Fourth Committee Speeches & Interventions

Statement by Mr. Asim Iftikhar Ahmad, Pakistan delegate in the General Debate 60th Session of the UN General Assembly of the Special Political and Decolonization (4th) Committee On Decolonization Items (26, 34-37) (October 05, 2005)

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Pakistan delegation, I would like to felicitate you on assuming the stewardship of this Committee for the 60th Session of the General Assembly. I would also like to extend similar felicitations to other members of the Bureau. Let me also express our appreciation to your predecessor Ambassador Swe of Myanmar for the successful handling of the Committee’s work over the past year.

Mr. Chairman,

2. 2005 has been termed as the year of review and reform at the United Nations – with the purpose of enabling the organization to effectively address the myriad challenges, both old and new, faced by the international community.

3. Eradication of colonialism has been and continues to be one of the main priorities of the United Nations. Appropriately therefore, at the September Summit, our leaders rededicated themselves to uphold the right to self-determination of peoples, which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation.

4. Progress in de-colonization has been a major achievement of the United Nations. The de-colonization agenda is, however, not yet complete. There remain Non- Self-Governing Territories that have yet to exercise their right to self-determination in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. In that regard, a number of outstanding challenges have been pointed out in the report of the Special Committee and various other reports by the Secretariat. A progress review is therefore very much in order. Incidentally, this Session also coincides with the mid term review of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism.

Mr. Chairman,

5. In the context of progress review, my delegation would like to note that the legislative authority and the commitment towards de-colonization are very much there. Implementation is, however, insufficient. The framework was set by the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples (of 14 December 1960). Resolutions continue to be adopted year after year by the General Assembly and other bodies including this Committee. We adopted the International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (1990-2000). Regrettably, the Plan of Action could not be concluded during that decade. Subsequently the Second International Decade was adopted with the call to redouble the efforts to implement the Plan of Action.

6. It is clear that the unfinished agenda can only be fulfilled through implementation. We therefore fully support the view of the Chairman of the Special Committee that the second half of this Decade must be concentrated on implementation.

7. Effective implementation entails action and cooperation at all levels – by the peoples of the Territories, the administering powers, the international community and the UN system as a whole as enumerated in the Plan of Action.

8. The Special Committee has contributed invaluably over the years in advancing the de-colonization process. We appreciate in particular the admirable work done by the Committee under the Chairmanship of President Julian Hunte. We appreciate the report presented by the Committee’s Rapporteur, the Permanent Representative of Syria. Pakistan shall continue to extend its full support to the work of the Special Committee.

9. Pakistan supports the recommendations of the Special Committee contained in its report A/60/23. We welcome the intention of the Special Committee to develop, in consultation with the administering powers and the people of the Territories concerned, accelerated action plans for the de-colonization of certain Territories. We fully support the Special Committee’s recommendation for provision of resources to cover its activities envisaged for 2006.

10. As the Chairman of the Special Committee just told us, the Committee alone cannot achieve full decolonization. Other actors must also fulfill their part. The administering powers, in particular, must cooperate with the UN and the Special Committee for full implementation of the Declaration in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the Assembly, and for the finalization before the end of 2005 of a constructive programme of work on a case-by-case basis for the Non-Self-Governing Territories. It is the responsibility of the administering powers to create conditions in the Territories that would enable their people to exercise freely and without interference their inalienable right to self-determination. We welcome the participation of some administering powers in the work of the Special Committee, and urge others for formal participation. The administering powers must also allow the representatives of the Territories concerned to participate in the discussions in the Special Committee and the 4th Committee.

11. Specialized agencies and international institutions associated with the UN must also increase their assistance to the Territories as called for in the relevant resolutions. We regret that only some of them have been involved in providing such assistance to the Territories.

12. Improved and effective dissemination of information must be given a higher priority. This is vital for the peoples of the Territories not only to increase their awareness about UN activities and programmes of assistance but also to understand the options regarding their political status and their right to choose their future freely. Visits of Missions to the Territories and holding of seminars like the one in Canouan in May 2005 are also important in furthering the de-colonization objectives.

Mr. Chairman,

13. Pakistan believes there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination in the process of de-colonization. Pakistan welcomes the cooperation of New Zealand and Tokelau in the negotiations in preparation for the exercise of the right of self-determination by the people of Tokelau. We welcome the developments in New Caledonia based on the principle that it is for the populations of New Caledonia to choose how to control their destiny. We encourage the concerned parties in the case of Falkland Islands (Malvinas) and Gibraltar to undertake negotiations to find peaceful and definitive solutions to those issues.

14. With regard to the question of Western Sahara, Pakistan supports a negotiated peaceful settlement that provides for self-determination in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. Pakistan therefore encourages the parties to achieve a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution, which will provide for the self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in the context of arrangements consistent with the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations.

Mr. Chairman,

15. In its historic Declaration 45 years ago, the General Assembly solemnly proclaimed the necessity of bringing to a speedy and unconditional end, colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. To that end, it declared that “the subjection of people to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental rights, is contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation”. The Assembly also declared that all peoples had the right to self-determination.

16. As we review the implementation of the de-colonization agenda, these must remain our guiding principles in addressing the continuing challenges of colonialism, illegal occupation, and alien subjugation of peoples in various parts of the world.

17. The implementation of the Declaration and the de-colonization agenda are not limited to the issue of Non-Self Governing Territories. It also encompasses other peoples still under alien occupation and foreign domination. The aim therefore is to ensure that all peoples under colonial administration or foreign occupation are allowed to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination.

18. We continue to steadfastly support the just struggle of the Palestinian people for self-determination, freedom and peace.

19. As my Foreign Minister said at the 60th Session of the General Assembly, we must also give hope for peace to the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their legitimate quest for self-determination. For that it is essential to find a just solution of the dispute over Jammu and Kashmir, acceptable to Pakistan, India and, above all, to the people of Kashmir. Towards that end, Pakistan remains committed to the Composite Dialogue with India in the interest of peace and prosperity in our region.

I would like to conclude by assuring you, Mr. Chairman, of my delegation’s full support and cooperation in the Committee’s work during the 60th Session.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

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