. The
friendly enemy provides mission, technical and financial assistance. If the invisible hand stops interfering in our part of
the world, we will have instant peace and stability over here. Our cricket stadiums will also be hosting Australian and British teams. Foreign investors would compete for investment in this country. Energy crisis can be overcome and the industry can be rebuilt. But all this will be possible when security situation improves.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Our culture and religion are both targeted viciously. Mosques, schools, libraries and business centres are being
attacked regularly. It is an attempt to cripple our economy, psyche and morale. No doubt, the challenge is massive, yet
so is our resolve to bear it with fortitude and patience. Despite odds we not unnerved and beg for Allah’s Mercy and
help. Allah’s help can save us, make us steadfast in this hour of trial. We need to keep our nerves. It is the test of our national integration and depth as a Muslim State. If we stand this test the enemy will shatter otherwise we will diminish.
Stakes are high for the enemy as well as us. We must bear it with patience. This state has already touched its lowest ebb. Now is the time to emerge out of this pit.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Our hostile neighbours are also watching and actively following the political and security developments in
Pakistan. Our Message to our neighbours is that unstable Pakistan is in nobody’s interest. United we stand, divided
we fall. If Pakistan sinks, it will not sink alone. Then we will sink together, we and our neighbours in each other’s embrace. Lives of a billion + people of the region are at stake. My appeal to our neighbours and the friends is that ‘LIVE
AND LET LIVE’. If we perish, you will perish with us. We are your neighbours and nobody can change the neighbours.
What the West has learnt after 200 years of wars is ‘cooperation instead of competition’. With neighbours, friendly
relations are always a better and mutually beneficial choice. It is a win-win situation for all. There are no losers and all
are gainers. That will be a more advisable course for all. If our neighbours force us to the path of conflict, then we have
no choice but to respond and respond, we will Inshallah with all sinews of war as ordained by Almighty Allah. If our
neighbours opt for peace, they will find us cooperative and forthcoming. Let us make our region the abode of peace,
prosperity and well-being.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I do hope this two-day conference will analyse and discuss the security challenges facing Pakistan in entirely. I
would be waiting for the outcomes and recommendations of this direly important seminar. In the end, I once again thank
all the delegates for their participation in this important event. I hope you return to your homes with good memories
of your visit to Pakistan. I also congratulate Rector NUST and organizers of this seminar for holding this seminar at CIPS.
Have a good day. Thank you very much.