Foreign Minister of France to Commission on Human Rights: World is living dramatic events with Iraq crisis

News and Press Release
Originally published

Commission Continues to Debate Right of Peoples to Self-Determination
(Reissued as received.)

GENEVA, 24 March (UN Information Service) -- Dominique de Villepin, the French Foreign Minister, this morning told the Commission on Human Rights that the world was living dramatic events with regard to the crisis in Iraq.

Mr. de Villepin said that the world wanted law to prevail, and from now onwards, the international community should give a new efficacy to multilateral institutions, in particular to the Commission. He said that, with regard to Iraq, the Commission had every year condemned the violations of human rights there. However, if force should be the last recourse, it should not be a preventive and unilateral action. Such a situation could damage the confidence that existed between States, and could lead to violence and war. Particularly, it would damage the process of human rights.

Mr. de Villepin added that the international community's obligations were to open the doors to the freedom of peoples. Categorically refusing any compliance with dictators, France wanted to bring hope to the world.

The Commission also continued this morning with its debate on the right of peoples to self-determination and its application to peoples under colonial or alien domination or foreign occupation.

Several speakers who took the floor on the issue of the right to self-determination highlighted the war in Iraq and said that the United States and its allies had transgressed international law. They said that the crimes perpetrated by the aggressing countries had resulted in many deaths. Other speakers requested the Commission to condemn the acts perpetrated by the United States against the people of Iraq. The situations in Jammu and Kashmir and in the occupied Palestinian territories were also raised by a number of delegations.

Before adjourning the morning session, the President of the Commission, Najat Al-Hajjaji, announced that nine members of the Commission had requested that the body hold a special sitting on the situation of the Iraqi people and the humanitarian situation to reaffirm the Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians in time of war. She said she would be holding consultations with the extended Bureau on this issue.

Taking part in this morning's debate were the country representatives of Cuba, Viet Nam, India, Algeria and Armenia.

Exercising the right to reply were the United States, India, Azerbaijan, Morocco, Cuba, Pakistan and Angola.

The representatives of the following non-governmental organizations also spoke: Women's International Democratic Federation (on behalf of the Federation of Cuban Women and Centro de Estudios Europes); World Union of Progressive Judaism (on behalf of the International Council of Jewish Women and Women's International Zionist Organization); the International Institute for Peace; Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity; United Nations Watch; the International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities; Centre Europe - Tiers Monde; American Association of Jurists; International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations; World Muslim World; General Federation of Iraqi Women; African Commission on Health and Human Rights Promoters; Union of Arab Jurists; Pax Romana; International League for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples; International Human Rights Association of American Minorities; the European Union of Public Relations; and Tupaj Amaru.

The Commission is scheduled to start its consideration of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all forms of discrimination when it reconvenes at 3 p.m. It will first hear more rights to reply from country representatives.

Statement from Podium

DOMINIQUE DE VILLEPIN, Foreign Minister of France, stated that the world was living dramatic events. With the crisis in Iraq, the international community was confronted with three problems: the legitimacy of the recourse to war, peoples' rights, and human rights. The international community was at a crossroads with the question of human rights which was at the heart of any debate. The world wanted law to prevail, and from now onwards, the international community should give a new efficacy to multilateral institutions, in particular to the Commission. Human rights were the only universal value able to bring together the different sides. The Commission had been defending the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the last 50 years, and considerable progress had been achieved.

Mr. de Villepin continued to state that the fight for human rights was exigent. Its respect should be universal, otherwise it could lead to an irreparable situation. One should also trace the limit of sovereignty vis-à-vis human rights: how to reconcile the sovereignty of States with the obligations to respect human rights, when minorities were suppressed, even massacred. The situation should correspond to proportionate and legitimate solutions. In Bosnia in 1995 and in Kosovo in 1999, in the face of the denial of the elementary principles of human dignity, France had played a big role in the decisions of the international community to intervene militarily. That situation had put to an end the barbarism and ethnic cleansing. The intervention had been necessary.

