A committee of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Tuesday unanimously adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution reaffirming the universal right of people to self-determination as a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee and observance of human rights.
The resolution, co-sponsored by 72 countries, was adopted without a vote in the 193-member assembly’s Third Committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.
Presenting the draft, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi said the right to self-determination was a fundamental principle of the UN Charter and international law.
“Exercise of this right has enabled millions across the world to emerge from the yoke of colonial and foreign occupation, and alien domination,” she said.
“Many of us present here today are proud inheritors of this struggle,” Lodhi said, adding that the very struggle has enabled generations “to achieve a life of dignity and honour as free citizens of independent states.”
Pakistan’s commitment to the universal right of peoples to self-determination remains “firm and abiding”, Lodhi said.
Lodhi recalled that in 1952, the Professor Ahmad Shah Bukhari, Pakistan’s first permanent representative to the UN, speaking before the Security Council on the Tunisian question said, “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.”
Lodhi said Pakistan was “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.
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.
Courtesy : Dawn News