Your election to preside over this historic session bears eloquent testimony to your eminence among the representatives to the United Nations. It is recognition of your personal merits and acknowledged experience in the affairs of the organization.
Sir, to use the language of hyperbole, may I say, in the words of a Persian poet, that stars looking from the firmament into this Assembly might feel a little envious of the scintillating galaxy gathered here. The great men, who have come from the East and the West, personify the might and the majesty of the countries they represent. They are here today with a single purpose; to find a solution to the problems of this troubled world; and while they are here mankind waits in breathless suspense. Some of them are armed with the awesome power of life and death over the human race, but we believe that they have come to the United Nations in quest to find means of living together in peace with one another in a world free from fear and fee from want.
This year and this session will remain famous in history because of the presence of many African nations, who have won freedom and have been admitted to the United Nations. That great continent which was called dark but on which the light of freedom now shines, is free to bring its youth and its vigor to the service of its peoples. For many generations, the African were held in bondage. Today they are free, and are here with us as e3quals to discuss and resolve the problems facing humanity.
May I mention here that I have been instructed by President Mohammad Ayub Khan to extend to our African comrades his warm personal greetings. Now that the chains of political subjection, theirs and ours, have been broken, we look forward sincerely to close relations with the African states. Despite the long distances between us, there are historical ties of faith and culture between the teeming peoples of Africa and Pakistan. These bonds transcend distances and differences of custom and language.
Sir, we have gathered here from all parts of the world –all seeking one paramount objective –PEACE. We had hoped that the great nations of the world, who have conquered space, would teach us here to conquer our passions and our vanities so that we may live in peace without fear. Though but a few days have passed since we came full of hope, we already witness disillusionment. We had through that it was a manifestation of the new strength of the United Nations that great nations, who among themselves commanded the strength to destroy, had come here to ensure peace. But to our dismay, we find that this great house of peace, to which are committed the aspirations of all nations, has itself become a target of attack. This can only bring disappointment to us all, who look to the United Nations as the instrument which man has forged to control his ambitions and his anger.
The course of world affairs over the last decade has demonstrated the fact that while at critical times the great powers dispense with the United Nations in both aggravating and easing their tensions, it is the smaller countries, the defenseless ones, that stand in dire need of this organization in order to shield themselves from the dangers of power politics and in moderating the policies of the great powers.
Mr. President, it has been said of great historical figures that they wade across the world to make an epoch, bless, confuse or appal.
What kind of epoch are we about to make? Have we come here to bless or to appal?
The peoples of the world live under a perpetual terror of annihilation. In a matter of minutes, cities can be de3stroyed and the countryside laid waste by means which neither the imagination nor the cruelty of Attila or of Genghiz Khan could have conceived. We do not believe that any of the nuclear powers at present would deliberately launch a war of extermination. But the possibilities of miscalculation, mistake or accident, which may unleash such a calamity cannot be precluded. For 15 years the great powers have talked of disarmament, but with what result? Not a single division has been disbanded nor a single tank destroyed by agreement. There has been some reduction of armed forces and presumably of some armaments. But these reductions have taken place by unilateral action, not by agreement. There is, therefore, nothing to prevent their unilateral increase.
In securing the peace of the world through disarmament, undoubtedly the end is more important than the means. Barely 12 months ago, we discussed disarmament in this assembly in an atmosphere radiating with hope. But, unfortunately, the summit conference which followed it failed and the storms which gathered there overtook the Ten-Nation Committee.
Despite a measure of rapprochement between the two sides in the negotiations in the Ten-Nation Committee, the objective of general and complete disarmament remains distant so long as fundamental differences between them are not resolved. Two of the main difficulties relate to inspection measures. The first pertains to control –not control over what is to be reduced, on which agreement in principle has been reached –but over the verification of armed forces and armaments either before or after reduction in each stage. The second relates to the technical difficulties of ensuring by inspection that no undeclared stocks of nuclear weapons are concealed.
It is admitted on both sides that such hidden stockpiles cannot be discovered by any means now known to either side. We note the Soviet contention that with the implementation of general and complete disarmament, the difficulties of control, including verification of undeclared stockpiles will disappear because all means of delivering them to their targets will have been eliminated. We need a fuller and a more convincing explanation of this thesis before it can be accepted as an adequate answer to the formidable difficulties which have supervened in the way of the total elimination of nuclear weapons under effective international control.