Was it necessary to recourse to this large and systematic war? Mr. de Villepin asked. More than ever, in the name of the future for all, one should reply to that question: how could one impose the respect for fundamental freedoms on a State that did not respect them? It was true that in Iraq, the Commission had been condemning every year the violations of human rights. If force was the last recourse, it should not be a preventive and unilateral action. That situation could damage the confidence that existed between States, and could lead to violence and war. Particularly, it would damage the process of human rights. The international community's obligations were to open the doors to the freedom of peoples. Categorically refusing any compliance with dictators, France wanted to bring hope to humanity.

Mr. de Villepin said that the Commission should contribute to the realization of the goals of the Millennium Declaration and the commitments made in Johannesburg. The Commission should favour access to education and health, particularly for children. Those goals constituted a major key to development, and to democracy and peace. All should fight together the pandemic that had ravaged countries and continents. One should not accept that AIDS could devastate people and their civil societies, while the preventive means existed and the treatments were available in the developed countries.

Statements on Right of Peoples to Self-Determination

RODOLFO REYES RODRIGUEZ (Cuba) said the international community was witnessing the criminal implementation of the hegemonic domination plans of the world superpower. Peoples and human beings all over the world were increasingly losing their capacity to define their own destiny. The right of peoples to self-determination was being subjected today to the most serious threat since the times of colonial wars. The illegal, unjust, unnecessary and brutal aggression against Iraq had already caused hundreds of human victims; many of them were innocent civilians. While that was happening, the United States continued to ensure full impunity to the criminal attacks of the Israeli army in the occupied Palestinian territories, whose heroic people have been denied their sovereign right to build their own State.

Cuba and Puerto Rico -- on a date as early as 1898 -- endured the designs of imperialist domination of the power elite of the United States. A United States military intervention thwarted the independence of the two Caribbean islands. As a heritage of that imperial intervention, a portion of the Cuban national territory was still occupied against the will of its people by the United States Naval Base in Guantanamo. Cuba claimed its inalienable right to exercise its sovereignty over that territory. The Cuban people had been forced to endure those 40 years, the most serious attempted plots against the exercise of their right to self-determination. Military invasions and a genocidal blockade -- unilaterally imposed by the US Government with the objective of yielding by hunger and disease the conviction of sovereignty of the Cuban people -- were some of the most notorious cases. The Cuban people had the legitimate right to defend themselves against actions by terrorists groups which operated against the island from United States territories.

NGO QUANG XUAN (Viet Nam) said that the right to self-determination was a right that had been recognized by international law, including most importantly, the UN Charter, as well as the two 1966 International Covenants on human rights. The issue of Palestine had been too long on the agenda of the United Nations, back since the late 1940s. To date, the people of Palestine had been struggling to attain their inalienable right to self-determination. Today, the situation in the Middle East continued to be of grave concern. Violence and wanton military activities had been escalated, while a durable peace was yet to be found. As a result, the Palestinian people had been further subjected to great suffering, especially women and children.

The international community must, therefore, double its efforts in support of the just cause of the Palestinian people. The suffering of the Palestinian people must be alleviated and their legitimate rights must be restored and guaranteed. Viet Nam further reaffirmed its consistent support for the Palestinian people and for their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination and to an independent State in their homeland.

DEBABRATA SAHA (India) said self-determination was a right applicable to the peoples emerging from colonial rule. It did not extend to component parts of independent sovereign States. In today's world, self-determination implied the right of participation in freely held elections by all sections of society. Its essence was democracy, equality, secularism and the rule of law. Those who claimed that religion or ethnicity alone could define a nation were racists, and must be roundly condemned. They were intolerant of the diversity of pluralistic societies. The Commission had heard the Pakistani representative abusing the concept of self-determination to advance his country's agenda of territorial aggrandizement. He would do well to recall that the right of peoples to self-determination did not include secession from multi-ethnic, pluralistic and democratic states. Given Pakistan's pre-eminent position as a state sponsor of terrorism, and its total lack of credibility, its attempts to shift responsibility to Indian security forces for some of the terrorist massacres sponsored by it in Jammu and Kashmir would not fool anyone.

