Published On: Wed, Jan 25th, 2017

Pakistan urges UN to address root causes of world disputes

Pakistan has called for addressing the root causes of conflict as well as the decades-old international disputes to bring about sustainable peace in this troubled world.

“Sustainable peace is a daunting challenge that cannot be met unless the underlying causes of conflict are addressed — poverty, and increasingly, environmental degradation; political and economic injustice; ethnic, tribal and religious tensions; and external interference and intervention,” Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the UN General Assembly on Tuesday.

Speaking in a high-level dialogue on “Building sustainable peace for all: synergies between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and sustaining peace,” the Pakistani envoy also emphasised the need for resolving “long-standing political disputes.”

“This underscores the nexus between peace, development and justice,” she added.

Ambassador Lodhi said the United Nations responsibility for sustaining peace flowed from the Charter’s promise of protecting economic and social development for all peoples “in larger freedoms”.

While the Organization’s capacity to sustain peace remained relatively nascent, and its efforts in nation-building had yielded mixed results, such efforts had nevertheless been more productive and cost-effective than the unilateral actions taken by some Powers, she told the 193-member Assembly.

Emphasising the importance of respecting the fundamental principles of sovereignty and sovereign equality of States in all of the United Nations work, she said that only national actors could drive the process for implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and achieving peace through transparent, participatory decision-making.

In this regard, the Pakistani envoy said the availability of adequate and timely resources remained the most critical development challenge.

Opening the debate, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres highlighted the importance of recognising the links between sustainable development and sustaining peace amid such intertwined global challenges as rising inequality, protracted conflicts and climate change.

“We need a global response that addresses the root causes of conflict, and integrates peace, sustainable development and human rights in a holistic way, from conception to execution,” Guterres said.

The universal nature of the 2030 Agenda “adopted by the Assembly in September 2015 as a plan to tackle poverty, inequality and other global challenges” and its pledge to leave no one behind ties it to sustaining peace, he explained.

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