Pakistan calls on UN to guarantee right of self-determination to people under occupation

Source: Published in Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, February 17, 2016

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has urged the United Nations to guarantee the right of self-determination to people living under foreign occupation if the principles of its Charter are to have meaning.

“Unless the rule of international law is applied, people’s expectations of justice and fairness from the UN will remain unmet,” Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said during a debate in the Security Council on Monday on UN Charter and Maintenance of Peace and Security.

She regretted that the charter’s principles were flouted in pursuit of narrow ‘national interests’ by the powerful.

She observed that member states had solemnly entered into this Covenant 70 years ago with the trust that these principles were immutable. Instead, she said, “We see unilateralism and arbitrariness in consequential decisions of war and peace.”

“We see unwarranted foreign adventures and then we also see their unforeseen and unintended but devastating consequences.”

Ms Lodhi stressed that failure to deter illegal use of force had created an impression that UN had become an instrument of the powerful, not guardian of international law tenets.

She said the UN Charter does not just collectively “bind us to efforts aimed at saving us from the scourge of war but also a shared commitment to create a world order based on the rule of law”.

She said failure to accomplish this would not only endanger the progress achieved in previous years but also risk making the “institution appear irrelevant” in a world marked by increasing turmoil and trouble, where insecurity prevailed and injustice persisted.

She called for a world order based on justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law, and most critically, the purposes and principles of the charter itself.

She pointed out that the world was hardly at peace today as “conflicts abound, human rights abuses remain rampant and humanitarian law is flouted in open violation of the charter’s principles”.

Ms Lodhi said, “Today, we reaffirm our commitment to the UN Charter because we continue to think that adhering to these principles will save us from the scourge of war.”

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