Everyone knew that Pakistan created and nurtured the Taliban, in part to support its own terrorist agenda. It had been amusing to hear the Pakistani representative talk about the "Indian version of democracy". That the distinguished representative of Pakistan should be unfamiliar with real democracy or free elections was not surprising, coming as he did from a country unfettered by any credibly institution of democracy -- institutions that India had come to cherish over the past 55 years.

MOHAMED-SALAH DEMBRI (Algeria) said that the right to self-determination had been one of the most prestigious conquests of humanity in the course of the second half of the last century. The Palestinian people had been moving from one refugee camp to the other and they were not even safe in their so-called autonomous territories. The occupying Power was responding to the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people by bombarding the houses and educational, health and communication infrastructure. For five decades, the Israeli war machine had made the death of young demonstrators a common occurrence, and it had been detaining the sympathizers of the heroic intifada. The Israelis had also been torturing and massively deporting those participating in the Palestinian revolt. The right to self-determination and the right to return remained the cement that forged the cohesion of the Palestinian people. All the initiatives and processes which did not take into account all the questions of self-determination and the right to return would fail. The unique situation of the Middle East was similar to that of the people of the Western Sahara.

ZOHRAB MNATSAKANIAN (Armenia) said that one of the particular features of the political map of the Soviet Union was the highly arbitrary formation of its constituent parts. Since it was happening at a period when instruments of international law were much less developed, the mapping was done on a purely ideology- driven basis, lacking the fundamental assets to address concepts of individual and collective rights. Consequently, the decision to annex the Armenian region of Nagorno Karabagh to the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1921 was taken arbitrarily and with highly contentious legal applications. The break of the Soviet Union and the end of its ideology and colonial domination had eventually given the people of Nagorno Karabagh the opportunity to restore justice by means of available legal instruments and by legitimate action. However, they had been confronted with selective application of the law and outright denial of their legitimate rights. They were subjected to outright violence and ethnic cleansing. Such a response from Azerbaijan had left the people of Nagorno Karabagh with no other choice but to resort to self-defense.

The destructive nature of the use of mercenaries as a means of impeding the exercise of the right of peoples to self-determination had been demonstrated in the Nagorno Karabagh conflict as well. Armenia was committed to the full implementation of peoples' right to self-determination through peaceful means, as much as it was committed to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh issue.

SANDRA AGUILA, of the Women's International Democratic Federation, speaking on behalf of the Federation of Cuban Women and Centro de Estudios Europes, spoke about the flagrant violation of the United Nations Charter through the aggression of the Iraqi people by the United States. The superpower had been attempting to impose its hegemony for a very long time. Currently, it was the international system which was built after the Second World War that was under threat. The world had been marked by unilateral action by its only superpower, this time military, even though the same had been done for several years through its neo-liberal economic policies. One could no longer remain silent and it was the responsibility of the Commission to ensure the protection of human rights, including the right to self-determination. No to unilateralism and no to war.

DAVID LITTMAN, of the World Union for Progressive Judaism (on behalf of the International Council of Jewish Women and Women's International Zionist Organization), said that self-determination should apply to both Israel and the Palestinians. Half of Israel's Jewish population of 5 million was composed of refugees from Arab countries and their progeny. They too were entitled to their fundamental rights to self-determination. But for this to become a reality, all the Arab League States, the Palestinian Authority and the growing supporters of Hamas must officially recognize the inalienable and legitimate de jure existence of the State of Israel in a part of its historic homeland. On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly resolution 181 adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish States. However, this clear statement of international legality was rejected out of hand by all the Arab League States and by the then Palestinian leadership. The Arab League and the PLO tactically accepted the United Nations concept of international legality only in 1988 -- a full 40 years after the United Nations General Assembly resolution 181. However, 1989 was also the date when the genocidal Hamas Constitution was proclaimed. Three years ago, an unholy alliance was forged between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. This tacit alliance had proved fatal for the Palestinian people, for the peace process, their self-determination and international legitimacy.

