Statement by Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization (4th) Committee on the Decolonization Items - 8 October 2010

Mr. Chairman,

On behalf of the Pakistan delegation, I would like to felicitate you and other members of the Bureau, on the assumption of your offices. It is a matter of immense pleasure to see you as the Chair of this important Committee, and I am certain that we will all benefit from your experience.

I will take this opportunity to compliment the Permanent Representative of Qatar and the former members of the Bureau for ably handling the work of the Committee in the last session.

Our appreciation is due to Ambassador Basher Ja’afari of Syria for introducing the Report of the Special Committee. Pakistan supports the recommendations contained in the Report.

The Special Committee on Decolonization is the focal point for a comprehensive, system-wide effort of engaging the UN bodies, the peoples of the Territories, the administering powers, the Member States and the wider international community. Pakistan greatly values efforts of the Special Committee in pursuing the unfinished de-colonization agenda.

Mr. Chairman,

The General Assembly has reaffirmed time and again that colonialism in any form or manifestation is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In its historic Declaration contained in Resolution 1514 of 14 December 1960, the General Assembly had emphatically stated: (Quote) “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” (Unquote).

Despite such unambiguous pronouncements, implementation of international commitments on decolonization has been painstakingly slow over the last many years. As we are coming to an end of the Second International Decade for Eradication of Colonialism and the fiftieth anniversary of GA Resolution 1514, the colonization has continued. Its impact on world peace and cooperation cannot be overemphasized.

Mr. Chairman,

The Report of Special Committee contained in document A/65/23 has put forth concrete ideas to comprehensively address colonialism. It has rightly identified the challenges faced by the Non-Self Governing Territories and the responsibilities of the Administrative Powers. We agree that cross-cutting issues like: climate change; global financial situation; role of regional organization, education; public awareness; governance; and empowerment of vulnerable people are required to be addressed in a more holistic manner. In this context, a sustained dialogue between the Administrative Powers and the Non-Self-Governing Territories is necessary. In such interaction, the Special Committee has the role of an impartial referee.

The Special Committee can oversee that suitable conditions are being created in the Territories not only for socio-political uplift but also to enable their people to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination, without fear of coercion and intimidation.

Mindful of the Decolonization Committee’s central role, Pakistan sincerely hopes that its deliberations this year will review the status of implementation of earlier United Nations’ resolutions and decisions with regard to the unfinished decolonization agenda.

We support the recommendation of launching the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism. It would reaffirm that the process of decolonization remains incomplete until all outstanding decolonization issues are resolved in a satisfactory manner.

Mr. Chairman,

The work of the Special Committee can only be as effective as the wider UN membership would allow it to be. Political will from the General Assembly and the Security Council, to implement the recommendations of the Special Committee as well as their own decisions, has to be shown in greater earnest.

Concerted efforts should be made for uniform and non-selective implementation of the Security Council resolutions. Selective implementation must be avoided as it erodes confidence in the system and undermines credibility of the organization.

Selective implementation of the UN Resolutions has also deepened conflicts and compounded sufferings of peoples. This is particularly true in cases of Resolutions regarding the right to self-determination of the people struggling under colonial domination and foreign occupation. Right to self-determination of such people is a fundamental human right, guaranteed by the Charter, recognized under the relevant human rights conventions and upheld by our leaders at the 2005 World Summit.

Negation of the right to self-determination ignites conflict and threatens peace and security. Unfortunately, South Asia and Middle East are the direct witness of such consequences.

In the Middle East, the continued denial of the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people is the core underlying cause of conflict and the primary impediment to comprehensive peace. Pakistan continues to support the just struggle of the Palestinian people for peace and freedom.

In South Asia, the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute has been at the heart of conflict and tension. This dispute, recognized by many UN resolutions, is about exercise of the right to self-determination by the Kashmiri people through a free, fair and impartial plebiscite, under the UN auspices. Pakistan is willing to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to normalize relations between the two countries, by finding amicable solutions to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. A peaceful resolution of this dispute is imperative for durable peace, stability and progress in South Asia. The decolonization agenda of the United Nations would be incomplete without resolution of this dispute.

Pakistan believes that a just and mutually acceptable settlement of the issue of Western Sahara will bring peace for the region and better opportunities for millions of its inhabitants. We sincerely hope that the relevant parties of this dispute will achieve this peace through ongoing negotiations in the spirit of accommodation and goodwill.

Mr. Chairman,

I will conclude by reiterating Pakistan’s commitment with the elimination of colonialism in all its forms and manifestations and hope that the people under foreign subjugation and alien occupation will be accorded the right to self determination under relevant international law.

I thank you.