From Our Correspondent
NEW YORK: A key committee of the UN General Assembly unanimously passed a Pakistan-sponsored resolution reaffirming the right to self-determination for peoples who are subjected to colonial, foreign and alien occupation.
Co-sponsored by 81 countries from all over the world, the resolution was adopted without a vote in the 193-member Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with Social, humanitarian and cultural issues.
The resolution, which Pakistan has been tabling since 1981, serves to focus the world’s attention on the struggle by peoples for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine.
It is expected to come up for General Assembly’s endorsement next month.
Under the terms of the draft, the General Assembly would reaffirm the universal realization of the rights of all peoples, including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination, to self-determination as a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights. The resolution also declared the General Assembly’s firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since these have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world. It called on those states responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment.
Presenting the draft, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador MunirAkram highlighted the importance of the right of self-determination that enjoys primacy in international law as well as the fact that it is the fundamental principle of the United Nations Charter and two international Covenants. “Peoples who have been promised the free exercise of a decision on their own political future are obviously embodied to the rights to self-determination,” the Pakistani envoy told the committee.
He said General Assembly’s resolution 2649 of 1970, reaffirmed by several Security Council resolutions, regarded the acquisition and retention of territory in contravention of the right of the peoples of that territory to self-determination as gross violation of the charter.
“Certainly, attempts to unilaterally change the status of the territory which have yet to exercise their right to self-determination are illegal,” Ambassador Akram said, in an obvious reference to India’s annexation of Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 when the disputed state was placed under a repressive lockdown with internet and phone communications cutoff. He went on to point out that General Assembly resolution 1514 of 1960 calls for ceasing “all armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples … in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence…”
“Curfews and blackouts, and lockdown of civilian population, to suppress their ability to express their demand for freedom and self-determination is obviously a gross violations of human rights including the right to self-determination,” the Pakistani envoy said.
From Our Correspondent