Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari reached New York early on Wednesday on a three-day official visit during which he will attend a global food security summit at the invitation of the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
According to the Foreign Office, the ministerial meeting on “Global Food Security Call to Action” would be held at the United Nations today (Wednesday). “The meeting will bring together a regionally diverse group of countries, including those most affected by food insecurity and those in a position to take action to address it,” it said in a statement issued ahead of the foreign minister’s trip. “Ministers will be invited to speak on humanitarian needs and longer-term development efforts required to save lives and build resilience for the future,” it added.
In addition to the global food security summit, said the Foreign Office, the foreign minister would also participate in an open debate of the U.N. Security Council on “Maintenance of International Peace and Security—Conflict and Food Security” on May 19 (Thursday). It said Bhutto-Zardari would highlight Pakistan’s perspective and policy priorities during both meetings.
The foreign minister is also scheduled to meet several foreign leaders on the sidelines of the summit, including bilateral talks with Blinken and interactions with the U.N. secretary-general.
“Pakistan will continue to play a proactive role in supporting international efforts to advance the shared objectives of a peaceful and stable world free of conflict, and poverty and hunger,” the Foreign Office added.
Upon his arrival to New York, Bhutto-Zardari was received by Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the U.N. Ambassador Munir Akram and Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S. Masood Khan. Government officials hope the visit would help Pakistan reverse the decline that Islamabad’s ties with Washington suffered under ousted prime minister Imran Khan. Since being removed as prime minister through a vote of no-confidence, Khan has accused the U.S. of funding a “foreign conspiracy” for his ouster; allegations that have been repeatedly denied by both the White House and the State Department.