Statement by Ambassador Munir Akram, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the United Nations, for Introducing Resolution entitled, "Universal Realization of the Right of the Peoples to Self-Determination" for Adoption at the Third Committee (New York, November 18, 2021)

Mr. Chairperson,

On behalf of the Pakistan delegation and the co-sponsors, I have the privilege to introduce the draft resolution entitled "Universal Realization of the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination" contained in document A/C3/76/L.58. This resolution, tabled every year, reflects the global consensus on the fundamental right of self-determination.

The right to self-determination is a cardinal principle of the UN Charter and both the international Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

The principle of self-determination was further elaborated in the Declaration and the Granting of Independence to Colonial countries and peoples and The Declaration of Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States.

Today, self-determination has been crystallized as a peremptory norm of international law and the international community is obligated to fulfill this right for all peoples under subjugation, alien domination and foreign occupation. The erga omnes obligation of the right to self-determination was conferred by the ICJ inter alia in the case of both Namibia and East Timor.

Almost all former colonies and subjugated peoples, who are represented in this Assembly today as sovereign nations, secured their independence by exercising their right to self-determination through free and fair referendums, or a plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations. There are, however, situations where occupied peoples are being systematically denied this right and are obliged to struggle for the realization of this right.

The suppression of the legitimate struggles for self-determination, often brutal and violent are among the gravest violations of Security Council and General Assembly including naked military force, extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, rape and sexual violence, torture, curfews, communication blackouts, lockdown of civilian populations, illegal settlements and demographic changes.

Mr. Chairperson,

The General Assembly's annual affirmation of support preserves the hope of peoples under colonial and foreign occupation that their destinies will be decided through the exercise of the right of self-determination.

We hope that this year too, this Committee and the Assembly will reaffirm the commitment of Member States to the principle of self-determination by adopting this resolution by consensus.

We thank our large number of co-sponsors, urge all other members to co-sponsor the draft resolution before its adoption and hope it will be adopted again by consensus.

I thank you.