March 24, 2011
[FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE]
(Colombo, Sri Lanka) Pakistan President H.E. Mr. Asif Ali Zardari on the occasion of National Day conferred the SITARA-I-QUAID-I-AZAM Civil Award to Mr. Donglin Li, former Country Director of International Labour Organization’s (ILO) Country Office for Pakistan, for his excellent services to the people of Pakistan. Mr. Li is the present Country Director of the ILO Country Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The Investiture Ceremony for the Awards took place on 23 March 2011at the Pakistan High Comission in Colombo, hosted by H.E. Ms. Seema Illahi Baloch, the High Commissioner of Pakistan.
The citation for the Award read at the Investiture Ceremony stated that during Mr. Li’s six and a half year tenure in Pakistan, the longest serving head of a UN agency at that time, he has worked tirelessly to promote the ILO image and its Decent Work Agenda at various national and international forums. During multiple crisis in Pakistan, Mr. Li’s initiatives in restoring livelihoods, through creating immediate employment opportunities for the earthquake and flood-affected population were publicly acknowledged by the Government of Pakistan. His pragmatic and diplomatic approach has been highly appreciated by ILO constituents and other stakeholders.
Accepting his Award, Mr. Li said that his heart was filled with joy to receive such a prestigious Award on Pakistan’s National Day. He said that the conferring of this highest civilian Award not only recognizes his work in Pakistan but it is also recognizes the ILO’s efforts together with its constituents to promote the Decent Work Agenda to all women and men in Pakistan. He further mentioned that it became possible only due to his dedicated and strong team in Pakistan and the support received from ILO constituents, therefore, credit goes to every staff member of the ILO Country Office and to all ILO constituents in Pakistan. Mr. Li expressed his deep gratitude to the Government and the people of Pakistan for this high honor.