Noon briefing by Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General.
– Burkina Faso
– South Sudan
The Secretary-General is wrapping up his three-day visit to Pakistan just now, after a day in which he visited the Kartarpur Corridor, which allows Sikhs to travel between nearby holy sites on either side of the India-Pakistan border.
The Secretary-General visited a gurdwara, or Sikh Temple, in the Pakistani town of Kartarpur and said he was honoured to visit the Kartarpur Corridor between the countries, which he called “a corridor of hope.”
He told press after his visit, “When we see so many parts of the world fighting in the name of religion, it’s necessary to say that religions unite us for peace and the best symbol is this shrine.”
Earlier, the Secretary-General met with polio workers as he visited a kindergarten school in Lahore during the first nationwide polio campaign of the year. He gave three students the polio vaccine. He said he appealed to all leaders, including religious and community leaders, to fully support the Government of Pakistan, and other governments around the world, to make sure that we will be able to fully eradicate polio.
He tweeted, “Important gains have been made, but we need a concerted push to eradicate this awful disease.”
The Secretary-General spoke at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, LUMS, this morning, saying that, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, he wants to reach out and hear from youth. He said that with the UN’s 75th anniversary, we want to make the voices of young people count in the ways that policies are defined and actions are implemented, and he listened to the students gathered at the University.
The Secretary-General will be back in New York tomorrow afternoon.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Spokesman said the Secretary-General had been following closely the talks between the United States and the Taliban about a significant reduction of violence in Afghanistan aimed at opening the way for intra-Afghan peace negotiations.
During his visit to Islamabad, he expressed his sincere wishes that such talks are successful and lead to an Afghan-led peace process. He reiterated the United Nations’ readiness to provide any assistance that the parties may require.