Pakistan warns against threats to Multilateralism

New York, 10 November, 2018

Declaring that multilateralism is under assault, Pakistan told the United Nations that international cooperation remained an imperative to address common challenges and build a just and peaceful world.

Speaking in the open debate in the Security Council on Strengthening Multilateralism and the Role of the United Nations, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi said that multilateralism has been the foundation stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy.

In this context she cited the words of the country’s founder Quaid Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah who had said: “Pakistan will never be found lacking in upholding the principles of the United Nations Charter.”

“True multilateralism”, argued Ambassador Lodhi, “entails not only that decisions reflect the diverse array of views and positions on any issue, but also that decision-making bodies are fully imbued with the democratic spirit of our times”.

The Pakistani envoy drew the attention of the 15-member Council to the rise of forces of illiberalism, jingoism and protectionism that threatened to erode long-standing international norms.

“UN resolutions and its binding decisions are flouted with impunity”, Ambassador Lodhi said, and pointed out that “force is now threatened all too frequently”.

“Consensus-building and compromise are being viewed by some, not as virtues of strength, but as signs of weakness”, she added.

Cautioning against unilateral attempts aimed at protecting narrow and self-serving interests Ambassador Lodhi said, “those who seek to win all, run the risk of losing all”.

Such trends, Ambassador Lodhi underscored, were not just regressive, they exposed the rules based international order to new dangers.

Ambassador Lodhi said that “in our interconnected world, we are all vulnerable if some are insecure”, and called for greater international cooperation amidst increasingly complex and mutually reinforcing challenges.

Declaring that the essence of multilateralism was encapsulated in the creation of the United Nations, the Pakistani envoy said that during the last seven decades the UN has remained an indispensable instrument for the promotion of the international community’s shared goals of peace, security and development.

“There is no better vehicle than the United Nations to achieve the goals of advancing modern civilization to a new and higher level, and create a just and peaceful world order”, Ambassador Lodhi added.

“From the crystallization of the inalienable right of peoples to self-determination, to its application in the struggle against colonialism and foreign occupation, the UN has left an indelible mark in virtually all walks of international life”, she added.

She concluded by saying that “UN can be no better, than what the membership wants it to be”, and stressed that, “the best measure of our commitment to multilateralism is to strengthen the role of the UN”.