Pakistan Elected to UNESCO’s Executive Board

Paris: November 11, 2015: Pakistan has been elected as  member of UNESCO Executive Board here this evening.

[info]Out of total of 183 votes Pakistan secured 135 votes.[/info] 

The Victory is seen as a recognition by the World of the principled stand taken by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Government on various International issues.
The Embassy of Pakistan, Paris undertook an extensive lobbying campaign for this election. As result of its election to UNESCO Executive Board member, Pakistan will get unique and exclusive opportunities to influence its policies towards Educational, Cultural and Social uplift, Safety of Journalists and Freedom of Expression around the Globe.

All Member Countries to Contribute Towards future UNESCO Agenda of Social Development

Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Trainings MR. Mohammad Baleegh ur Rehman has asked UNESCO to ensure that an effective oversight is kept on those countries which are to contribute towards financing of 2030 Education Agenda Framework for Action. He said this while making a statement at UNESCO forum of the said agenda. He said that all members being the inhabitants of planet earth have embarked on an ambitious and visionary journey of hope, aspirations and good wishes, which is expected to change the world for better. He said that most important among all goals is to ensure equitable quality Education and promotion of lifelong learning opportunities.

He acknowledged that he goal is ambitious which talks of opportunities for learning, equity, quality and inclusiveness. In short, it talks of providing a balanced, a level playing field to all children and humans, at least in educating them, in equipping them with tool of knowledge and skills, enabling them to lead a better life and stay protected from menaces of extremism, crimes, poverty and other evils, he further said. He pointed out that Pakistan as a member state and as Chair of E-9 countries, has played an active role in finalizing EDUCATION 2030 – FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION. This framework is a forward looking and pragmatic document and do-able plan, he said.

He hoped and expected that while United Nations and UNESCO have an effective oversight on governments around the globe in seeing to its true implementation, an effective oversight is also kept on those countries who are to contribute as all of us know that without that adequate financing, it would not be possible to achieve the goals, unless Overseas Development Assistance, as envisaged and designed is realized.

EDUCATION 2030 – FRAMEWORK FOR ACTION is new UNESCO agenda for social development.

Earlier, he had a meeting with Director General UNESCO Irina Bokova. Ambassador of Pakistan to France Mr. Ghalib Iqbal was also present during the meeting.

Sustainable Development Goals 2030 are Pakistan’s Top Priority

[quote style=”1″]Education is at the top of these goals as being perused by us at national level, Mr. Baligh ur Rehman[/quote]

Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Trainings Mr. Baligh ur Rehman has said that Pakistan stands fully committed to the targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 of UNESCO so much so that we have declared and adopted these goals as our national development goals 2030.

[quote style=”1″]Provincial governments have been asked since 2013-14 to spend at least 25% of their budgets on education and that the Federal Government has increased its spending on education almost up to 50% from previous year.[/quote]

Education is at the top of these goals as being perused by us at national level, he remarked. He unequivocally declared that Pakistan strongly supports continued efforts of UNESCO in critically vital and important social sectors including education, culture and science. He paid glowing tributes to the UNESCO for shaping and finalizing education agenda for SDGs 2030. He further stated that provincial governments have been asked since 2013-14 to spend at least 25% of their budgets on education and that the Federal Government has increased its spending on education almost up to 50% from previous year. He reminded that Pakistan by donating US$ 10 Million to create UNESCO Malala Fund has contributed towards cause of girl’s education. He also pointed out that ending extremism has been one of the top four priorities of the government and that extremists and terrorists are losing while Malala mind-set in wining. He was making Pakistan’s National Statements at 38th Session of General Conference of UNESCO here this morning. Following is the full text of Pakistan’s National Statement as delivered on the floor of UNESCO at 38th Sessions of General Conference:
[quote style=”1″]It is indeed a privilege and a great honour to contribute to the discussion at the 38th session of the General Conference.[/quote]

While UNESCO celebrates its 70th anniversary, Pakistan admires, acknowledges and strongly supports the continued effort of UNESCO in the critically vital important sectors of education, culture and science, UNESCO’s role in shaping up and finalizing the education agenda for SDGs 2030 is truly commendable. A dynamic and strong organization has to be ever-evolving and should be reforming itself from within.
Pakistan wants to see UNESCO grow stronger and more effective. After finalizing the education agenda and adopting framework for action for SDGs 2030, now UNESCO has to prove its relevance and effectiveness through demonstrating results in its strategic areas of intervention, by not only keeping an oversight and mapping the progress towards achieving the relevant goals but has to be very effective in ensuring “financing for development” and O.D.A. targets, without which all of us know that it will remain a shattered dream.

