Stories about United Nations

How Pakistan failed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

On November 20 1989, the ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ was adopted by the United Nations, leading to the day coming to signify ‘World Children’s Day’ across the globe. The convention binds together countries and communities, a testament and a promise which states that children have the right to survive, live and develop; should be protected from violence, abuse and exploitation; and reserve the right to fully participate in the community that they are a part of. Yet, after 30 years, there is a dire need to revisit those principles in Pakistan. Despite the fact that Pakistan is a signatory to the ‘Convention on ...

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The problem with Munir Akram’s UN appointment

While Munir Akram officially taking over as Pakistan’s ambassador to the United Nations (UN) on Friday did make headlines, a petition filed in the Sindh High Court against him did not, quietly slipping through the cracks. After Maleeha Lodhi announced her departure, the appointment of Akram was met with muted applause for several reasons. It was argued that Akram had already served as Pakistan’s permanent representative to the UN during Pervez Musharraf’s regime and that his return would only herald in more of the same polices. The bringing back of the old vanguard and a failure to bring something new ...

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The plight of the Uighurs

Whether you’re a Pakistani citizen living in Pakistan or in the diaspora, you must be familiar with the ongoing tussle between India and Pakistan over Kashmir. Just a few weeks ago, India decided to revoke Article 370, taking away the special status of the disputed land and of the people living in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK). After India’s actions in IoK, the Pakistan government and people decided to reach out to the international community for support, using various United Nations platforms to voice their concerns and holding local protests in order to bring attention to this issue. While, as a Pakistani, I empathise ...

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Maleeha Lodhi: Spilling tea with the architect of Pakistan’s diplomatic coup at the UN

On a bright Sunday morning, right after Pakistan managed to raise the Kashmir issue at a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) meeting – despite India throwing everything and the kitchen sink to stop it – we sat down for a conversation with UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi at her official residence on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. We unpacked how Pakistan managed to orchestrate the UNSC meeting after five decades, what’s next for Pakistan at the UN, and what a typical day in her life looks like during these extraordinary times. “The fact that the UNSC meeting took place showed that ...

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The deepening crisis: child rights in a negative society

On July 17th every year, we celebrate the ‘World Day on International Justice’. Over 120 countries adopted this statute at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Rome, creating a permanent international court to task criminals. The anniversary is for taking a day out to reflect on the successes and challenges of bringing justice and countering violence. The recent United Nations (UN) casualty report has greatly undermined the gravity of the deepening crisis clearly demonstrating undue favouritism to certain countries that have been accused of the violation of child rights. One of the biggest casualty counts is the Yemen crisis, led by Saudi Arabia ...

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The UN can only watch in silence, while the Uighur can only suffer in silence

At the edge of the desert in Xinjiang, China, hundreds of ethnic Uighurs are trapped inside an indoctrination program designed by the Chinese state to rip away their Muslim identity. Here, under the eyes of the Chinese surveillance state, they are trapped in a void brought upon by the world’s silence to their plight. For more than a thousand years, the Xinjiang area of China was the home of the Uighurs. A few decades ago, this area was populated almost exclusively by its members. Today, more than 50% of its population is Han Chinese. Now, this didn’t happen because the ...

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Carbon pricing: the solution to Pakistan’s smog and economic woes

Air pollution has been a growing concern for many in Pakistan. With rapid population growth and urbanisation, Pakistan is facing the worst air quality it has experienced since in its existence. AirVisual, an air quality monitor, ranks the major cities of Pakistan like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Peshawar among the most polluted cities in the world. Another major problem that has emerged in the past few years is smog, which is a result of extreme air pollution. Smog, quite literally, is formed when smoke merges with fog; a hazy, grey air which is produced when heat from the sunlight reacts with fine particles ...

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Pakistan’s wildlife: Going, going, gone!

As we go about our busy lives, completely dependent on fossil fuels from the vehicles that transport us to the houses we live in electrified by thermal power plants, we remain blissfully ignorant of the damage resource extraction and unchecked development has done to the flora and fauna of our planet. How conveniently we look the other way as yet another housing estate gobbles up even more rural land and old trees are cut down to make way for roads! Scientists have now rung the alarm bells that we humans are driving the sixth mass extinction on Earth. A new ...

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Why is the US making a mountain out of the Masood Azhar molehill?

The United States has introduced a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution to blacklist Masood Azhar as an international terrorist. Azhar is the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (banned in Pakistan since 2002) and has been blamed by India for masterminding February’s Pulwama incident, even though no evidence has been produced which links Azhar to the incident. China has refused to list Azhar as an international terrorist after careful consideration of the definition of international terrorism according to international law. China has made this position absolutely clear and as such, it would appear that the US is looking to transform the UNSC ...

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Mythbusting Pakistan: The reality of Asia’s most resilient nation

Whenever the Kashmir crisis re-enters international headlines, India’s perpetual narrative regarding the Pakistani state tends to get amplified outside of South Asia. Unfortunately, Pakistan typically does little to counter the propaganda in a point-for-point manner. Below are some frequently repeated but unsubstantiated and materially false accusations against Pakistan (almost all of which are Indian in origin), following explanations of the truth behind the matter. 1. “Pakistan funds terror organisations” Such accusations require lots of proof. When it comes to detailing such proof, Wikileaks is a good source. This is because Wikileaks has a well-documented record of exposing regimes which in fact do fund ...

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