Statement by Ambassador Nabeel Munir, Deputy Permanent Representative/ Charge d’ Affaires of Pakistan in the Joint Debate of the Third Committee Under Agenda Item 71: “Right of the peoples to self-determination” and Agenda Item 70: “Elimination of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance” (31 October 2017)

Mr. Chairman,

We thank the Secretary General for his continued and sustained focus on the right of peoples to self-determination, and welcome his report to the 71st Session of the General Assembly.

Outlining the ongoing efforts of the General Assembly, ECOSCOC, the Human Rights Council and other relevant treaty bodies, the Report has rightfully highlighted the urgent need for realization of this fundamental human right to everyone, without discrimination.

We hope future reports will carry forward the momentum generated at these international forums and pave the way for early resolution of all international disputes, in accordance with this fundamental principle of international law.

Mr. Chairman,

The right to self-determination promises the absolute right to all peoples of the world to define the course of their collective destiny, and grants them freedom to live their lives on the basis of their legitimate aspirations.

As a fundamental norm of international law, this right has been enshrined not only in the Charter of the United Nations, but is also an overarching principle at the core International Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

Mr. Chairman,

The exercise of the right to self-determination necessitates that the following principles must be upheld:

Mr. Chairman,

The denial of this fundamental right is nowhere more stark than in Indian Occupied Kashmir where, for more than 70 years, people are subjected to brutal and ruthless foreign occupation.

Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir, , clearly pronounced that “the future status of Jammu and Kashmir would be decided through the democratic means of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations”.

It is regrettable that decades after adoption of these resolutions, the people of Jammu and Kashmir remain deprived of their fundamental right.

Mr. Chairman,

The brave people of Jammu and Kashmir continue to face widespread repression and gross violations of human rights at the hands of occupying forces. These brutalities have been routinely documented by many independent international human rights organizations.

My delegation would like to reaffirm that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute will remain on the UN’s agenda until the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir are allowed to exercise their will, according to the agreed method prescribed by the United Nations.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan is concerned at the rise of racism, xenophobia and intolerance, and rejects these bigoted and ill-conceived ideologies in the strongest possible terms. The forces of division and hatred, which are against the dignity and equality of mankind, have no place in any religion or culture.

Discrimination in all its forms and manifestations is dangerous, but when it is done on the basis of religion, it has the potential of triggering a civilizational clash.

As a contemporary form of racism, faith based discrimination poses a grave threat to global peace and security. We must unite against those who seek to divide us by enticing violence through stereotyping of people on the grounds of belief, hate speech and defamation of religions.

Pakistan has played an important role in the promotion of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. My country will continue to lend its support to all international initiatives aimed at promoting greater understanding and mutual.

I thank you!