Sustainable Development Goals 2030 are human centric targets. They talk of every child, every human being and our planet earth, without any discrimination. Pakistan fully stands committed to these goals so much so that we have declared and adopted these goals as our national development goals 2030. We have established cells at Foreign Office, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education for SDGs which are fully functional now while remaining relevant Ministries are in the process to do the same. Our vision, strategy and plans are being aligned with or around these ambitious goals.
The current federal and provincial governments of Pakistan inherited huge problems in education with millions of children who are out of school, high dropout rate, gender disparity and low literacy rate. Within first year of the governments i.e. in 2013-2014 we saw that all the provincial government were spending around quarter of their entire budgets, yes, around 25% towards education while Federal Government revised its spending by almost 50% than previous year. The results were impressive. The number of out of school children dropped by 10%, net enrolment went up by 7% literacy rate went up by 3.5%.
Honourable Director General in her opening address made an appeal for advancing education of every child especially girls. Girl child education is very close to our hearts. Pakistan has seen those terrible times when schools especially girl schools were being blown up by terrorists. All of us know the story of Malala Yousafzai, a noble laureate now, is a towering figure and is recognized throughout the globe as icon for education especially girls education. Pakistan by donating US$ 10 million has helped create a UNESCO MALALA FUND to be utilized globally for the cause of girls education that all nations should however small your contribution is, but it should be there. All of us must be supportive of the right cause.
Here, I must also share with you that beside education, ending extremism has been one of the top four priorities of the government. Now, alhumdulillah, after impressive ongoing military operation, legislation and other measures, the extremist elements have either been taken out or are on the run. Incidents of terrorism and bomb blasts have been reduced to almost zero. The areas where schools were being blown up or evacuated is now witnessing that new schools are being built.
Extremists and terrorists have lost and Malala mind-set has won. Yesterday I witnessed the impressive ceremony for the award of UNESCO AVICENNA PRIZE FOR ETHICS IN SCIENCE. I congratulate UNESCO for duly recognizing and highlighting importance of ethics in science which is much needed. I would also like to thank the government of Islamic Republic of Iran for co-sponsoring the prize. Here I would like to congratulate the winner of the prize, DR. ZABTA KHAN SHINWARI who is an accomplished Pakistani scientist, for making us all proud of him and his achievements which are now being recognized globally.
I would also like to draw to attention to the International Convention (1970) on the protection of cultural heritage, and many of our cultural heritage items have been illegally sold abroad.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, in the end, let me emphasize that the very purpose of this august gathering is to streamline international cooperation, bring about solidarity, promote tolerance and understand and respect others’ point of view, to share good practices and synergies.
[quote style=”1″]These goals of human development cannot be achieved, even if a single nation, or country or a human being is left behind. No one should be allowed to stay behind for lack of resources or bad governance or anything else.Let us stand united for a common goal of a better future, a better world.[/quote]

Pakistan’s Martyrs hononured at Arc de Triomphe


[textblock style=”2″]It was for the first time that this historic monument became host to honor the Pakistan’s martyrs on War Against Terrorism.[/textblock]

Paris; October 5, 2015: An emotional crowd of school children, Pakistani community residing in France, members of French community and a vast majority of tourists gathered this evening to honor the Pakistan’s martyrs of War on Terror in an impressive ceremony organized at Arc de Triomphe. It was built by Napoleon to honor the French Soldiers fighting for the supremacy of the French Empire, and is located at the center of a dodecagonal configuration of twelve radiating avenues. It was for the first time that this historic monument became host to honor the Pakistan’s martyrs on War Against Terrorism.

The Ambassador of Pakistan to France Mr. Ghalib Iqbal laid the wreath to mark the tribute to the martyrs who laid their life for the peace of world. The ceremony marked the end of 50th Defence Day celebrations in France.

Accompanied by the French Veterans, a large gathering marched towards the venue preceded by Pakistan, France, Joint Staff and Services flags. Amid heavy rain and wind, the crowd displayed great enthusiasm. Children and women waving flags of Pakistan and France welcomed the Ambassador and the French General of Guard Ceremony at the venue. A smartly turned out French military band played to mark the beginning of the ceremony. A veteran officer, laid wreath on the grave of Unknown Soldier to pay homage to French Martyrs.

[quote style=”1″ ]Despite being a victim of Terror, Pakistan will continue its War against Terror with the help and support of friends like France.[/quote]

The selection of French national monument to honor Pakistan’s martyrs signifies the commitment of Pakistan and France to the cause of peace and freedom of the world. Military band played the National Anthems of Pakistan and France as the Ambassador rekindled the Eternal Flame at the grave of Unknown Soldier. While recording his impressions in Visitors’ Book, the Ambassador wrote that despite being a victim of Terror, Pakistan will continue its War against Terror with the help and support of friends like France.


