UN body adopts Pakistan's resolution on self-determination with record co-sponsors

United Nations, 17 November, 2018

A key UN General Assembly's committee Monday unanimously passed a Pakistani resolution -- co-sponsored this year by a record 83 nations -- reaffirming the right to self-determination for peoples who are subjected to colonial, foreign and alien occupation.

The draft resolution, which now goes to the 193-member Assembly for official endorsement next month, calls on countries to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, and all acts of repression.

Later, Pakistan 's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi told APP that "the adoption of the resolution reaffirms the inviolability of the right to self-determination for all peoples without exception, including, of course, the people of Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine".

The resolution was adopted without a vote in the Assembly's Third Committee, which deals with Social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

This year, the co-sponsorship of the resolution increased by eight, indicating the growing support for the peoples who have not yet exercised their inalienable right of self-determination.

Under the terms of the text, 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.

Diplomatic observers say the resolution 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.

Speaking to APP, Ambassador Lodhi said, "Pakistan has historically been a proud champion of self-determination, helping many states achieve independence. Our support for the right of peoples to self-determination against alien domination and foreign occupation remains undiminished."

She added, "Co-sponsorship of 83 states was a reiteration of the international community's continued support for the peoples' right to self-determination as a fundamental human right.

"This right must be grated to all, without discrimination, from the people of Jammu and Kashmir to those in Palestine."

Earlier, introducing the resolution in the committee, the Pakistani envoy said the right to self- determination "forms the bedrock" of the most important human rights conventions -- the Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant of Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

The text 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.

The resolution 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.

In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi said, "It was the extensive exercise of this right during the latter half of the last century that effectively closed the dark chapter of colonization and resulted in the emergence of many nation states that are represented here today."

She profusely thanked the cosponsors for showing their "firm and unwavering commitment to the right to self-determination for all occupied, oppressed and suffering people of the world."

"The General Assembly’s consistent support is commendable, as it reaffirms the continued relevance of the right to self-determination, and sends a strong message of support to peoples everywhere in the world who still find themselves subjugated and oppressed."

Under the terms of the resolution, the General Assembly deplored the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of these acts and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour.

It urges the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation. It also requests the Secretary-General to report to the next Session of the General Assembly on this question.