The edifice of global order is “under assault,” Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, said on Saturday at the United Nations, pointing to rising inequality within and among countries.
“Forces of protectionism, populism and isolationism are gaining currency,” he argued, saying “intolerance is ascendant over acceptance; rhetoric over reason, and power over principle.”
Multilateralism “is on a path of retreat,” and “unilateralist tendencies are growing [and] long-standing legal norms are being eroded for strategic and commercial considerations,” he declared.
“Post-World War idealism is giving way, slowly but surely, to a hardened, militaristic approach,” he said, which was “not only regressive, [but] downright dangerous.”
Turning to peace, he reminded the Assembly that Pakistan remained one of the oldest, largest and most active UN peacekeeping contributors.
“The Pakistani ‘blue helmets’ have laid lives in the cause of global peace,” he said, adding that his country also hosts one of the oldest missions, namely the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP).
Commending that operation’s contribution in monitoring the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, he noted Pakistan’s desire for a relationship with India “based on sovereign equality and mutual respect.”
Explaining that they were to meet on the sidelines of this year’s General Assembly, he said that India, for the third time, called off their dialogue.
“They preferred politics over peace,” asserted. “They used the pretext of stamps issued months ago, of a Kashmiri activist and depicting grave human rights violations, including pellet gun victims, as an excuse to back out from the talks.”
The Foreign Minister underscored that “dialogue is the only way to address long-standing issues that have long bedeviled South Asia and prevented the region from realizing its true potential.”
Moreover, Mr. Qureshi asserted that New Delhi, “in plain sight of the international community,” perpetrates State-sponsored terrorism in Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir and “has sponsored terrorism and aggression against all its neigbours.”
Underscoring the relevance of the UN, the Foreign Minister detailed an eight-point list to keep the Organization as the world’s “central platform for dialogue and diplomacy,” which ran from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to maintaining the “sanctity and integrity of international agreements” and developing universally-agreed legal frameworks on technology and innovation.
“These times call for deliberation and diligence, but also cooperation and concerted action. They call for a truly united, United Nations,” he concluded.