Tuesday, 16 November 2010

UN panel adopts draft reaffirming peoples’ self-determination right

UN panel adopts draft reaffirming peoples’ self-determination right
United Nations: A committee of the UN General Assembly on Thursday adopted a Pakistan-sponsored resolution reaffirming the right of peoples to self-determination, and called for cessation of foreign military intervention, occupation and repression. The resolution, which was approved by consensus, serves to focus the world’s attention on struggle by people for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine. Pakistan has been tabling this draft in the 192-member assembly’s Third Committee since 1981 and each year it passes without a vote. The text—sponsored by over 50 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America will come up for endorsement in the General Assembly next month.

The resolution reaffirms the universal rights of people to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter and international covenants on human rights. By the text, the Assembly reaffirmed that the universal realization of the right of all peoples—including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination—to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee, observance, preservation and promotion of human rights. The Assembly also declared its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since those have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.

It 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. By further 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 also requested 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 65th Session of the General Assembly on this question.

Besides Pakistan, the co-sponsors included: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Bolivia, Brunei Darussalam, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Congo, Cote dlivorie, Ecuador, Egypt, El-Salvador, Eritrea, Ghana, Hondouras, Iran, Jordan,Kenya, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Maldives, Namibia, Niger,

Nigeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan,Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Thailand, Tanzania, Togo, United Arab Emirates,Venezuela, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Speaking on behalf of the co-sponsors,Pakistan’s Acting Ambassador Amjad Hussain Sial said, “The realization of the right to self-determination is an essential condition to guarantee the observance and promotion and protection of individual human rights.... “The international law accords centrality to the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination. It signifies that the realization of this right is a sine qua non for the enjoyment of all other rights, civil, political and economic, social and cultural rights.

“The exercise of this right has enabled millions of peoples suppressed and disenfranchised by racist regimes to achieve equality before law, in society, and state politics. The realization of the right to self-determination helped millions of people across the world in seeking liberation from colonialism, apartheid, foreign occupation and alien domination.”

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