UNITED NATIONS, Apr 26 (APP): Pakistan has called on the United Nations Security Council to take “bold decisions” to secure the compliance of States with the U.N. Charter’s principles and its own decisions such as to grant the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir and Palestine.
“The Council has various means available to it, under the Charter, to secure such compliance,” Ambassador Munir Akram told the 15-member Council on Monday.
Speaking in an open day-long debate on ‘effective multilateralism”, the Pakistani envoy suggested that the UN Secretary-General should prepare an annual review of situations on Council’s agenda where its resolutions were being violated or remain unimplemented.
“Protestations of commitment to the UN Charter ring hollow when no action is taken to redress these blatant violations of the UN Charter and resolutions of the Security Council on the two issues on the agenda of the Security Council,” he added
The debate was sponsored by Russia, which holds the rotating Council presidency for the month of April. The session was a prominent appearance for Sergei Lavrov, who appeared at U.N. headquarters in New York, his first visit to the United States since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine began 14 months ago that saw him sparring with Western diplomats on the conflict.
“Today,” Ambassador Akram said, “International peace and security confront multiple threats, arising from violations of the principles of the UN Charter; great power rivalries; a renewed global arms race, including in new domains and weapons; proliferating conflicts and disputes; spreading terrorism, hate and Islamophobia; organized crime; rising poverty; and growing climate impacts.”
“A prime illustration of derogation from the Charter and Security Council resolutions is the situation in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where the exercise of the right to self-determination by the Kashmiri people, prescribed by the Security Council, has been subverted and suppressed by India through seven decades of force and fraud; another is the situation in occupied Palestine,” the Pakistani envoy said.
Warning that an uncontrolled arms race — which now encompasses several new weapons and new domains of competition — will, sooner or later, lead to a disastrous conflict involving States armed to the teeth, Ambassador Akram urged the United Nations to take the lead in reviving the process of arms control and disarmament.
He said effective multilateralism could only be built on the foundation of strong international institutions. In this regard, he called for the Council to be enlarged and become more representative, accountable, democratic, transparent and effective, rather than an enlarged club of the large and powerful States.
“Effective multilateralism, in short, must be comprehensive, inclusive and equitable,” the Pakistani envoy said, promising to promote it, including in the preparations for the Summit of the Future next year.
Opening the debate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called multilateral cooperation the “beating heart of the United Nations; its raison d’être and guiding vision”.
The Organization’s establishment in 1945 represented humanity’s best attempt to prevent any repetition of the horrors of two world wars and the Holocaust, he said. The multilateral system has held together and delivered some notable successes while the tools and mechanisms established by the Charter of the United Nations have played their part in averting a third world war.
Much of the world’s progress on many issues, from peacekeeping operations to disarmament and non-proliferation efforts to coordinated global humanitarian efforts, would not have been possible without countries standing together as a multilateral human family, the UN chief said. Yet the multilateral system is under greater strain than at any time since the United Nations was created, and tensions between major Powers are at an historic high.
“So are the risks of conflict, through misadventure or miscalculation,” the secretary-general added. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, he said, is causing massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people and adding to the global economic dislocation triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Effective multilateral responses are urgently needed to prevent and resolve conflicts, manage economic uncertainty, rescue the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and address challenges to the global norms against the use and possession of nuclear weapons, Guterres added.
In an impassioned speech, Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, appealed to nations in the global south to see Western criticism of Russian actions in Ukraine as part of a larger U.S. plot to prevent the rise of other world powers.
He outlined “U.S. plans to leverage the openly racist regime [in Kyiv] in the hope of weakening the Russian Federation in a strategic focus on eliminating competitors. It’s clear to all,” he said, “even though not everybody talks about this. It’s not at all about Ukraine.”
But the United States, its allies and other representatives on the council insisted it was, in fact, all about Ukraine.
“This is a serious topic, even if it was convened by a council member whose actions demonstrate a blatant disregard for the U.N. Charter,” U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the council.
Reading from a copy of the charter, she noted that, among statements about the need to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights,” and “encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms,” it also “states quite clearly: ‘All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.’”
“Our hypocritical convener today, Russia, invaded its neighbour in Ukraine and struck at the heart of … all the values that we hold dear,” the U.S. envoy said.