Delegate speaks in a debate on crimes against humanity at UN


Pakistan on Friday called “unacceptable” the collective punishment of Gaza’s entire Palestinian population by Israeli Occupation forces, saying it amounts to “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

“Major crimes against humanity are being committed even as we speak, in Palestine, in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and in other situations of oppression, occupation and violence,” Pakistani delegate Rabia Ijaz told the General Assembly’s Sixth (legal) Committee).

Ms. Ijaz, a second secretary at the Pakistan Mission to the UN, was speaking in a debate on crimes against humanity in which speakers spotlighted the need for a universal instrument on preventing and punishing those crimes in the midst of geopolitical confrontations, including the recent Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Pakistan, she said, was deeply concerned by the rapidly deteriorating and dire humanitarian situation in Gaza due to the indiscriminate aerial bombardment, including of civilian and even protected UN targets.”



In addition to those actions, the Pakistani delegate said that the “inhumane blockade of food, fuel and medicines, as collective punishment of the entire Palestinian population of Gaza by Israeli Occupation forces, were unacceptable”.

“The current cycle of aggression and violence is a sad reminder and a direct consequence of over seven decades of illegal Israeli occupation, aggression, and disrespect for international law, including UNSC (Un Security Council) resolutions that recognize the inalienable right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.,” Ms. Ijaz said.

“The international community must work together for a just, comprehensive and lasting two-state solution with a viable, sovereign and contiguous State of Palestine on the basis of pre-1967 borders, with Al Quds Al-Sharif as its capital.

“Peace in the Middle East will remain elusive in the absence of such a solution,” the Pakistani delegate added. In her remarks, Ms. Ijaz also underscored the necessity for global cooperation to eradicate impunity for culprits and to ascertain justice for victims.

While the International Law Commission’s draft articles serve as “an instrumental kick-off point” on this issue, she emphasized that it is too soon to establish any solid conclusions regarding their essence and layout. Discussions on their content — like those held during the April resumed session — are valuable but show that a certain degree of disparity between viewpoints remains.

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