The Pakistan delegation welcomes the pledge the Chairman of the Council of Minister of the U.S.S.R., in his statement last Friday, to resume negotiations with the Western Powers who have been waiting for this positive response since last June. We note that the document circulated by the Soviet delegation entitled “Basic Provisions of a Treaty on General and Complete Disarmament” revises in one important respect the Soviet plan of June 2. It is now proposed that the armed forces and conventional armaments, of the United States and of the Soviet Union, should be reduced in the first stage to a figure of 1.7 million and of the other states to fixed levels. Conventional armaments thus released are to be destroyed and military expenditures of states to be correspondingly reduced.
It is the view of my delegation that if obstacles to general and complete disarmament cannot be eliminated immediately, there is no reason why some partial disarmament measures should not be undertaken now. A specific task of the General Assembly at this session should be to bring about an agreement in principle between the East and the West on the reduction in the levels of the armed forces of the United States and the Soviet Union to a figure between 2.5 and 1.7 million as well as the reduction of conventional armaments to related levels and the eliminations of stocks thus released. This agreement in principle should be followed by negotiations to fix the levels of forces and armaments of the other great powers. If this should come to pass, the prospect of a real measure of immediate world—wide disarmament under international control will unfold itself.
In addition to a real measure of conventional disarmament, the respective proposals of the Western and the Eastern powers encourage us to believe that other initial measures are also possible in the immediate future.
It cannot be expected that all these intricate questions of substance can be resolved by the General Assembly. That is why a negotiating committee was established by the Foreign Ministers of the four great powers in September 1959. Many distinguished representatives have referred to the constitution of this committee. At present it has 5 members each, from the Western and Eastern powers. It has been suggested that the committee be expanded to include other interest as well. We agree to all this, but in our view, what is more important is the immediate resumption of negotiations.
May I, at this stage, Mr. President, touch upon a related question. It is a matter of regret that despite two years of negotiations, no agreement has been reached to halt test explosions of nuclear and thermo nuclear weapons. We would appeal to the parties concerned, with all the emphasis at our command, that they reach immediate agreement to stop such tests in order that the present uncertain voluntary moratorium is replaced by a mandatory prohibition under effective international control.
In a search for general and complete disarmament, it is not possible to ignore a study of the United Nations Organization with a view to determining how its machinery can best be developed in support of disarmament. If general and complete disarmament is achieved, the special responsibility of the permanent members of the Security Council for the maintenance of international peace and security, as reflected in Article 27, Paragraph 3 of the Charter pertaining to the right of veto, will have withered away. The principle of sovereign equality of all states, large and small, will then be freed from the anomaly and contradiction imposed by the power of veto.
We have always been in favor of restricting the use of the right of veto as far as possible, as it is against the spirit of the Charter. We are, therefore, constrained to express our regret that at a time when its elimination is being foreseen, suggestions should be made to extend its scope to the administrative agency of the United Nations.
The Charter of the United Nations supplements the rules of general international law. By outlawing war, the use or threat of force, and enjoining the settlement of disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the principles of justice and international law, the Charter establishes its supremacy. The International Law Commission, in the report of its second session, enunciated the proposition that in the light of the rules of general international law read together with the provisions of the Charter, the sovereignty of a state is subject to the supremacy of international law. In their actual international conduct however, many member states of this organization have shown themselves unwilling to strengthen the rule of law by failing to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice.
Pakistan, this year, has submitted a revised declaration accepting the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court to include all cases, other than those which under international law fall essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of a state. It has thereby surrendered its sovereign right to determine for itself whether or not a particular matter is essentially within its domestic jurisdiction and has solemnly declared in advance that, should such a question arise, it would be content to accept a determination made in accordance with the rules of international law. Pakistan has thus demonstrated in tangible terms its willingness to subordinate its sovereignty to the supremacy of international law.
Under conditions of general and complete disarmament, the supremacy of international law must be proclaimed an imperative of international conduct. Looking towards this evolution in international life, the time has come to pursue with a greater sense of urgency, the task of codification of international law and its progressive development, envisaged in Article 13, Paragraph 1(a) of the Charter. Thought must also be given to the need to amend the statute of the International Court of Justice to extend the scope of its jurisdiction to all matters to be provided for in a treaty on general and complete disarmament and to make Article 36 relating to the declaration on compulsory jurisdiction, applicable to all legal disputes arising from the treaty for the duration of its validity.
