Violating the UN charter

The 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly opened on September 5, 2023, and the high-level segment will take place beginning on September 19, 2023, where the heads of states and various governments will make speeches. This year’s theme is, ‘Rebuilding trust and rekindling global solidarity: Accelerating Action on the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals towards peace, prosperity, progress and sustainability for all.’
Mr. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) gave hope to the people of the world when he said, “The world needs peace and peace in line with the United Nations Charter and international law. We must work harder for peace everywhere. If every country fulfilled its obligations under the Charter, the right to peace would be guaranteed.”
Ambassador Dennis Francis of Trinidad and Tobago and the President of the 78th session of the General Assembly echoed the same sentiments by saying, “As the UN’s chief policy-making body, the General Assembly bears a special responsibility to ensure that our efforts must be anchored in a robust multilateral system, faithful to the cherished values and principles enshrined in the Charter, our Charter.”
We do applaud the UN’s Charter and the principles enshrined in it, even if all its lofty provisions safeguarding fundamental human freedoms and liberties remain dishonored in many parts of the globe, it still stands as a moral reproach to wrongdoing nations that may facilitate reforms.
However, sometimes the silence over gross affronts to the UN Charter in Indian-occupied Kashmir is worrisome. The unheroic muteness of world powers has emboldened India to a chilling campaign of human rights atrocities against innocent Kashmiris, despite being the signatory to the UN Charter itself. It is a crime in Kashmir to salute the UN Charter or the implementation of the Security Council plebiscite resolutions.
We know well that the most promising way to prevent conflict is to eliminate its causes. The latter are well known. Violence and mayhem ensue because of mankind’s desire for domination, wealth, territory, fame, revenge, and destruction of people and things that are disliked for religious, racial, ethnic, political, cultural, or other reasons. Mr. Guterres was speaking the language of hundreds of millions of people living in occupied lands when he said, “We must address the root causes of conflict, protect vulnerable communities, strengthen social cohesion and invest in peacebuilding.”
Mr. Guterres added, “It is also time to bring disarmament and arms control back to the center, reducing strategic threats from nuclear arms and working for their ultimate elimination. Nuclear-armed countries must renounce the first use of these unconscionable weapons. In fact, they must renounce any use, anytime, anywhere. The so-called ‘tactical’ use of nuclear weapons is an absurdity.”
The Secretary General made us realise the truth that the nuclear age has placed in the world’s lap a growing and complex set of threats that create the possibility of an all-out holocaust in some parts of the world almost every day. We now have North Korea threatening Seoul, testing intercontinental ballistic missiles and bragging about hydrogen bombs. But in South Asia, the so-called experts seem to overlook frequently a continuous and ongoing threat of another kind.
Perhaps not by coincidence, the danger of nuclear threat in South Asia will be of paramount interest to the world leaders meeting this week at the UNGA. Kashmir has been regarded by President Bill Clinton as the most dangerous place on earth. Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Helen Clark has said, “Kashmir is a nuclear flashpoint.” Kashmir is the only nation in the world which is surrounded by three nuclear powers–India, Pakistan and China.
Perhaps it’s time the major powers take this seriously. UNSC resolutions pertaining to Kashmir should be honoured once and for all. Every day that passes without resolution of the crisis is one day closer to a cataclysm that will reach far beyond the borders of all countries involved.

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