–Says UN credibility at stake on Palestine, Kashmir
NEW YORK (NNI): Pakistan has urged the UN Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities with respect to implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir, Palestine and other long-standing disputes, to usher in peace and security in the conflict-ridden world.
Speaking in a Security Council debate on the situation in the Middle East, Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Dr Maleeha Lodhi warned that if the world body fails in this regard, people around the world would completely lose their faith in it.
Ambassador Lodhi reaffirmed Pakistan’s continued support to the legitimate aspirations of people living under foreign occupation in Palestine, Kashmir and elsewhere. Describing the global peace and security landscape to be plagued by mounting and complex challenges, Ambassador Lodhi said that “Conflicts have intensified and new dangers have emerged while in fundamental ways, the world has gone in reverse”.
Commenting on the volatile situation in the Middle East, Ambassador Lodhi said that the two-state solution was in peril.
“The plight of the Palestinian people is being betrayed at the altar of narrow and myopic political interests and the quest for peace and stability in the region is becoming more elusive than ever”, she asserted. Arguing that occupiers have no case to make other than to create alternate facts, Ambassador Lodhi criticized those speakers in the Security Council who tried to deflect attention away from the tragedy of the Palestinian people during the debate. She voiced Pakistan’s deep concern over the financial constraints faced by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), whose activities are a lifeline for Palestinian refugees.
“The unfortunate situation has been aggravated by the unilateral decision of a major UNRWA donor to withhold more than half it’s funding to the organization”, Ambassador Lodhi said and urged the international community to ensure sufficient and sustainable financing for UNRWA.
“The international community must not fail the Palestinian refugees”, she remarked. Criticizing the recent decision by certain countries to relocate their Embassies to Jerusalem, the Pakistani envoy said that this has further inflamed the security situation in the Middle East. The legal status of Jerusalem is unambiguous, Ambassador Lodhi said, pointing to several Security Council and General Assembly resolutions which affirm that all legislative and administrative measures taken by the occupying power to alter the character and status of Jerusalem are ‘null and void’.
“Security Council Resolution 478 in fact calls on states that have established their diplomatic missions in Jerusalem to withdraw them from the Holy City”, she added. She asserted that any contrary action was therefore, not only a manifest violation of the Resolution but also a blatant attempt to legitimize Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem.
The Pakistani envoy told the 15-member Council that the Middle East can only secure peace if it is built on the foundation of justice – an imperative that entails a viable, independent and contiguous State of Palestine on the basis of internationally agreed parameters, the pre-1967 borders and with Al-Quds Al-Sharif as the capital of the Palestinian State.
Speaking on the situation in Yemen, Ambassador Lodhi called for a massive humanitarian surge to address the suffering of the Yemeni people, especially women and children. This, she said must complement a surge in diplomacy that was essential to kick-start an inclusive political process. On Syria, she said that continued engagement by all sides in genuine, representative and direct intra-Syrian negotiations was the only way forward towards finding a political settlement of the conflict.