French Businessmen Asked to Invest in Pakistan

[quote style=”1″ author=”Author”] Pakistan offers wonderful opportunities for French investors. Pakistan is a very good destination for those who want to make profits through business[/quote]

Lyon (France); September 29, 2015: Ambassador of Pakistan to France, Mr. Ghalib Iqbal has asked French Businessmen to invest in Pakistan. He was addressing French Businessmen at Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry, this afternoon. Lyon is the Business hub in the south of France. The Ambassador said that Pakistan offers wonderful opportunities for French investors. He stated that Pakistan is a very good destination for those who want to make profits through business. Admitting that there were a few security issues in Pakistan, he said that these were basically the issues of perception. He emphasized that perception cannot be changed without actually witnessing the reality. He invited Lyon businessmen to visit Pakistan in order to explore the investment and business opportunities with potential counterparts. For this purpose he announced that the Government of Pakistan could organize a visit of a delegation of French Businessmen to Pakistan so that they could see the actual state of affairs with their own eyes. This would also give them the opportunity to meet with potential business partners in Pakistan.

[textblock style=”1″]The annual trade volume between Pakistan and France (around 1.5 Billion US$) has the potential to grow by 300% over the next three years.[/textblock]

The Ambassador said that the annual trade volume between Pakistan and France (around 1.5 Billion US$) has the potential to grow by 300% over the next three years. He pointed out areas of investment and trade between the two countries such as energy, agriculture, mining and minerals, automotive parts, textiles, fisheries, infrastructure and chemicals and pharmaceuticals. He encouraged French businessmen to explore business options in Pakistan, since Pakistan offers a favorable business environment, which is backed by the full support of the present government. The representatives of French companies, Alstom, Schneider Electric, Vinci and Sunberg, which are already operating in Pakistan, also spoke to the participants in order to share their experiences of doing business in Pakistan. They said that working in Pakistan was extremely profitable and safe and that French businesses should take advantage of this opportunity.


Jinnah Trophy – Cricket Tournament

Paris; September 27, 2015: In collaboration with France Cricket, the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris organized a cricket tournament. Paris University Cricket Club won the trophy. The Ambassador of Pakistan to France, Mr. Ghalib Iqal was joined by the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to France and Indian Deputy Head of Mission in Paris to give away Jinnah Trophy to the winning team.
[info]At this occasion the people chanted the slogans of Pakistan Zindabad and Jinnah Zindabad[/info]

Among the slogans, the Ambassador announced that the winners will be sent on a one week visit to Islamabad and given opportunity to meet the president of Pakistan. The Ambassador also announced that Holding of Jinnah Championship Trophy will now be a regular feature of France Cricket and that the winner team of next year will be given an opportunity to visit Deosai Planes and stay at a nice place, apart from their one week stay at a five-star hotel in Islamabad. The Ambassador further said that the tournament will remain an event of France Cricket and the Jinnah Trophy will become a symbol of Pak-French Friendship.
This final match was played at France Cricket Stadium of Dreux, which is a small town outside Paris. The mayor of dreux was also present there. In his address he thanked the ambassador for holding this tournament and said that it will help popularize cricket in France. France Cricket is official governing body of cricket in France. The Jinnah Championship Trophy tournament was organized under the auspices of France Cricket.

[info]The event was on officially recognized schedule of the ICC.[/info]

Sixteen best teams of Division I and II of France Cricket participated in the event. Northern Cricket and Paris University Cricket made it to the final and the later won. The teams which consist of players from all over France, include many players of South Asian origins. Large number of cricket lovers watched the matches.

50th Defence Day Reception

The Ambassador of Pakistan to France Mr. Ghalib Iqbal has said that the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan are fully capable of defending their country against any aggression. He was speaking at the 50th Defence Day of Pakistan to commemorate the victory of Pakistan against India in 1965 War. He said that the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan have proved that they are invincible and that no external or internal power can inflict any harm upon it. He further said that today, in the same spirit, our Armed Forces backed by the people, are engaged in a war against terrorism which is dangerous and deceptive, but with courage, determination and unity we have broken the back-bone of the terrorists.

