Denial of self-determination to Kashmiris is violation of UN Charter

New York, 25 April, 2019

At the UN, Pakistan said that the continued denial of the right to self-determination to the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir was not only a travesty of justice, but also an egregious violation of the UN Charter.

Addressing a special meeting of the General Assembly to commemorate the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, urged the international community to stand united against any attempts to undermine the sanctity of the UN Charter or to reinterpret its fundamental provisions to suit narrow aims.

“If the primacy of ‘we the peoples’ is to be more than just words”, Ambassador Lodhi underscored, “the fundamental rights enshrined in the Charter must be ensured to all peoples”.

She also pointed to a growing tendency in the world by some to erode well-established norms of international law, including respect for sovereignty and the territorial integrity of states, and the prohibition of the use of force.

Warning against unilateralism, the Pakistani envoy said that the only alternative to a rules-based global order was global disorder.

In our increasingly interconnected world, international cooperation is imperative, she asserted, underpinned by the core values of mutual respect and tolerance. “After all global challenges require global responses and solutions.” she added.

“Across many parts of the world, a conflation of economic distress and nationalistic passions has found refuge in a populist discourse that seeks to turn a widespread sense of resentment and frustration into a rejection of the international order”, she said.

These doubts needed to be pushed back by a stronger commitment by the international community to multilateralism.

She described the UN as the most sublime expression of multilateralism, and urged a greater commitment to the fundamental tenets of its Charter.

The UN Charter, Ambassador Lodhi stressed, was not only an instrument of security against the horrors of war; it was also an instrument of hope against privations of injustice and oppression.

She made a strong pitch to mainstream the right to development as a basic human right. After all, she said, economic distress spawns the deprivations that translate into disenchantment with multilateral institutions.

The UN, she stressed, must also be fully imbued with the democratic spirit of our times and be representative of the aspirations of all member states – small, medium and large.

“We have a common stake in ending conflicts, fostering peace, fighting terrorism, strengthening democracy, promoting human rights and overcoming the challenges of ‘Climate Change'”, she said, and concluded that these goals could be achieved only through strict adherence to the principles of UN Charter.