UNITED NATIONS - A committee of the UN General Assembly has approved a Pakistan-sponsored resolution that reaffirms the right of peoples to self-determination, and calls for cessation of foreign military intervention, occupation and repression.

The resolution, co-sponsored by a record number of 75 countries, was adopted with consensus in the assembly’s third committee, which deals with social, humanitarian and cultural issues.

Diplomats said the resolution served to focus the world’s attention on struggle by peoples for their inalienable right to self-determination, including those in Kashmir and Palestine.

Pakistan has been tabling this draft in the 193-member assembly’s third committee since 1981 and each year it passes without a vote. The text will come up for endorsement in the General Assembly next month.

The resolution reaffirms the universal rights of people to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Charter and international covenants on human rights.

By the text, the assembly reaffirmed that the universal realisation of the right of all peoples – including those under colonial, foreign and alien domination – to self-determination is a fundamental condition for the effective guarantee, observance, preservation and promotion of human rights. The assembly also declared its firm opposition to acts of foreign military intervention, aggression and occupation, since those have resulted in the suppression of the right of peoples to self-determination and other human rights in certain parts of the world.

It also called on those states responsible to cease immediately their military intervention in and occupation of foreign countries and territories, as well as all acts of repression, discrimination, exploitation and maltreatment.

By further terms, the assembly deplored the plight of millions of refugees and displaced persons who have been uprooted as a result of these acts, and reaffirmed their right to return to their homes voluntarily in safety and honour.

It also requested the Human Rights Council to give special attention to the violation of human rights, especially the right to self-determination, resulting from foreign military intervention, aggression or occupation. It also requests the secretary-general to report to the 65th session of the General Assembly on this question.

Introducing the draft, Pakistani delegate Marghoob Saleem Butt highlighted the importance of the right of self-determination that enjoys primacy in international law as well as is the cornerstone of the UN Charter and two international Covenants.

Butt said the growing number of sponsors every year reflected the importance of that right, upheld by all major summits, declarations and resolutions. It sent a strong message by the international community against all acts foreign oppression.