Right to self-determination: UNGA body unanimously passes Pakistan’s resolution

  • Maleeha says world rejects illegal occupation of territories by foreign forces from Palestine to Jammu Kashmir


UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has unanimously passed a Pakistan-sponsored resolution, reaffirming the universal realisation of the right to self-determination for people.

The resolution, co-sponsored by 75 countries adopted in the third committee session, says that the right to self-determination to the people is a fundamental condition for effective guarantee and observance of human rights.

Pakistan’s UN representative Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told reporters that the adoption of the resolution reaffirms the inviolability of the right to self-determination for all peoples without exception, including Jammu Kashmir.

She said that adoption of this resolution with consensus means that the international community rejects continued illegal occupation of territories by foreign forces from Palestine to Jammu Kashmir.

The resolution is expected to come up for the General Assembly’s endorsement next month. Diplomatic observers say the resolution, which Pakistan has been tabling annually, 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.

Earlier, introducing the resolution in the committee, Ambassador Maleeha said that self-determination had provided hope to people in their struggle against foreign occupation, a right that had been upheld by all major summits of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

The text also declared the General Assembly’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 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. In her remarks, Maleeha said that the right to self-determination was a fundamental principle of the UN Charter and international law.

“It was the extensive exercise of this right during the latter half of the last century that effectively closed the dark chapter of colonisation and resulted in the emergence of many nation states that are represented here today,” the envoy said. She profusely thanked the cosponsors for showing their firm and unwavering commitment to the right to self-determination for all occupied, oppressed and suffering people of the world.

Under the terms of the resolution, the General 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 rights, resulting from military intervention, aggression or occupation.