Statement delivered by Ambassador Khalil Hashmi, Pakistan Permanent Representative to the UN, at Briefing on the Secretary General’s Proposed Programme Plan for 2021
(12 June 2020)
Thank you, Madam High Commissioner, for your comprehensive overview of the Secretary General’s proposed Programme Plan for 2021, Programme 20 on Human Rights.
Madam High Commissioner,
We appreciate the commitment and continued efforts of the OHCHR under your leadership. This work should be guided by the principles of universality, impartiality and indivisibility.
The monitoring and documentation work of the OHCHR is helpful in preventing human rights violations. It also helps in deterring the perpetrator of such violations in situations of illegal foreign occupation and domination, recognized under the UNSC resolutions. We therefore, welcome the recommendations of the OHCHR’s reports on Jammu and Kashmir. The human rights landscape in IOJ&K has turned from bad to worse since the second Kashmir report was published last year. Such deteriorating situation warrants continuation of OHCHR’s monitoring and reporting, and it should be duly factored in office’s programme planning.
We would underscore the following additional points:
- One, the programme has a critical role in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda making human rights accessible, development equitable, sustainable and responsive to the needs of all people, especially in relation to conflict prevention, resolution and situations which are still under foreign occupation.
- Two, the programme’s reinforcement on Right to Development is now even more urgent than before after the devastating impacts of COVID-19. A reinvigorated focus on R2D will therefore help address the development needs of member states. The programmes that relate to poverty alleviation, promotion of universal primary education, basic health services and other high priority areas should receive adequate allocations of financial and human resources.
- Three, Pakistan has been a staunch advocate to provide adequate funding for legislative mandates through regular budget. We note with concern the perennial imbalance between the assessed and voluntary contributions. Priority-setting in the programs and activities of the Organization is an intergovernmental activity. Too much reliance on extra-budgetary post and non-post resources, especially when earmarked, has a detrimental effect on implementation of mandates approved by legislative bodies. Voluntary contributions should be subject to intergovernmental scrutiny and oversight in order to enable the General Assembly to monitor and evaluate the outputs, impacts and improvements in programme delivery. Greater transparency and adequate safeguards are required to preclude the possibilities of conflict of interest that may arise from earmarked voluntary contributions.
- Under-representation of large number of developing countries at professional and senior levels continues to remain a major concern. Pakistan, a country of over 200 million people with 5th largest population in the world has no personnel in OHCHR as a regular employee. Such a stark imbalance needs to be rectified, soon rather than later. The principle of equitable geographic representation needs to be applied transparently and across the board.
- We support calls for implementation of the recommendations by the UN Board of Auditors, which are necessary for the purpose of ensuring transparency and accountability of the Council’s work.
Madam High Commissioner,
Finally, let me reaffirm Pakistan’s delegation constructive engagement in the discussions on continued improvements in the work of OHCHR, in ways to ensure that the principles of accountability, transparency and equality are deeply rooted in the work of the Organization.