Kashmir and Palestine Disputes highlighted at the United NationsFebruary 7, 2024
Senior diplomats and experts from various nations recently gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York to discuss the pressing issue of advancing the principle of the right of self-determination to address key global conflicts, including the disputes in Kashmir and Palestine. Sponsored by Pakistan, the event, titled “Challenges to the realization of the Right to Self-Determination in the Contemporary Global Context,” was presided over by Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram.
The panelists at the event included Ms Fionnuala NiAolain, a University of Minnesota professor and former UN rights expert; Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz, the permanent observer of the Arab League at the UN; Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the World Forum for Peace and Justice; and Hameed Ajibaiye, the permanent observer for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) at the UN. The discussion brought together ambassadors and representatives from Algeria, Turkey, Morocco, Syria, Iran, and India, all of whom participated in the general discussion, expressing their concerns about the ongoing issues.
Ambassador Munir Akram emphasized the gravity of the long-standing conflicts in Kashmir and Palestine, asserting that these unresolved issues pose a significant threat to international peace and security. He underscored the right of self-determination as the “bedrock” of the modern international system and a fundamental principle of the UN Charter. Ambassador Akram highlighted two specific cases, Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir, where the right of self-determination is being blatantly denied.
Drawing attention to the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, Ambassador Akram stressed the need for the international community to address the denial of self-determination to the people in the region, pointing out massive human rights violations occurring there. He warned of the persistent threat to international peace and security due to the unresolved dispute between India and Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir, emphasizing the sobering reality of a potential conflict between two nuclear-armed states.
Ambassador Hameed Opeloyeru, OIC Permanent Observer to the UN, reaffirmed the OIC’s unwavering support for the legitimate struggle of the Kashmiri people for self-determination. He emphasized the OIC’s commitment to the principles and objectives of the UN Charter, including the implementation of UN Security Council resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir.
In response to the Indian delegate’s assertion that Kashmir is an integral part of India with peace and development prevailing in the region, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of the World Forum for Peace Justice, dismissed these remarks as irrelevant and misleading. He raised questions about India’s stance, challenging why the conflict should be resolved under UN Charter and applicable UN Security Council resolutions if Kashmir is indeed an integral part of India.
The event provided a platform for nations to express their perspectives on the right of self-determination, emphasizing its crucial role in addressing longstanding global conflicts and promoting international peace and security.