on Agenda Item 5 – The Right of Peoples to Self-Determination and its Application under Colonial or Alien Domination or Foregin Occupation
The common Articles 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights state ” All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development. “
2. Article 1 of the UN Charter calls upon states to develop friendly relations among nations, based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace. Article 55 of the UN Charter underlines the importance of respect for equal rights and self-determination of peoples for the creation of conditions of stability and well-being necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations.
3. The UN General Assembly Declaration of 1960 categorically states that the subjection of peoples to alien subjugation, domination, and exploitation constitutes a denial of fundamental human rights, is contrary to the Charter of the Untied Nations and is an impediment to the promotion of world peace and cooperation and calls that all armed action or repressive measures of all kinds directed against dependent peoples shall cease in order to enable them to exercise peacefully and freely their right to complete independence. This right can rightly be termed as a preemptory norm of general international law in accordance with the definition contained in article 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of the Treaties.
4. Human rights and fundamental freedoms can only exist truly and fully when self-determination has been realized. This principle existed prior to the existence of United Nations and has attained a character of most important right among human rights. Consequently, any denial of the right of self-determination of any people and disregard of their aspirations for independence is a violation of the Charter.
5. The fall of the Berlin wall signified that oppressed and dispossessed peoples were close to the goal of freedom and would finally receive justice so long denied by those aggressors and occupiers who had erected their own Berlin walls around the innocent. It is unfortunate, that the peoples of Palestine and Jammu and Kashmir still await the realization of their right to self-determination.
6. International law affirms the legitimacy of the struggle of the occupied peoples. “Thus the right of peoples to self-determination necessarily implies the right of people to struggle by every means available to them, when the possibilities of obtaining recognition of the right to self-determination by peaceful means have been exhausted”.
7. Despite a clear mandate under the relevant UN resolutions, the people of Palestine are still being deprived by the occupying power to realize their right to self-determination. Israel has willfully defied the international legality and has continued with acts of lawlessness and state-terrorism against the Palestinian people and has held the whole world on the brink of war for more than five decades. It has continued to escalate its policy of arbitrariness and violence. Israeli settlements in the occupied territories have continued to grow. Displacement of the Palestinian people continues. As a policy of inflicting collective punishments, the land and properties of Palestinians are being destroyed and confiscated.
8. The OIC would like to affirm its conviction that there is no power in the world that can prevail over the just struggle of a people for freedom once they are resolved to realize their freedom.
9. Under the UN Charter and International Law, the responsibility to implement the right to self-determination and protect the nations from oppression rests on the collective membership of the United Nations, including the Commission on Human Rights. The OIC will continue to support all peoples whose rights have been usurped by the occupying powers. We urge the international community, States and civil society to support these struggles to promote the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, and the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They would, thus be strengthening international peace and security and human rights.