PANKAJ BHAN, of the International Institute for Peace, said that in Kashmir certain forces had been busy creating a social space for the growth of a particular brand of religious exclusivism and fundamentalism which was alien to the ethos of Kashmir. These forces were getting both direct and indirect support from a neighbouring country which wanted to serve its own strategic interests in the region. The results had been traumatic for the Kashmiri society and its syncretic way of life. The results became obvious in the way the principal minority community of Kashmir -- the Kashmiri Pandits -- was uprooted from the place. On the social level too, these forces were bent upon imposing a very rigid and narrow agenda on the women of the majority community and issued diktats to women to confine themselves within the four walls of their homes. They were firmly asked not to aspire for education, jobs, economic and productive activity and social interaction.

TAHIR NASEEM MANHAS, of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organization, said that coming from the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir, he was keen to apprise the Commission regarding the application of the principles of self-determination to his State, particularly because a distorted interpretation of the right was often sought to be put forward by certain motivated quarters. On 26 October 1947, the Maharajah of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir freely signed an instrument of accession with the newly independent India. It there was any element of compulsion involved in the signing of the instrument of accession it was on account of the unprovoked aggression launched on the State by tribal raiders and other irregulars fully supported by the regular army of Pakistan. Jammu and Kashmir's accession to India was unambiguously endorsed by a freely elected Constitutional assembly on 17 November, 1956. The people of Jammu and Kashmir, imbued with a long tradition of tolerance and peaceful coexistence, totally rejected the distorted interpretation of self-determination put forward by Pakistan.

JULIÁN SCHVINDLERMAN, of United Nations Watch, said that today there were 21 electoral democracies in Latin America. There was only one true dictatorship in the region - Cuba. The right to self-determination was not the right to have your own dictator. In this spirit, United Nations Watch also endorsed President Bush's call that any Palestinian State must be democratic. This agenda item on self-determination had been dominated for too long by the issue of the Palestinians. By focusing on one people, this Commission did a disservice to more than 2 billion -- yes, 2 billion -- people who were ruled without their consent. The Chairperson served in her personal capacity and not as a representative of the Libyan Government. As a citizen of a free country that had emerged from dictatorship, he wished for her and all citizens of Libya the blessings of freedom and the right of self-determination, which her and two billion people others were currently and tragically denied.

BABATUNDE TAIWO, of the International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic and Other Minorities, said that Cabinda, Africa's last colony, continued to face the denial of its right to self-determination. The people of Cabinda's denial to the right to self-determination dated back 118 years ago. Today, Cabinda stood alone amongst the former colonies and provinces of Portugal yet to exercise and enjoy its right to self-determination and independence. Sadly, as was the status quo 118 years ago, Cabinda still remained under foreign occupation -- the illegal annexation by Angola. Since 1975, the Government of Angola with the unswerving support of Portugal continued to justify the illegal occupation of Cabinda. As a result, a land of great wealth had its people living in perpetual poverty. The Commission was urged to protect the people of Cabinda.

MALIK ÖZDEN, of Centre Europe - Tiers Monde, said that the military aggression perpetrated against the people of Iraq by the United States and some other counties constituted not only a flagrant violation of the right of people to self-determination but also a grave threat to international peace and security. How, not with the motive of pre-emptive war or exportation of democracy, but with the aim of taking over the wealth of country, could one undertake a war of aggression? The international community should reply to the following questions to restore its image: what could governments, individually and collectively, do to refuse the practice of fait accompli? What could the members of the UN, which were the only guarantors of the United NationsCharter and its implementation, do against the flagrant violation of international law? What could they do to explicitly condemn the United States? What measures should the international community take against impunity?

