UNITED NATIONS - A committee of the UN General Assembly Friday adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution reaffirming that the universal realisation of the right of peoples to self-determination was a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights.
The resolution, co-sponsored by 80 countries, was adopted by consensus in the Assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with Social, humanitarian and cultural issues.
Political observers say the resolution, which Pakistan has been tabling since 1981, serves to focus the world’s attention on the struggle by peoples for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine.
The resolution is expected to come up for General Assembly’s endorsement next month.
The text also declared the 193-member body’s firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since these have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.
The resolution also called on those States responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment.
Presenting the draft, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said the right to self-determination was a central principle of the United Nations Charter. The extensive exercise of that right during the last century had effectively closed the dark chapter of colonisation and enabled the emergence of several nations as sovereign members of the United Nations, she noted.
The General Assembly’s consistent support for that important resolution in previous years had reaffirmed the continued relevance of the right to self-determination and had sent a strong message of support to all occupied and subjugated people of the world, Ambassador Lodhi told delegates.
She expressed the hope that the resolution would once more be approved by consensus.
Under its terms, the Assembly deplored the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of these acts and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour.
It urges the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation. It also requests the Secretary-General to report to the next Session of the General Assembly on this question.