The UN's record of its proceedings is as follows (and shows how dorky the Indian media is!) http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/gashc3770.doc.htm
The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) approved 10 draft resolutions today on human rights questions, the right to self-determination and on the elimination of racial discrimination. Out of those approved, five were adopted by recorded votes.
Several draft resolutions were also introduced today on issues related to alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights, as well as specific human rights situations.
Deeply concerned at the continuation of acts or threats of foreign military intervention and occupation that are threatening to suppress, or had suppressed, the right to self-determination of peoples and nations, the Committee approved a draft resolution on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination by a vote of 88 in favour with 64 abstentions, to 3 opposed (Bhutan, India, Mauritius) (see Annex I). The draft would have the General Assembly declare its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, and call upon those States responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories.
Many speakers said it appeared that the universal principle of self-determination had been used to refer to the specific situation between India and Pakistan. Believing that the context that had prevailed was not appropriate or within the spirit of the universal principle of the right to self-determination, some delegations, including Benin, Dominican Republic, Kenya, Botswana and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines withdrew their co-sponsorship of the draft resolution.
Explaining his vote, the representative of India said that the statement made by the main sponsor – Pakistan -- while introducing the draft resolution, had challenged the unity and territorial integrity of India. The right to self-determination must not be construed to condone any action that would disrupt or threaten the territorial integrity of a State. India would oppose any attempts to misuse the principle of the right to self-determination for ulterior motives.
The representative of Pakistan expressed his gratitude to all delegations that had reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of self-determination. A vote for this principle was not a vote in favour of any specific issue –- it was a vote for the principle of self-determination -– a principle central to the United Nations Charter.
Further down in the document, notice how most of those who voted for the resolution said that it does not apply to the bilateral issue between India and Pakistan :
The Committee had before it a resolution on the universal realization of the right of peoples to self-determination (document A/C.3/58/L.31).
The draft would have the General Assembly declare its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since those acts have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination. It would have the Assembly call upon those States responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in, and occupation of foreign countries and territories and all acts of repression, discrimination and maltreatment.
The representative of Singapore said he had co-sponsored the draft resolution and that his Government believed in the right of peoples to self-determination. The draft did not address any specific situations, and he believed that a case-by-case approach needed to be mentioned in the draft. The representative of Singapore would therefore have to reconsider its co-sponsorship next year.
The representative of Algeria told the Committee of his country’s experience of colonialism and deep belief in the right of self-determination.
A vote was called for by the representative of India.
The representative of Pakistan, in a point of order, appealed to the representative of India to not call for a vote on this resolution that had been adopted year after year by consensus.
The representative of India, explaining his vote before the vote, said that some of the references made by Pakistan, on behalf of the co-sponsors, challenged and threatened the territorial integrity of India. It was therefore clear that for Pakistan the universal right of people to self-determination was a mere excuse to pursue its own political agenda. The draft was selective and unbalanced and did not deal with the right to self-determination in its entirety. Any attempt aimed at the disruption of the territorial integrity of a nation State went against the purpose and principles of the Charter.
The right to self-determinations implied free elections, democracy, equality, secularism and the rule of law, he said. The Pakistani people had been deprived of those rights for most of their history. The Government of Pakistan must therefore ensure the right to self-determination to its own people, before tabling resolutions on the universal right to self-determination. The representative of India would therefore vote against the draft resolution.
In a general comment, the representative of Pakistan said that the representative of India had said that the draft resolution was unacceptable to India; however, India had joined the consensus on the text for several years in a row. This represented new thinking in New Delhi, and one must wonder what the causes were for this change. When a territory’s final status was to be determined through the exercise of the right to self-determination through a United Nations plebiscite, it could not be described as an integral part of a State. It was a disputed territory.
Both India and Pakistan had emerged as sovereign States through the right of self-determination, he said. He reserved the right to respond to the gratuitous remarks made about the Government of Pakistan and stressed that a Government made up of fascists and fanatics had no right to criticize any other Government.