ALEJANDRO TEITELBAUM, of the American Association of Jurists, said currently the world was witnessing yet another attempt of colonial war against all the peoples of the world. This time the victims were the Iraqi people. The attack was a typical crime of aggression and the two aggressors -- the United States and the United Kingdom -- had a 150-year history of colonial wars, war crimes and crimes against humanity in all continents. Some countries were granting military bases to the aggressors and allowing the use of their airspace, thus becoming part of the aggression. The aggression against Iraq had been prepared for months despite the findings of the United Nations inspectors. There were several possible procedures open to the United Nations, including the holding of a Special Session of the General Assembly, which had not been looked into by Member States. The Organization, therefore, called upon Member States to call for a Special Session of the General Assembly and condemn the aggression against Iraq.

SAHIBZADA ISHAQ ZAFAR of the International Islamic Federation of Student Organizations said that for 50 years the Kashmiri people had been waiting for the implementation of the Security Council resolutions which stated that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan would be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite. The Kashmiris had been suppressed and brutalized. Over 85,000 of them had been killed by the Indian occupation army. Thousands of Kashmiri women had been molested and dishonoured. Tens of thousands of Kashmiris were languishing in Indian detention centres and torture cells. The absence of international pressure on India had been instrumental in allowing it to perpetuate its atrocities in Jammu and Kashmir with impunity. The Commission was urged to compel India to provide the right to self-determination to the Kashmiris.

TABBASUM ARMIN, of the World Muslim Congress, said that the irresistible and irreversible process of the right to self-determination was being resisted and every effort was being made to reverse the legitimate struggle of people, in particular those in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, by the territorial hungry countries such as India and Israel. That fundamental human right, which placed a positive legal duty of promoting the right to self-determination on the Member States of the United Nations, was being sacrificed by those very countries whose own existence was a product of the application of that fundamental principal. Despite those clear legal stipulations, the people of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir were yet to realize their fundamental right to self-determination. India, which had promised in the Security Council that the people of Jammu and Kashmir would have the right to decide their own future had now reneged on its promise to the Security Council.

ANISA TAWFIQ, of the General Federation of Iraqi Women, said that in the last few years, Iraq had been facing unprecedented aggression against its hospitals, shelters, museums and military targets by the United States. This had led to a loss of lives, including the lives of women and children. The United States administration gave itself full rights to intervene in another country to further its own national agenda. This was a total violation of the right to self-determination, which was a central human right. The United States had also continued to violate the right of the Iraqi people's sovereignty through its incessant bombardment of the no-fly-zone. It was a threat to international peace and security as well as to international humanitarian law. The international system had collapsed since the United States and the United Kingdom had disrespected the international community as well as the United Nations Charter. Delegations should adopt a firm stand against this and should press the United States and the United Kingdom to implement their obligations to international instruments and commitments.

PANDITA KASHINATH, of the African Commission of Health and Human Rights Promoters, said that some African States had become victims of private militias. This phenomenon had stimulated illegitimate resource appropriation, trans-national greed and arms proliferation, all impeding the right to self-determination. What was more, the mercenaries had more or less come to believe in their legitimacy and felt free to violate the spirit of the International Convention against the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries. Another form of mercenary activity was found in parts of South Asia, particularly in the Indian subcontinent, where terrorism was embraced in its various manifestations such as the creation of religious militias with absolutist ideological views.

