Pakistan has urged the U.N. and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to develop common strategies and plans to find just solutions for some of the most complex and protracted challenges, including the conflicts in Kashmir and Palestine, that threaten world peace and security.
“While conflicts affect many parts of the world, some of the most complex and protracted conflicts unfortunately afflict the Islamic world,” Mohammad Aamir Khan, acting Pakistan permanent representative to the U.N., told the Security Council on Wednesday.
In a statement in a high-level virtual debate of the 15-member Council to examine the challenges of maintaining peace and security in fragile or conflict-affected countries, he said that foreign occupation, intervention and aggression have led to untold suffering for millions in the Muslim world.
“Many Muslim peoples, such as the peoples of Jammu and Kashmir and Palestine, continue to struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination and the end of foreign occupation”, he added.
Pointing out that foreign interventions had increased instability and eroded socio-economic development in the Muslim world, Aamir Khan said that anti-Muslim prejudice also turned the “war on terror” overnight into a veritable “war on Islam”, and was used as a pretext to invade Muslims countries.
As a leading voice of the Muslims, he said the OIC can play an important role in highlighting the root causes of these conflicts that have beset the Muslim world, and can act as a trusted interlocutor to apprise the international community of the legitimate concerns of the Muslim world, including the resurgence of Islamophobia.
At the outset, the Pakistani representative underscored the need for the Security Council to address the root causes of conflict in the world as its mandate was to preserve international peace and security.
“The received wisdom is that weak governance, political instability and under development often lead to violence within and among states and societies,” he said, noting that these were the presumed “fragile contexts” mentioned in the debate’s subject.
Unfortunately, he said, this hypothesis overlooks the deeper causes of such “fragile contexts” the centuries old legacy of colonial occupation and exploitation, racism, inequality and the oppression of peoples.
“It is this legacy which has led to the poverty, inequality, exploitation, external interventions, environmental degradation and weak governance which are the real drivers of conflict in our world today.”
While structural problems within a fragile state contribute directly to this inequality, the Pakistani representative said it is also enabled and incentivized by an international system of vested power and exploitative profit, referring to the exploitation of developing countries as illustrated by $ 1 trillion in illicit financial flows from the poor to the “financial havens”, mostly in the rich countries.
“If we are to truly decolonize our world and bring an end to such neo-imperialism, we must dismantle these exploitative national and international structures, he said adding that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an excellent framework and blueprint to end exploitation, inequality, poverty and underdevelopment.
Environmental degradation was another driver of fragility for countries which are already impoverished, the Pakistani representative said, adding that this crisis is the legacy of profligate consumption in the industrial world over the past two centuries.
The rise in intolerance, prejudice, racism and xenophobia also threaten world peace and stability, he said, noting that the resurgence of right-wing populism, violence, discrimination and hatred.
“A clash of cultures and civilizations must not be allowed to become a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Aamir Khan said.
“The rise of fascism in the past showed us that nations are fragile social constructs and even in democracies people can be manipulated into the tunnels of hate, bigotry and prejudice.
The rise of such exclusionary ideologies and extremist groups in some mature and some self -proclaimed democracies threaten peace and stability in several regions of the world.”
In conclusion, the Pakistani representative said that the coronavirus pandemic has reminded the world that no one is truly safe and secure until everyone is safe.
“This is the fundamental premise of the concept of collective security enshrined in the UN Charter,” he said, while underlining the need for Member States to mobilize the political will to transform this concept into reality.