BEIJING, China: Pakistan on Thursday stressed a need to uphold the charter of the United Nations, principle of sovereign equality, and the uniform application of international law to address challenges of security, development and human rights.
“The world today requires multilateralism more than ever to preserve peace and promote development. Collective responsibility needs to be exercised through ‘consensus building,” said Pakistan’s ambassador and Permanent Representative to UN Office in Geneva Farukh Amil while speaking at the South-South Human Rights Forum held at People’s Great Hall in Beijing.
The Forum – Building a Community of Shared Future of Human Beings: New Opportunity for South-South Human Rights Development was jointly organized by the State Council Information Office of the People’s Republic of China and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People Republic of China.
Farukh Amil said that human dignity also means sharing prosperity and helping others in need, adding, “Let me state that 86 percent of refugees are hosted in the developing countries, including Pakistan.”
The ambassador said only a year old, Pakistan gave shelter to refugees from Poland in 1948 and continued through the decades to give refuge from those escaping conflict and persecution from the Middle East, Africa, Asia and against Europe.
Since 1980, Pakistan has hosted more than twice the number of refugees than the entire Europe in the last five years.
“We all must support each other and help the people in crises and need, since the human rights are universal and everyone has the right to live with human dignity,” he added.
He said the UN charter and uniform application of international law is also essential to address new emerging concerns and non-conventional security threats including extremism, terrorism, major communicable diseases, climate change, armed conflicts etc.
In the wake of thee unprecedented challenges, peace and development through mutual cooperation is the only solution, he added.
Ambassador Farukh Amil said the climate change and consequential disasters are deeply affecting the socio-economic rights of the citizens of this planet and poses serious threat to the very existence of human kind, adding. “We need to find a way to co-exist with nature in harmony.
He said the development aspiration must be pursued in a way that does not further marginalize and starve billions of those vulnerable to climate change caused by a handful few.
He highlighted that climate change is undermining human rights of small island developing states and the people from mountainous region, who are facing imminent threats of rising sea levels and melting glaciers respectively.
Ambassador Farukh Amil said that Pakistan, China and the East Asian countries fed by the Indus, the Yangtze and the Mekong Rivers stand to suffer more than others.
Climate change is violating rights to lives and livelihoods. The impact of climate change must, therefore, be mainstreamed in the global human rights agenda, he added.
He said with industrial robots increasing by 18 percent per year another important discussion we must have in the context of poverty alleviation is the rise of robots and artificial intelligence.
He said as more people gain freedom from poverty, secure their human dignity the robots will not just be at the cutting edge of innovation but also undertaking dangerous and dirty jobs, freeing up humanity.
However, the public fear of being pushed back into unemployment and poverty is also real. That must be addressed through innovative solutions, such as universal basic income.
“As a way forward in our quest to build a community of shared future and ensuring human rights and human dignity through prosperity, he offered four avenues for concerted action,” he added.
He said technology is a great equalizer and it overcomes barriers of geography and race and offers economic opportunities that promote equality.
“We must allow improved trading opportunities and regional connectivity to promote shared economic development,” he added.
He said, the existing trading regime must be made more open, transparent, inclusive and non-discriminatory. Regional connectivity must be promoted to offer legal economic opportunity.
In this context, China’s One Belt and One Road Initiative, supported by over 100 countries and international organizations is a landmark initiative.
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project under this initiative, is shining example of cooperation for the realization of the right to development and enhancing connectivity in the region and great civilizations, he added.
He said that it has transformative impact by focusing on local employment generation, boosting economic growth through investment in energy and industrial zones and building infrastructure.
This project is providing great opportunity for the whole region to prosper is truly building a community of shared future. Its success will be the success of the idea of South-South cooperation for sustainable development, he added.
Ambassador Farukh Amil said that fostering peace and harmony through resolution of disputes on the UN agenda. These disputes create unnecessary competition between those fighting for the Right of self-determination and those negating this fundamental right.
He opined that nation states must be allowed to find solutions of challenges, particularly in the field of human rights according to their own system of governance based on respective tradition, history, heritage and circumstances.
He said, China, in recent times has articulated common and cooperative approach to regional economic development through enhanced connectivity, adding, it has also put forth the idea of cooperative framework for peace and security at important multilateral platforms.
The work on building a global community of shared future should have started many years back, adding, it is not too late to start it now.
The forum has brought a wide range of diverse stakeholders from international community, developing countries and academia under one roof.