Pakistan statement at the Special Committee on the Charter of the United Nations and on strengthening of the role of the organization (18 February 2020)

Madam Chair,

Let me begin by congratulating you on your assumption as the Chair of the Special Committee.

My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Islamic Republic of Iran on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Madam Chair,

The former Secretary General of the UN, U Thant once said, “The failure of the UN is the failure of the human community. The explanation is as simple as that. The UN will be as strong or as weak as its member states wish it to be.”

At a time when the international order is facing unprecedented challenges, the best measure of our commitment to the UN would be to uphold and strengthen the purposes and principles of the Charter. The work of the Special Committee is intrinsic to this end.

My delegation strongly believes that our discussions within the Committee should not be an endless endeavour in academic indulgence, but instead a concerted effort to contribute towards enhancing the ability of the UN to achieve its purposes as well as more effective functioning of the organization.

We consider that the various proposals on the table represent sincere and well-meaning efforts to this end. We support continued engagement on them with a view to finding broad consensus.

Madam Chair,

In the realm of peaceful settlement of disputes, we note that while the Charter entrusts ‘primary’ responsibility to the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security, the Council acts on behalf of member states.

The Council must therefore, act in a consistent and objective manner in the discharge of this onerous responsibility. It should operationalize the full repository of measures, set out in Chapter VI of the Charter as the centerpiece of the global peace and security architecture.

This entails addressing threats to international peace and security emanating from prevailing inter-state conflicts and from instances of foreign occupation and denial of self-determination.

In recent years, there has also been growing criticism of the Council’s tendency to resort to enforcement measures under Chapter VII of the Charter. While Chapter VII is the ultimate instrument for the implementation of UN resolutions, its latent efficacy can be considerably enhanced through a timely and judicious application of Chapter VI.

This complementarity between Chapters VI and VII must be clearly held.

Madam Chair,

We believe that sanctions are a means to an end as well as a relatively peaceful means of coercion. It is therefore, important to maintain the credibility of sanctions and not to use them as a prelude to the use of force.

Pakistan has consistently held that sanctions should be imposed with the utmost caution and only when other peaceful options are inadequate or exhausted.

The threat of sanctions could be more effective than the actual imposition of sanctions and thus, conditional sanctions should be considered wherever possible.

We look forward to the briefing from the Secretariat tomorrow.

Madam Chair,

My delegation has taken due note of the new proposals in particular the working paper submitted by the delegation of Mexico.

While we look forward to further discussions, my delegation, is nonetheless, deeply concerned by efforts by some to reinterpret fundamental provisions of the Charter including pre-emptive, preventive or protective use of force.

This self-serving artifice has no place, both in international law as well as the UN Charter.

I thank you.