UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations will be practicing "double standards" if the right of self-determination to people living under occupation -- Kashmiris and Palestinians --  continues to be condoned and if it fails to resolve long-standing disputes, Pakistani Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi has told the General Assembly.

Speaking in a High Level Thematic Debate on Peace and Security, the Pakistani envoy underscored the need for the world body to stop injustices being done to the peoples of Kashmir and Palestine and to honour the commitments made to them through it's resolutions.

She also called on the UN to evolve cooperative solutions to international challenges, which she called "truly imposing", referring to rise of  xenophobia, Islamophobia, intolerance and various forms of discrimination as well as spread of terrorism. Sovereign equality of States, settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, and avoidance of the use or threat of use of force were fundamental principles entrenched in the UN Charter, Maleeha Lodhi argued.

"But the Organisation will be seen to practice double standards if it continues to condone military aggression or foreign interventions, ignore persisting situations of foreign occupation and denial of the right of self-determination to people living under occupation and also if it fails to address prolonged outstanding disputes," she said in a sharply-worded speech to the 193-member Assembly on Wednesday.

"After all, the United Nations was created with the very purpose to prevent and stop these injustices – injustices such as the denial of fundamental human rights to the people of Palestine and Kashmir. Isn’t it our collective and solemn duty to keep the promises made to them through numerous resolutions of this body? How can this body command the respect it deserves if its own edicts are flouted?

The Pakistani envoy also posed the question: Why is the Security Council – a source of international law, reluctant to refer legal disputes to the International Court of Justice. "Why has the General Assembly been absolved of its responsibility to make recommendations on questions relating to international peace and security," she further asked.

"And if we have no credible answers to these questions except the imperatives of realpolitik, the world at large will view the United Nations as little more than a political tool in the hand of the powerful few," Ambassador Lodhi said, adding, "This impression would hardly inspire trust."

Noting that over the decades the international community had come to acknowledge the indispensability of democratic principles, accountability, transparency and the rule of law, she said.

"These values, make the United Nations capable of meeting new, diverse and complex challenges we face today."

A participatory approach, that we saw in the adoption of the 2030 Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was essential, the Pakistani envoy said. "Yet in the maintenance of international peace and security, we do not see similar unity, consensus or resolve. We believe our approaches to critical issues such as counterterrorism and peacekeeping will benefit from wider participation and consultation."

On the Security Council reform,she opposed creation more centers of power and privilege, an obvious reference to the demand by the Group of Four -- India, Brazil, Germany and Japan --  for expansion of permanent seats.

Pakistan, she said, stood for enhancing the Council’s representativeness and accountability.

"A more inclusive approach to revitalization of the General Assembly is already paying dividends, as evident from the renewed vigor and interest in the process for the appointment of the next Secretary General."

"The challenges we face today will continue to evolve in new and unpredictable ways," she said. "What we need to ask is whether we, the Member States of the United Nations, are ready to evolve and adapt to meet them? Will we uphold the principles we espouse or will narrow self-interest trump these principles