X Posted from the STFUP thread.
Then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s comments on the limited UN role in Jammu & Kashmir and on the limited efficacy of UN Security Council resolution on J&K. Comments made during his visit to the Indian Sub-Continent in March 2001.
Useful history to brush up now that the Islamic Republic of Pakistan has gone whinging to the UN given India’s disproportionate retaliation to provocations on the IB and LoC:
Press encounter on arrival in Islamabad, 10 March, 2001 (unofficial transcript)
Good Evening, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very, very pleased to be here in Pakistan on my first visit as Secretary-General. …………………..
I also expect that the Pakistani authorities will raise the issue of Kashmir. I would like to encourage progress in the relations between Pakistan and India, so important for the peoples of both countries, who have so much in common. I call upon both countries to return to the spirit of the Lahore Declaration. This will require restraint, wisdom and constructive steps from both sides. In this connection, I will also be urging both countries to sign the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty as soon as possible.
We have much to discuss, and I look forward to using this opportunity to renew the bonds between Pakistan and the United Nations, and to make progress in the vital areas of peace and development. Thank you very much. I'll take some questions. ……………………
Q: Mr. Secretary-General, you have referred to Kashmir as a source of tension and I think you also referred to the Lahore Declaration. Will the UN be interested to implement its resolutions like it implemented in East Timor?
SG: I think the UN resolutions on Kashmir are on record and the UN has observers in the region. We have UNMOGIP. In fact, the Chief Military Observer is here.
When it comes to implementation of resolutions, I think we have to be clear here. The UN has two types of resolutions -- enforcement resolutions under Chapter VII and other resolutions, which require cooperation of both parties to get implemented. East Timor is a Chapter VII resolution. One often refers to Iraq. Iraq is a Chapter VII resolution. The resolution you are referring to here does not come under Chapter VII in the same sense. And these resolutions are not self-enforcing. And therefore, the cooperation of the two parties, the two parties discussing these issues and finding a peaceful way out, is the route I recommend.
Press encounter after meeting with the Chief Executive of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf, 11 March 2001, 8 p.m. Islamabad time (unofficial transcript) ……………………..
Q: Excellency, my question is that last night you have given a press statement regarding the Kashmir issue. The prescription was that India and Pakistan should cooperate on the Kashmir issue. The Chief Executive sitting around this room has already stated and offered India that he is ready to meet the Indian leadership any time--at any time, any place, and at any level. But the Indian government's response is not so positive. [Inaudible] what [should] the United Nations and the Secretary-General of the United Nations [do], do you suppose? What should we do, what should India do, and what should you do? Thank you.
SG: I think the efforts to come together should continue. India and Pakistan have had exchanges in the past. You've managed to get the Lahore [Declaration] going and I hope that in the future, hopefully not in the too distant future, that the kind of engagement that you are referring to will be possible and, of course, as Secretary-General I would encourage both parties to come together to discuss the enterprises.
Press encounter upon arrival at New Delhi, India, 15 March 2001 (unofficial transcript)
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. I am delighted to be returning to India for my second visit as Secretary-General. ………………….
High on the agenda will also be regional issues, which I have been engaged with during my tour of South Asia. In particular, I will be urging a return to the spirit of the Lahore Declaration and to a renewal of the dialogue with Pakistan in order to reduce tensions and build confidence. This is essential to the peace of both nations and to the security of the people of Kashmir, who have endured too many years of violence and suffering.
As I said in Islamabad, you and Pakistan have too much in shared heritage by way of history, as well as family and cultural ties, not to resolve your differences. It is time to begin healing the wounds, to restore trust and to regain a sense of a common good and a common future. So long as grievances persist between both nations, and violence continues in Kashmir, you and Pakistan will be unable to tap the full potential of this important region. My good offices remain available should the parties wish to engage under UN auspices.
However, the important thing is that engagement begin, so that the peoples of both nations can embrace the opportunities of the new century.
This is the right time for India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue. Pakistan's leader General Musharraf assured me in Islamabad that he is ready to do so at any time. And, as I have said earlier, I stand ready to support the dialogue in any way that I can. Thank you. ……………………….
Q: Sir, are you carrying any particular message from Pakistan to the Indian leadership; from General Pervez Musharraf to the Indian leadership?
SG: I think I have already said enough. I already said enough.
Q: Sir, do you see any role for the UN Military Observer Group in Jammu and Kashmir in light of these statements?
SG: They have been around, they have been there for quite a while, and they have a mandate to be there. Obviously if they were, if India and Pakistan were, to engage and you had resolved the issue, there would be no need for the Observers. They'd be withdrawn.
Q: What was General Pervez Musharraf's reaction to your statement that the UN resolutions on Kashmir can't be implemented without India's assent. How did he react to it; how did the Pakistanis react to it?
SG: I really can't answer that but I did make my statement.
Q: Pakistan has been saying all along that a plebiscite is called for because that was [inaudible]?
SG: I think my statement is clear, my statement in Pakistan and my statement here is clear. Thank you very much.
Media Encounter following talks with Indian External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh, New Delhi, 16 March 2001 (unofficial transcript) …………….
Q to J. Singh: Mr. Secretary-General yesterday said that this is the proper time for India and Pakistan to resume the dialogue with reference to the (Lahore Declaration). How do you react to it?
J. Singh: I appreciate the very wise counsel. The Secretary-General has voiced these words here, as also in Islamabad. India, as the initiator of the dialogue, remains committed to dialogue. The timing and the venue etc. of course has to be decided by the dialoguers themselves. We nevertheless continue to believe and hold that it is necessary that the dialogue should be successful. The conducive atmosphere for it must be prepared first.
Q to J. Singh: And it does not exist right now?
J. Singh: It must be prepared first.
Q to SG: Sir, what are your views on progress in Kashmir since you have visited both sides now?
SG: I think what...I am encouraged by the discussions I have held in the region and as you heard the Foreign Minister, they agree that the only way out is dialogue, the only way out is negotiations between the parties. And I had the chance to indicate that there are Security Council's resolutions which are important but they are not self-enforcing and the parties have to come together through dialogue to implement whatever agreements are taken, which the Security Council resolutions could bear up. But the parties have to really come together and negotiate. And I am encouraged that both parties are open and willing to talk. And I hope in due course, we will see them undertake that.
Weblink:THE SECRETARY-GENERAL OFF THE CUFF – remarks made from 1 January to 30 April 2001