UNGA adopts Pakistan’s resolution on self-determination

United Nation/Islamabad, Nov 22 (IANS) A United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) panel 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, a Foreign Office statement said.

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 the General Assembly’s endorsement next month.

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.

Under its terms, the Assembly deplored the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of human rights violations and reaffirms their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour, the Foreign Office statement said.