Statement delivered by Ambassador Khalil Hashmi, Pakistan Permanent Representative to the UN, at Virtual Presentation of OHCHR Annual Report, 2019
(05 June 2020)
Thank you, Madam High Commissioner, for presenting the Annual Report during your full first year in office.
This Annual report, like its earlier editions, is a useful compendium of OHCHR’s activities. Pakistan believes that the important work you and your office do to protect and promote all fundamental human rights, must continue with the spirit of equality, transparency, non-selectivity and in a non-politicized manner. In line with its commitment to support the OHCHR, Pakistan increased its voluntary contribution, 86% of which remains un-earmarked. We would continue our financial contributions in the future.
Madam High Commissioner,
My delegation would like to raise the following three points:
- We agree with you that COVID-19 pandemic would challenge our societies and continue to test leadership and humanity. Guidelines of your Office and the Presidential Statement adopted by the Human Rights Council situate human rights at the core of COVID-19 response. Even as OHCHR embeds the preventive agenda in its work, special attention needs to be paid to situations under illegal foreign occupations. Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir is one such situation, where physical and digital access to OHCHR continues to be denied. As a result, remote monitoring of the human rights situation is severely affected. Today marks the completion of 10-month long digital and physical lockdown in the occupied territory. COVID-19 is being used as a smokescreen to perpetrate human rights abuses in IOJ&K at a scale this world has not seen in recent times.
- Second, we agree the Annual Report rightly mentions that the Kashmir report has generated a human rights-based messaging. The reporting process on Jammu and Kashmir has to a degree deterred the occupier. Yet, since the last OHCHR report, the scale of and the impunity with which human rights abuses are being abetted in the Indian occupied Kashmir, needs to be exposed. For these reasons, the Kashmir reporting process, based on its human rights merits, must continue.
- Pakistan joins the call to give due attention to the universal representation in recruitment of OHCHR staff, based on equitable geographical distribution, including for the senior management level positions.
I thank you