Statement by Ambassador Raza Bashir Tarar, Deputy Permanent Representative of Pakistan in the General Debate of the Special Political and Decolonization (4th) Committee on the Decolonization Items (New York 8 October 2012)

Mr. Chairman,

The Pakistan delegation congratulates you and other members of the Bureau, on assumption of your offices. We are grateful to your predecessor and the outgoing bureau. We appreciate the statement of the Special Committee Rapporteur. We support the recommendations contained in Report A/67/23.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan attaches the highest importance to the universal goal of decolonization. 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”.

Mr. Chairman,

Like the overwhelming majority of UN Member States, Pakistan stresses the imperative of a forthright pursuit of decolonization agenda. Our Committee provides a viable platform for a system-wide engagement of and building synergy between UN bodies and agencies, the peoples of the Territories, the administering powers, the member states and the wider international community.

Lack of fruition of the decolonization agenda is regrettable. Now that we are in the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism- the second decade (2001-2010) not having seen end of colonialism-a renewed political will is required for achieving the objectives of decolonization. In this regard we hope that the deliberations of an important seminar of the Special Committee held this year in Ecuador have enhanced understanding of the decolonization related challenges and opportunities.

While requiring concerted action by all stakeholders, the primary onus for decolonization falls on the Administrating Powers, which are the principle cause of status quo perpetuation. They must show the political will to engage positively with their respective territories on all issues of governance.

The United Nations system should focus on the special needs of the Territories and the assistance it can provide through specialized agencies and international institutions. The UN system should also keep the peoples of the Territories, cognizant of options available to them with regard to self-determination.

Mr. Chairman,

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. Their application is universal.

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 brushed under the rug of terrorism or religious rivalries. Denial of this right threatens regional peace and stability in different instances.

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 people of Jammu and Kashmir. The decolonization agenda of the United Nations would be incomplete without resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute. As stated by the President of Pakistan in the General Debate of the 67th UNGA and I quote:

“We will continue to support the right of the people of Jammu & Kashmir to peacefully choose their destiny in accordance with the UN Security Council’s long-standing resolutions on this matter. Kashmir remains a symbol of the failures, rather than strengths of the UN system”.

In the Middle East, 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 the 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 supportive of a just and mutually acceptable settlement of the issue of Western Sahara. Such a settlement would also be a boost for the efforts for regional peace and progress. We sincerely hope that the parties will continue negotiations in good faith for achieving a just, lasting and mutually acceptable political solution that provides for self-determination of the people of Western Sahara in accordance with Security Council resolutions.

Mr. Chairman,

Let me conclude by stressing that barring complete decolonization mankind’s collective dream underpinning the United Nations will remain unfulfilled.

I thank you.