New York, 22 November, 2016
At the UN, the Pakistan-sponsored resolution on the right of self determination for people living under foreign occupation was adopted by consensus, and without a vote on Monday afternoon.
Co-sponsored by 72 other countries from all regions of the world, including China, Malaysia, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and South Africa, the resolution was approved by the 193-member Third Committee that deals with Social, Humanitarian and Cultural Affairs.
The resolution reaffirms the inalienable right of people to self-determination as a fundamental human right and an indispensable and effective guarantee for the observance and achievement of other human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The resolution also condemns all acts that seek to undermine this right, including through foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, while introducing Pakistan’s draft Resolution on “Universal Realization of the Right of Peoples to Self-Determination”, said that Pakistan’s commitment to the universal right of peoples to self-determination “is firm and abiding”.
She said that the exercise of this right has enabled millions across the world to emerge from the yolk of colonial and foreign occupation and alien domination. “Many of us, present here today, are proud inheritors of this struggle to achieve a life of dignity and honor, as free citizens of independent states”, she added.
Ambassador Lodhi recalled and quoted what Pakistan’s first Permanent Representative to the UN, Professor Ahmad Shah Bukhari said, before the Security Council, on the Tunisian question in April 1952, “whatever the action the Security Council, in its wisdom may wish to take, we will keep this [right] in our hearts alive, and we will do the best we can.”
She said Pakistan is proud and humbled to have kept this ideal alive, and to have given voice to the yearning for freedom, in Africa, Asia, and across the world.
She said the resolution encapsulates the universally acknowledged norms and principles: the right of peoples to self-determination as a fundamental human right.
“It is an indispensable and effective guarantee for the observance and achievement of other human rights; and firm opposition to all acts that seek to undermine this right, through foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation”, she added.
This resolution, she said has enjoyed broad consensus over the years and she thanked all those countries that had cosponsored and supported it.
The resolution focuses international attention to situations where people are still denied their fundamental right to self-determination.