UN to hold special meeting in Pakistan’s floods

UN to hold special meeting in Pakistan’s floods

Addressing a news conference in Islamabad the foreign minister said that senior representatives from different countries are participating in the meeting. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will also participate in the meeting.
He said that the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon will present his report in the meeting. Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who left for New York on Monday night, said he would present Pakistans viewpoints in wake of the devastating floods in Pakistan. He said, "The objective is to thank the international community for responding and helping the affected people." He will apprise the international community about the kind of challege Pakistan is facing and the magnitude and scale of the devastation caused by floods.
The Foreign Minister said this not a normal flood; it is an unprecedented flood and require unprecedented response from the international community.
He made it clear that the special meeting will be to express solidarity and support with Pakistan and not a pledging session. He, however, said the meeting would help strengthen hands of the UN, which has already launched an emergency appeal of 460 million dollars for relief related activities. The amount is meant to take care of needs of six to seven million people for three month and it would be reviewed after one month.
He said the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was optimistic that the international community will come up to our expectations and the world body would be able to achieve its target of mobilizing 460 million dollars.
The minister said for seeking assistance of world community, we are preparing for another forum like a donors conference at a later stage when the fuller picture becomes clear. He said the finance minister would also be engaging with the international institutions updating them on the damages to the national economy caused by floods.
He said at a high level meeting at Aiwan-e-Sadr a proposal was also floated to approach the world community for waiver of loans in view of the huge natural disaster and its impact on the countrys economy.
The foreign minister said he has written a letter to the OIC Secretary-General and his counterparts of the OIC member states proposing an extraordinary session of the OIC to consider the aftermath situation of the flood in Pakistan. He said that Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait are among the Islamic countries providing assistance to Pakistan to help cope with the situation arising out of floods.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said an extra-ordinary NATO session was held on the 13th of this month to discuss flood situation in Pakistan. According to the decision of the NATO session, a six-member team is now visiting Pakistan.
He said the team held a meeting with Additional Secretary Foreign Affairs Munawwar Bhatti to assess needs and to discuss for the establishment of an air bridge for relief goods to Pakistan.
To a question he confirmed that India has offered relief assistance to Pakistan, requesting the Government to indicate its priorities. Shah Mahmood Qureshi said he has conveyed Indian offer to the leadership which is giving consideration to the matter.
Replying to another question he said Japan has sent a team to Pakistan, which has held consultations at Foreign Office on immediate relief needs including helpcopters.
The Foreign Minister said responding positively to Pakistans request, the Chinese Government has agreed to take care of all needs of a population of twenty-seven thousand marooned north of Attaabad lake in Hunza.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said President Asif Ali Zardari will visit Russia to attend a quadrilateral meeting including Afghanistan, Russia, Pakistan and Tajekistan. He said keeping in view the flood situation in the country, it will be a short business like trip and the President will be there for only four hours.

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