ELIAS KHOURI, of the Union of Arab Jurists, said that the Iraqi people were suffering from war aggressions by the United States and its allies, including some oil companies. The crimes of the United States and the aggression of the United Kingdom could be dealt with by the international community. The war against Iraq was a pure transgression of the international norms on which the international community had been established. As a result of the 12 years of aggressions and economic sanctions, many thousand Iraqis had died. The Israeli aggression was also a threat to international peace and security. The international community should take into account the precedence of such an aggression and the imposition of such politics by force. The Union of Arab Jurists supported the holding of a special session of the General Assembly to debate the issue of the aggression against Iraq.

JOSEPH RAJKUMAR, of Pax Romana, said global developments demanded the re-conceptualization of one of the United Nations' founding principles and rights, that of self-determination. While oppressed peoples placed their hopes on the United Nations, the very institutions would loose its credibility and legitimacy if it continued to ignore the challenges linked to self-determination. Kosovo was a tragic illustration of the denial of the right to self-determination resulting in a serious erosion of all human rights. The escalation into a major conflict led to unilateral intervention outside the United Nations mandate. This lesson was particularly relevant in these sad days when the United Nations was impotently witnessing the circumvention of international law. Pax Romana, therefore, recommended the Commission on Human Rights to request the High Commissioner to establish a focal point concerning the implementation of the right to self-determination as a contribution to conflict prevention.

ORETTA BANDETTINI DI POGGIO, of the International League for the Rights and Liberations of Peoples, said it was quite encouraging to see the birth of the Memorandum of Understanding and cease-fire which entered into force in February 2002 and which put an end to 19 years of cruel war in Sri Lanka. The LTTE had entered the negotiating process explicitly seeking a solution for its people and asking for full regional autonomy under the federal system of government within the confines of the existing State. However, there was no certainty as to a successful outcome. Even after one year of ceasefire, more than 100,000 refugees were denied by the security forces the right to return to their lands and to start cultivating again. This was tantamount to denying them the right to shelter and food.

MAJID TRAMBOO, of the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities, said the United Nations General Assembly's Declaration of 1960 categorically stated that the subjection of people to alien subjugation, domination and exploitation constituted a denial of fundamental human rights which was contrary to the Charter and that it was an impediment to the promotion of peace, cooperation and security. One such vivid example of this was the people of Jammu and Kashmir who had waited now more than 53 years to exercise their right to self-determination. The people of Kashmir were struggling for this right as promised to them by the international community through the Security Council, but India's disobedience of the United Nations resolutions had denied them this right, thus increasing the plight of the Kashmiri people. The Kashmiri people were indigenous and the State of Jammu and Kashmir had never been under the domination of India, until Indian forces entered into the State in October 1947. It was the responsibility of the United Nations to ensure the realization of the Kashmiris' right to self-determination and to devise mechanisms for that end.

SARDAR SHAUKAT ALI KASHMIRI, of the European Union of Public Relations,said that the right to self-determination had been and continued to be flagrantly violated in the State of Jammu and Kashmir, which had remained under the occupation of Pakistan and India for the past 55 years. Since its formation in 1947, the puppet Azad Kashmir Government had remained under the direct control of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs in Islamabad. The de facto rulers who ran the government of Azad Kashmir were the unelected representatives of the Pakistan Government. In successive rigged elections in Azad Kashmir, parties and candidates who refused to sign a declaration acknowledging Azad Kashmir's so-called accession to Pakistan had been denied the right to participate in the elections. Handpicked nominees of the regime in Islamabad had been imposed as heads of government, disregarding the wishes of the people. Hundreds of political leaders and workers continued to languish in prison and the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment had made Azar Kashmir and the Northern Areas a sanctuary for international terrorists.

LAZARO PARY, of Tupaj Amaru, said following the 11 September attacks, the world had changed tragically and it was now witnessing a war. It was now a world where the right to self-determination was denied and human rights were disrespected. Thursday, 20 March, had been a day of blood and tears and a sad day for all peace-loving peoples. It had been a dark day where bombs had prevailed over the international legal order, in total defiance of the international community and the United Nations Charter. The United States and its allies, without the prior consent of the Security Council, had launched a ferocious attack on the Iraqi people. Tupaj Amaru firmly condemned this aggression of a mutilated country which had once been the cradle of civilization. The military aggression in application of a so-called pre-emptive combat of terrorism lacked all international legitimacy or credibility.

