New York

27 September 2019

Secretary-General's press encounter with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan

This very beautiful monument of a great artist, Amin Gulgee, will remain forever in the UN premises, in New York, and when we see those hands pointing to the sky, but also those hands united, they represent, I believe, a symbol of hope and a symbol of solidarity.
Having been High Commissioner for Refugees for ten years, I can testify that the people of Pakistan [are] a remarkable example of solidarity. For ten years, Pakistan had the largest numbers of refugees in the world, when I was High Commissioner, but before it was already happening and it went on afterwards. And those refugees were always accepted as brothers and sisters, with an enormous generosity, and with a dramatic impact in the economy, and the society and sometimes in the security of Pakistan itself.
It is also that example of solidarity we see with Pakistani peacekeepers all over the world. Sometimes sacrificing their lives for the protection of civilians in order to allow democracies to be consolidated, in order to allow peace processes to be successful, and in order to allow civilians to be protected against all kinds of risks and dangers promoted by armed groups, sometimes even by terrorist organizations.
This is the reason why we are very grateful for this monument and we believe this monument represents the very close cooperation between Pakistan and the United Nations.  And also, this symbol of solidarity that I always felt when visiting Pakistan is typical of the way that Pakistani people live and the Pakistani people share with all those that were received so generously in the country.