UNITED NATIONS   -    The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the economic arm of the United Nations, unanimously elected Pakistan’s Ambassador to UN, Maleeha Lodhi , as one of its four Vice Presidents at an election held on Thursday.

Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi’s election was by acclamation after her candidature was endorsed by the 54-member body.

She will now assume the Asia Pacific seat in the Bureau of ECOSOC, a principal organ of the UN mandated to deliberate on socio-economic and development agenda of the world body.  Norway’s Ambassador Mona Juul was elected ECOSOC’s President, also by acclamation. She replaces Rhonda King of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Other Vice President elected were Mher Margaryan (Armenia, representing Eastern European States) and Juan Sandoval Mendiolea (Mexico, representing Latin American and Caribbean States).

Election for a Vice-President from the African States will be held at a later date.

Speaking after the vote, Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told reporters that her election to such an important organ demonstrates the faith of international community in Pakistan and the competence of its diplomats.

“Pakistan”, she said, “has always engaged intensely and enthusiastically with economic and social development activities at the UN.”

Maleeha Lodhi said that Pakistan was fully engaged with the process of the UN Development System (UNDS) reform and played a leading role and reshaping the UN System to effectively respond to needs and challenges of the ambitious sustainable development agenda.

She informed ECOSOC that under her leadership, as a co-facilitator, the intergovernmental negotiation process to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) has been successfully concluded.

In her new position as the Vice President of ECOSOC, Maleeha Lodhi said that she would play an important role in shaping the development agenda of the UN and advance the interests of the developing countries and increase synergies between the General Assembly and ECOSOC.

“As Vice-President of the Council, I will continue to strive to build an atmosphere of mutual trust and partnerships in the spirit of multilateralism” she added.

Maleeha Lodhi also attributed her victory to the untiring efforts of her team at the Permanent Mission of Pakistan and said that it would be second time in last three years that Pakistan has been entrusted by the international community to hold this position.