Statement by Mr. Nabeel Munir, Minister Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations in the Debate of the Special and Decolonization (4th) Committee on the Decolonization Items New York, (October 10, 2014)

Mr. Chairman,

We associate ourselves with the statement delivered by Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Pakistan delegation congratulates you on assumption of your office. It is indeed a pleasure to see you Chair the Fourth Committee. We look forward to benefiting from your experience, wisdom and knowledge.

We are also grateful to the Bureau of the Committee during the 68th Session for their excellent work.

The Report of the Special Committee on Decolonization contained in document A/69/23 is comprehensive. We appreciate the work of the Special Committee, ably led by Ambassador Xavier Lasso Mendoza of Ecuador. Pakistan fully supports the recommendations contained in the Report.

Mr. Chairman,

The Special Committee remains the primary focal point for a comprehensive, system wide effort of engaging the United Nations bodies, the peoples of the territories, the administering powers, the member states and the wider international community in pursuing the unfinished decolonization agenda. The unprecedented step taken by its Bureau earlier this year, of conducting informal consultations with the representatives of many non self-governing territories and a number of other stakeholders is highly appreciated. The meeting of the Bureau with the Secretary General to enhance his good office’s role in promoting dialogue is also welcomed.

Innovative approaches are indeed required to conclude this long outstanding work.

We have noted the Special Committee's intention to intensify dialogue and cooperation and to pay increased attention to the specific problems of non-self-governing territories. Sustained and balanced growth of fragile economies of these territories and increased development assistance for them are critical.

We also hope that adequate funding would be provided to cover the activities of the Committee during the next year.

Mr. Chairman,

The General Assembly has reaffirmed time and again that colonization in any form or manifestation is incompatible with the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Implementation of international commitments in this regard, however, is painstakingly slow.

We are already in the fourth year of the Third International Decade for the Eradication of Colonialism (2011-2020). Yet complete decolonization remains a dream. We hope that during its deliberations in its upcoming Session, the Special Committee would be able to make further progress.

Mr. Chairman,

The work of decolonization can only be as effective as we, the membership, allow it to be. Without political will from both the General Assembly and the Security Council, implementation of recommendations of the Special Committee and its decisions is not possible.

A concerted effort is required for uniform and non-selective implementation of Security Council resolutions. Selective implementation erodes the confidence of the international community and undermines the credibility of the UN system. It also deepens conflict and compounds the sufferings of the people. It must be avoided.

This, Mr. Chairman, is particularly true in the case of resolutions pertaining to the right to determination of the people struggling under colonial domination and foreign occupation. Right to self-determination for such people is a fundamental human right, guaranteed by the UN Charter, recognized under the relevant human rights conventions and upheld by our leaders at countless Summits, including the 2005 World Summit. Unfortunately South Asia and the Middle East are direct witnesses of the consequences of negation of the right to self-determination.

In South Asia, the unresolved Jammu and Kashmir dispute has been at the heart of conflict and tension for decades. This dispute, recognized by many UN resolutions, is about exercise of the right to self-determination by the Kashmiris. Pakistan is willing to engage India in a comprehensive dialogue to normalize relations between the two countries, by finding an amicable solution 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.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, during the General Debate of the 69th UNGA, said, and I quote:

"More than six decades ago, the United Nations passed resolutions to hold a plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir. The people of Jammu and Kashmir are still waiting for the fulfillment of that promise.

The core issue of Jammu and Kashmir has to be resolved. This is the responsibility of the international community. We cannot draw a veil on the issue of Kashmir, until it is addressed in accordance with the wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir…... Our support and advocacy of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is our historic commitment and a duty, as a party to the Kashmir dispute."

Mr. Chairman,

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.

Pakistan is also supportive of a just and mutually acceptable settlement of the issue of Western Sahara. Such a settlement would be a boost for the efforts for regional peace and progress. We sincerely hope that parties will continue negotiations in good faith, with realism and a spirit of compromise, 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,

We conclude by reiterating our firm resolve to continue supporting end of colonialism in all its forms and manifestations. We hope that as we move towards celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations, this landmark would also bring about end of foreign subjudication and alien occupation and granting of the peoples their right to self-determination.

I thank you.