Permanent Mission of Pakistan to the United Nations – Right of Reply – Agenda Item-8 – 42nd Session of the Human Rights Council – 23 September 2019
I shall make this statement on behalf of the member states of the OIC VDPA, building upon the Universal Declaration and Programme of Action, was
a seminal human rights document. We agreed to some fundamental principles when adopting it. These principles included: One, all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated and all rights should be treated on the same footing in a fair and equal manner. Two, the right to development is inalienable and part and parcel of basic human rights. Three, states are obligated to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, while bearing in mind the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds. The success of the implementation of the VDPA lies in dialogue and cooperation. VDPA’s implementation should be in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and norms governing international relations. Thus, constructive cooperation, equal and mutually respectful dialogue and exchange of best practices must be the key principles of the work of the Human Rights Council. This also includes respect for national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds. Any negation of diversity and rejection of multiculturalism through a deliberate intellectual or political discourse can have far reaching impact on the future of international human rights framework.
The OIC is concerned about the emerging “cross-border bonding of demagogues”, and social acceptance of such phenomenon. The silence and
complacency of the learned and enlightened segments of the population in the face of increasing bigotry is a matter of deep concern. It is essential that the intelligentsia, local communities, religious and political leaders should openly speak against such bigots and populists. This would help in overcoming the growing divide between the different ethnic and religious segments of societies. It would also exhibit the resolve of all rational people to fight xenophobic tendencies, thereby discrediting extremist voices.This was the underlying demand of the VDPA.
Today, the responsibilities of the social media cannot be overstated in this context.Too often, we have seen an irresponsible and mainstream eagerness on the part of the social media to ascribe incidents of terrorism and extremism to particular communities and religion. At the same time, the same media have been unwilling to censor political demagogues and purveyors of prejudice and outright hatred.
I would like to end my statement with High Commissioner’s words that “do not be led by the deceiver. It is only by pursuing the entire truth, and acting wisely, that humanity can ever survive”. Indeed, member states need to have the courage to pursue truth not selectively, and without discrimination, if we are to succeed in countering the growing forces of irrationality and hatred, forces that emanate, disturbing enough, from all regions of our troubled world.
I thank you.