The ceremony was held in a simple but dignified manner here in the Embassy of Pakistan this evening. Floral wreaths were laid ceremoniously to commemorate the martyrs of 1965 war, war on terror and French Wars of Liberty, separately. French General d’Armee Burno Dary, General de Division Stephane OVAERE and Air Marshal Muhammad Salman laid wreaths. The National Anthems of both the countries were played. The Ambassador, French Army representatives and Defence officers of the Mission cut the cake to mark the beginning of the ceremony. Army and Naval Attache Captain Rashid Mehmood read out a special message from President of Pakistan for the occasion, while Technical Attache, Group Captain Amir Bashir read out the message of the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Defence Attache, Air Commodore Fauad Hatmi also spoke on the occasion. He said that war against terrorism is today’s War and we are fighting it and we will fight with the same resolve which we demonstrated throughout our entire history.
The day commemorates the sacrifices offered by the people and Armed Forces of Pakistan against Indian aggression in 1965. It symbolises the courage of the people of Pakistan expressed in their fight against cowardly aggression of our Eastern neighbour. It stands for professional excellence of our Armed Forces exhibited during seventeen days war, which was imposed on us by a hostile enemy. The day reminds us of our responsibilities as a Nation towards not only the defense but prosperity of our people and the country.
Apart from French Secretary Defense and National Secretary M. Louis Gautier, the officers and staff of the Embassy, diplomats and Defence Attaches of different friendly countries based in Paris, French War veterans, intellectuals, journalists and members of Pakistani community attended.

Pakistan Fashion Show in Paris

Paris, September 16, 2015: The Ambassador of Pakistan to France Mr. Ghalib Iqbal has said that Pakistani Fashion Industry has registered a growth of 79% recently which is one of the largest industrial growth rates in the world. He was speaking here this morning at a fashion show of high end Pakistani textile products. The Fashion Show was organized as part of activities of 37th edition of Texworld being held in Paris. Apart from the Ambassador, the President of the exhibition Mr. Michal Scherppe also spoke. He welcomed and appreciated the participation of Pakistan in the Fashion Show organized as part of the event. The Fashion Show presented the designs created by Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture and Sarena. The colourful and highly imaginative designs were appreciated by the spectators. The Ambassador announced that a more elaborate Fashion Show will be held in Paris next year to present high end Pakistani textile designs.
Earlier, the Ambassador visited the stalls set up by Pakistani exporters. This year 35 Pakistani companies have setup their stalls in the Texworld, out of which 12 have been sponsored by TDAP. The rest are participating of their own. A total of 945 companies from 27 different countries are participating in the Fair. The Fair is held twice a year in Paris. During his visit to Pakistani stalls the Ambassador discussed with the exhibitors prospects of business development in France and assured them of continuation of full support and cooperation from the Mission. The exhibitors told the Ambassador that the response of the buyers was encouraging.

Paris air show

Three fighter aircraft JF-17 Thunder with pilots, technicians and engineers of the Air Force of Pakistan (FAP) arrived today at Le Bourget Paris, to attend the Air Show and the Le Bourget 2015. The 51th Fair organized by the French Association of Aerospace Industries will take place from 15 to 21 Jun, 2015, at Le Bourget Exhibition Centre. One of JF-Thunder fighter aircraft of Pakistan Air Force will conduct a demonstration flight every day, while another will be part of the static display showing the latest weapons technology. The spectacular acrobatic flight of JF-17 Thunder is considered the key to the show lounge, and will provide an excellent opportunity to showcase its advanced capabilities, also allowing future customers to evaluate its immense potential. The Paris Air Show and Space at Le Bourget meet 2,215 exhibitors from 44 countries worldwide and the Air Force of Pakistan is proud to participate. It should be noted that 150 aircraft representing the major aeronautical industries will be present at the show. The first four days of the Show will be reserved for trade visitors, followed by three open days for the general public.

14th August 2015

Minister of State of Religious Affairs and Inter Faith Harmony Pir Muhammad Amin ul Hasnat Shah has said that the Independence Day this year has brought the message of success and hope for the nation. He was addressing the Officers and Staff of Embassy of Pakistan, Paris and members of Pakistani community living in Paris on the occasion of Flag hoisting ceremony on 69th Independence Day of Pakistan. Ambassador of Pakistan in France Mr. Ghalib Iqbal hoisted National Flag to mark the occasion.
The Minister of State in his address highlighted sacrifices made by the people for achieving the Independence sixty eight years ago. He said that the people and government of Pakistan and all its national institutions have worked hard to put the country back on way to peace and progress. Addressing the members of Pakistani community present here, he said that overseas Pakistani are real asset of the country and that they are playing vital role in the up left of its economy. Ambassador Ghalib Iqbal in his address impressed upon the members of Pakistani community to merge into the political and social life of host country. He asked them to learn local language in order to make inroads into French politics and media. He pointed out that since last Independence Day, country has made remarkable progress towards stronger economy, stability and better law and order. In this respect, he said civilian and military institutions have worked hard in total harmony to achieve the goals of elimination of terrorism and restoration of economy. Earlier, he hoisted the National Flag as National Anthem was played.
Army and Naval Attache Captain Rashid Mehmood read out the message from the President and Second Secretary Mr. Ammar Amin read out the message from the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the Independence Day. Children in colourful dresses holding National Flags raised slogans amid milli songs being played. The officers and staff of the Embassy, their families and the members of Pakistani community attended the ceremony.
The ceremony began with recitation from Holy Quran.