The representative of Benin, making a general statement, said that she had not expected things to be so complicated. The concern of the draft was to support the general decolonization process, not issues between India and Pakistan. She therefore withdrew her co-sponsorship, since it seemed the draft was no longer about the universal right to self-determination.
A representative of the Dominican Republic said his delegation was co-sponsoring the draft, since it agreed with the spirit of the universal right to self-determination. However, he did not agree with some of the things said by the main co-sponsor. The Dominican Republic was therefore withdrawing its co-sponsorship too.
The representatives of Kenya and Botswana joined others and withdrew their co-sponsorship.
The representative of Comoros said that he would like to co-sponsor the draft resolution.
A representative of Malaysia, a traditional co-sponsor of the draft resolution, said she regretted the attempts to muddy the important issue of self-determination.
Opening the Committee’s afternoon meeting, the representative of St. Vincent and the Grenadines said she would withdraw her co-sponsorship due to the alteration of the context within which it would be approved.
The representative of India, explaining his vote before the vote, said he would cast a negative vote on the draft resolution. The statement made by the main sponsor, while introducing the draft resolution, challenged the unity and territorial integrity of India. For Pakistan, the universal realization of the right to self-determination was a mere excuse for pursuing its own political agenda. The right to self-determination must not be construed to condone any action that would disrupt or threaten the territorial integrity of a State. Such attempts were incompatible with the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter.
In today’s world, self-determination implied freely held election, freedom of ethnic and religious minorities to preserve their identity, democracy, secularism and the rule of law, he said. For Pakistan to talk about self-determination, that Government must first ensure that the right to self-determination was granted to its own citizens. India would oppose any attempts to misuse the principle of the right to self-determination for ulterior motives.
In a vote of 88 in favour and 64 abstentions, with 3 opposed (Bhutan, India, Mauritius), the draft was approved (see Annex 1).
Speaking after the vote, the representative of Myanmar said she had supported the resolution.
The representative of the United States explained why he had abstained. The United States believed that the best solution would be a mutual resolution of issues between India and Pakistan, taking into account the interests of all parties.
The representative of Argentina said the text must be applied in keeping with General Assembly resolutions, particularly as related to the situation in the Malvinas Islands. Regarding these islands the principle of territorial integrity must be applied.
The representative of Armenia said the draft dealt with a fundamental and universally recognized international law. She considered that bringing into bilateral issues, on a matter of a universal nature, did not serve the purpose of the draft. It was her understanding that the Committee had approved the text of the draft and not the introduction of the draft.
A representative of Cyprus said he had abstained with great regret even though his Government attached great importance to the principle of self-determination. However, the context that prevailed was not appropriate, and had not allowed him to vote in favour of the draft.
A representative of Burkina Faso said that the draft brought up the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination. The Committee was not part of the bilateral controversy.
The representative of the United Kingdom said, in response to what had been said by the representative of Argentina, that his country’s position on the sovereignty over the Falkland Islands was well known.
The representative of Indonesia said that his country was committed to the right to self-determination. However, since the draft had been open to interpretation and could cause difficulties for other States, he had abstained. It was hoped that next year’s draft would be better formulated to allow those who believed in the right to self-determination to support the draft.
A representative of Nepal said he would have preferred this draft would have been approved without a vote. Despite his commitment to the principle of self-determination, he would have abstained.
The representative of Canada speaking on behalf of Australia and New Zealand, explained that these countries had voted in favour of the universal right to self-determination. However, they deplored the tenure of the debate that had taken place surrounding the draft resolution and hoped that it would not happen again.
A representative of Liechtenstein said he regretted that his delegation had felt the need to abstain.
The representative of Ethiopia said she had voted in favour of the draft resolution based on the spirit of universality of the principle of self-determination.
The representative of Portugal said she had supported the draft, but regretted that the debate had focused on specific situations rather than the principle, in general.
A representative of the Dominican Republic said that if he had been in the room, he would have voted in favour of the resolution. It was a shame that this draft resolution had not been approved by consensus, as had been the case in previous years.
His vote in favour must be considered to mean his support for the universal principle of self-determination only, said the representative of Mongolia.
The representative of Turkmenistan would have voted in favour had he been in the room.
