Decolonization Items

Statement by Pakistan in the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization (4th) Committee on the Decolonization Items 9 October 2008

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Pakistan delegation, I would like to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on the assumption of your offices and to assure you of our full support.

  1. Let me also thank Ambassador Marty Natalegawa, Chairman, and Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari, Rapporteur, of the Special Committee on Decolonization for their statement and introduction of the annual report respectively. We value the important efforts that the Special Committee continues to deploy in pursuing the unfinished de-colonization agenda.
  2. Advancement of that objective has been painstakingly slow over the last many years. The framework has been there, in the relevant General Assembly resolutions and decisions on decolonization, as well as the two international decades and the plan of action for the eradication of colonialism. The problem remains, however, in the lack of implementation of these international commitments and obligations.
  3. We therefore support the recommendations of the Special Committee including the call on the administering powers to cooperate with the Special Committee and to take all necessary steps for full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, and the relevant UN resolutions. We recall in particular, 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 also renew the appeal to the specialized agencies and other organizations of the UN system to comply with the various requests addressed to them in the General Assembly resolutions.
  4. The international community, led by the United Nations, must renew its commitment to the complete eradication of colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. There is a need to impart a real momentum to the undertaking by the world leaders in the 2005 Summit to uphold the right to self-determination of peoples, which remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation.
  5. Decolonization and the right to self-determination go hand in hand. Their application is universal and is essential to guarantee the universal respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. The General Assembly has reaffirmed, year after year, that in the process of decolonization, there is no alternative to the principle of self-determination, which is also a fundamental human right. It is pertinent to recall the Declaration (Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960) which stated: “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”.
  6. Pakistan therefore supports the fundamental and inalienable right of all peoples, including the Non-Self Governing Territories, as well as in situations under foreign occupation and colonial or alien domination, to self-determination.
  7. Resolution of the issue of Western Sahara will be in the interest of lasting peace and cooperation in that part of the world. The ongoing negotiations process, we hope, would further the efforts for a mutually acceptable, negotiated, peaceful settlement that provides for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.
  8. For decades, the people of Palestine, and the people of Jammu and Kashmir, await the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination, promised to them by the United Nations and the international community. Peaceful resolution of these core underlying issues is essential for achieving durable peace, stability and progress in the Middle East and South Asia. For Palestine, hopes are still pinned on the Annapolis process which envisaged a peace treaty by the end of 2008. The international community must make all efforts to fulfill that promise to the Palestinian people.
  9. A composite peace process is also underway between India and Pakistan. In their recent meeting in New York, the leaders of our two countries agreed on several measures to advance this process, which we hope would allow the continuation and deepening of a constructive dialogue for the peaceful resolution and satisfactory settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir issue.