Rights of Reply

A representative of the United States, speaking in exercise of the right of reply in response to a statement made by Cuba, said that the rule of law was something that the United States knew a great deal about but was something that the Government of Fidel Castro knew virtually nothing about. How laughable -- if not sad -- that the Cuban Representative should choose to open his salvo by attacking the free and democratic way in which President Bush was elected as fraudulent. This coming from a country whose leader had ruled for 40 years and had never faced an election. How laughable -- if not sad -- that they should end their oratory by reference to the supposedly politically motivated legal process whereby five Cuban espionage agents were brought to justice by the US courts. Who in the Commission doubted the impartiality of the United States courts compared to the reign of terror of the Cuban Government?

A representative of India, exercising his right of reply in response to a statement made by the representative of Pakistan, said that he had sought to dismiss the massacres that had taken place as the work of the Indian Security Forces. Earlier today some 20 Pakistani terrorists had fired indiscriminately on innocent civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. This was one more point of evidence of the Pakistani Government's support and nurturing of terrorism. Making a reference to an article in the Economist, he said that the Pakistani leadership had done nothing to root out terrorism in the country despite its promises to do so. The Organization of the Islamic Conference was encouraged not to be manipulated by its spokesperson for the session, Pakistan.

A representative of Azerbaijan, speaking in exercise of the right of reply to a statement made by Armenia concerning self-determination of the Nagorno Karabagh region, said that the question concerned individual rights and not collective rights and therefore did not justify the splitting up of the state.

A representative of Morocco, exercising his right to reply in response to a statement made by the representative of Algeria, said once more the head of the Algerian delegation had tried to draw parallels between two incomparable situations, the Middle East and the Moroccan Sahara. He reminded the Commission that Morocco was in perfect conformity with international law. Furthermore, the people of the Moroccan Sahara wanted to remain in Morocco, and to be able to go to see their parents who were in Algerian prisons. The international community was not leaving the situation unattended. The Security Council had played an important role and the international community was working towards the respect of the territorial integrity of Morocco.

A representative of Cuba, speaking in exercise of the right of reply in response to a statement made by the United States, said that the United States representative had harked back to the worst moments of the cold war. Currently, the United States was using force of arms to deny the most fundamental of human rights, the right to life of the Iraqi people. The United States administration was driven by a fascist philosophy and the flouting of international law and norms. There was no humanity and respects for rules of justice in Washington today. Since 1970, the CIA had been supporting terrorist activities of Cuban criminal groups in Miami against Cuba.

A representative of Pakistan, exercising his right to reply in response to a statement made by the Representative of India, said India had mutilated one of the principle rules of international law and the United Nations Charter -- the right to self-determination. The Indian statement was a manifestation of deceit, deception and fraud. There was a morality vacuum and reality vacuum currently underway in New Delhi. India had totally denied United Nations resolutions by letting loose a reign of terror upon innocent civilians in Jammu and Kashmir. There was no border, just a point of control that disallowed the citizens to exercise their right to self-determination. The representative of Pakistan had called for an independent monitoring body for this region. Pakistan had nothing to hide and if there was any terrorism in the state of Kashmir, it was only Indian state terrorism.

A representative of Angola, speaking in exercise of the right of reply in response to a statement by the non-governmental organization (NGO) the International Federation for the Protection of the Rights of Ethnic, Religious, Linguistic, and other Minorities, said that the text read by the representative of the NGO was a political statement made by an Angolan terrorist organization. The Representative expressed his surprise that terrorist organizations were allowed to take the floor in the Commission and pointed out that internal domestic problems, such as the question of Cabinda, would be dealt with in the Angolan capital.