The representative of Fiji had not been in the room, she said. If she had been present, the Government of Fiji would have abstained.
The representative of Austria said that he had voted in favour of the draft resolution entirely on the basis of its text.
A representative of Cape Verde had voted in favour of the draft resolution.
The representative of Pakistan said his delegation wished to express its gratitude to all delegations, who had reaffirmed their commitment to the principle of self-determination. A vote for this principle was not a vote in favour of any issue; it was a vote for the principle involved, a principle central to the United Nations Charter and the basis for the existence of the United Nations. It was not Pakistan’s intention to introduce controversy or polemics with India in the context of the resolution. Pakistan had introduced this resolution for almost one dozen years. He said it was a matter of record that over the years, Pakistan had mentioned Palestine, Namibia and also Kashmir in its statements related to the resolution. What happened this year was that the context had been changed, and polemics introduced by India. What changed was that India felt it could bully the United Nations and bully Pakistan into halting its advocacy of the cause of Kashmir. Pakistan would continue to support Kashmir, whether other delegations supported it or not.
He noted that 80,000 Kashmiris had been killed by the Indian army and thousands of others had been maimed, and women raped. Kashmir was a disputed territory, wherein the Security Council had determined that people must be given the right to choose their destiny, as to whether to be a part of India or Pakistan. The territory of Kashmir shown on the map of the United Nations was disputed territory; it was not part of India and would never be a part of India. The people of a disputed territory should not be denied its right to self-determination.
The representative of Bangladesh said her delegation fully subscribed to the right of people to self-determination and was on the list of co-sponsors. Its own sovereignty was the product of the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination. Her country was therefore committed to supporting the resolution.
The representative of Malaysia said that as a former colony, Malaysia was more than a little concerned about this resolution.
The representative of Iran said Iran had been traditionally a co-sponsor of the resolution on the right of people to self determination and also this time because the resolution reaffirmed the right of people to self-determination was enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
The representative of Ireland said his country had voted in favour of the resolution because it believed in the right of people to self-determination, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter.
The representative of Cuba said his delegation would like to stress that the only reason why it had voted in favour of the draft was because Cuba supported the right of people to self-determination, as a basic principle of the United Nations Charter. His delegation had tremendous respect for that principle, and this was the main reason why it voted in favour of the resolution.
The representative of India said his delegation did not intend to respond to any points made by the representative of Pakistan. It rejected completely all his accusations. However, his delegation wished to point out that if any delegation had any doubts as to the real motives of Pakistan’s sponsorship of the resolution, then the general statement made by the representative of Pakistan would not leave any doubt.
The representative of Thailand said his delegation subscribed to the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination. It did so again this year as a reconfirmation of its commitment to this right.
The representative of Nigeria said Nigeria had traditionally supported this resolution, and on that basis it had voted in support of this resolution. Over the years Nigeria had taken the lead against the cruel practice of apartheid, and it continued to support the resolution.
The representative of The Republic of Korea voted in favour of the resolution despite the debate and the not very desirable exchange of views. It decided to continue to support the text because in the end, what was important was what the resolution said.
The representative of Croatia said Croatia had voted in favour of the resolution on the merits of the text, although it deeply deplored the discussion that took place this morning.
The representative of Bulgaria voted in favour because it consistently supported the principle of the right of people to self-determination, as enshrined in the United Nations Charter. Bulgaria deeply regretted however, that the resolution was adopted after such an acrimonious debate and hoped that next year it would be adopted by consensus.
The vote was as follows :
Vote on Right to Self-Determination
The draft resolution on universal realization of the right to self-determination (document A/C.3/58/L.31) was approved by a recorded vote of 88 in favour to 3 against, with 64 abstentions, as follows:
In favour: Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen.
Against: Bhutan, India, Mauritius.
Abstain: Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Botswana, Cambodia, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Federated States of Micronesia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guyana, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Latvia, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malawi, Malta, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia and Montenegro, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, United States.
Absent: Afghanistan, Belarus, Central African Republic, Chad, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, Gambia, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Liberia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Nepal, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Sao Tome and Principe, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Zambia, Zimbabwe.