Statement by Mr. Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on the Decolonization Items (10 October 2011)

Madame Chairperson, ,

The Pakistan delegation congratulates you and other members of the Bureau, on assumption of your offices. It is a pleasure to see you chair the Fourth Committee. I am sure we all will benefit from your experience and sagacity.

We, also, are grateful to former Chairman H.E. Mr. Chitsaka Chipaziwa and the outgoing bureau for their work during the last session.

We express our appreciation for H.E. Ambassador Basher Ja’afari, the distinguished Permanent Representative of Syria for his statement, in his capacity as Rapporteur of the Special Committee, on 4 October 2011. Pakistan supports the recommendations contained in the Report A/66/23.

Colonialism in any form or manifestation is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations, the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This has been reaffirmed by the General Assembly on a number of occasions. In its historic Declaration contained in Resolution 1514 (XV) of 14 December 1960, the General Assembly had declared: “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”.

Madame Chairperson,

Earnest pursuit of the decolonization agenda is a shared objective of all UN Member States. In this regard, Pakistan values the role and contribution of the Special Committee on Decolonization. Our Committee is the focal point for a system-wide effort of engaging UN bodies and agencies, the peoples of the Territories, the administering powers, the member states and the wider international community.

Unfortunately, progress in implementing the decolonization agenda has not matched the goals we all had set for ourselves. The end of the Second International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2001-2010) did not herald the end of colonialism. The problem persists not due to any dearth of resolutions or decisions but because of an obvious lack of political will to implement those decisions.

As status quo powers, the administering States must show the political will to engage positively with their respective territories with a view to ending colonialism. They need to create enabling conditions in the Territories for people to exercise freely and without interference their inalienable right to self-determination.

Similarly, the United Nations system also has an important role in decolonization. The UN should recalibrate the focus on addressing special needs of the Territories, through assistance by the specialized agencies and international institutions. The UN system should also keep the people of the Territories, cognizant of options available to them with regard to self-determination.

Madame Chairperson,

The right to self-determination is the fundamental principle driving the struggle against colonial domination and foreign occupation. It is a fundamental human right, guaranteed by the Charter, and recognized under the relevant human rights conventions. Decolonization and the right to self-determination are objectives of such importance, scope and global relevance, that they cannot be limited to the Non-Self Governing Territories alone.

The 2005 World Summit reaffirmed the imperative to uphold the right to self-determination of peoples, who remain under colonial domination and foreign occupation.

Negation of the right to self-determination in areas under colonial subjugation or foreign occupation ignites conflicts and threatens peace and security. Such conflicts cannot be swept under terrorism or religious rivalries. In many cases, regional peace and stability is threatened by negation of the legitimate right to self-determination.

In South Asia, the inalienable right to self-determination of the People of Jammu and Kashmir is recognized by a number of Security Council Resolutions. Pakistan is committed to finding a peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute acceptable to all sides, especially the Kashmiri people. A peaceful resolution of this dispute will lead to durable peace and stability in South Asia. The decolonization agenda of the United Nations would be incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

In 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 as well as their quest for UN Membership for the State of Palestine. A strong and viable state of Palestine, established according to wishes and aspirations of the Palestinian people can be the best guarantor of peace with all its neighbours and within the broader region.

Pakistan is also supportive of a just and mutually acceptable settlement of the issue of Western Sahara. Settlement of this old dispute is essential for regional peace and progress. We sincerely hope that relevant parties will reach a settlement through ongoing negotiations with the spirit of accommodation and mutual goodwill.

Thank you