The economic development of under-developed countries poses a challenge of the highest magnitude to all the nations of the world. Both, President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Khrushehev, expressed great solicitude for the welfare and economic progress of these countries. And we, the people of the under-developed countries, note this with profound satisfaction.
The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the U.S.S.R. referred to the economic development of the Central Asian Republics. We are conscious of the great development which, in the course of the last 40 years, has placed the U.S.S.R. in the forefront of scientific and technological progress. The countries of Asia, too, have tirelessly endeavored within their limited resources to improve the conditions of their peoples.
Despite our meager resources, the pace of our development has been significant and this represents, by and large, the voluntary sacrifices of our people. The Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union cited a few statistics relating to some under-developed countries, including my own, to highlight the contrast in the economic progress between the Central Asian Republics and their neighboring countries. For example, he mentioned the low rat of electric generation per capita as an illustration of our primitive economy. It is true that the position is as suggested by the statistics. The only point that I may mention is that the present generation of power in Pakistan is more than 700% of what it was when we became independent a few years ago. In the same context, I would like to repeat that despite our limitations, and our meager resources, we have achieved substantial progress.
Since independence, our industrial production has risen by approximately 400% and during the last two years by about 70%. Bust, by far the most, significant change brought about in the wake of the revolution in October, 1958, has been the radical land reforms, which have not only brought about social justice and the promise of better future for the tillers of the soil who constitute 85% of our population, but have also changed the pattern of our society. They have given a sense of self-respect and dignity to our masses who before this revolutionary change were crushed under the burden of an iniquitous and effect social system. These are great changes and our people see before them the dawn of a better life. Their energies have been mobilized for the good of the common weal.
My country has received generous aid from the United States of America. We have made good use of this assistance and there is in evidence a considerable degree of improvement in the infrastructure of our economy on which to base our future development. We acknowledge with gratitude this assistance; but at the same time, we have been a victim, like many other under-developed countries, of the harsh and unrelenting interplay of international market forces. During the last many years, the terms of trade have moved progressively against the primary producing countries. In fact, the position is that we have lost much more in trade than we have gained by aid. There is no co-ordination of policies amongst the primary producers, and they suffer from their disjointed state. On the other hand, much of Europe, for instance, is becoming increasingly a closed community, which gives it great economic and commercial advantage. The future is grim indeed for the under-developed countries, for their dependence on foreign aid is likely to increase rather than diminish in the immediate future. This deterioration, in the economic conditions of African, Asian and Latin-American countries, which depend so heavily and so exclusively on the export of a few primary commodities, is a subject which should become of paramount importance to the Secretariat.
During the 15 years of the existence of the United Nations, the economic and social picture of the world has become increasingly a study in contrast. The appalling poverty and misery of some parts of the world stand out in sharp outline against the abundance and opulence of other parts of this same world. An average annual income in the under-developed countries of approximately $120 per person is to be contrasted with an average income in the more advanced countries of $800 per capita. According to another estimate, the majority of the inhabitants of the under-developed countries subsists on an income of only $8 per month as against $9 per day in the most highly developed countries.
There are two aspects of this difference in the standards of living which are of crucial importance to the world today. Firstly, that the disparity is not only great but growing; and secondly, that the peoples of the under-developed countries, living so long at levels of bare survival, are no longer prepared to accept such conditions of life as immutable. A revolution of rising expectations is sweeping through these countries. Fatalism and resignation have given way to expectation and demand.
The under-developed countries are in a predicament. Despite all the sacrifices and austerity of which their peoples are capable, the march forward is only nominal because of the simultaneous slide-back of trade. It was hoped that their political emancipation would lead to economic development. But, unfortunately, so far the odds have been heavily against them. I have already mentioned the change in the terms of trade against the under-developed countries which means in effect that the improvement in the standards of living of the manufacturing countries has in a large measure taken place at the cost of starving people of the backward nations. Would it not be an act of historic justice if some restitution were made in the present for the wealth which flowed in the past from these countries to enrich the economics of those which are now so industrially advanced?
Mr. President, I have gone into some detail about economic matters only because they pose serious problems for a large part of humanity.
To sum up briefly, our position is; because of the declining terms of trade all that we are able to do despite our best efforts and sacrifices is to reduce the pace of retrogression. Unless this decline producing countries will always have to depend on foreign assistance even to maintain their present level of living.
Turning to political problems, may I say, Mr. President that the situation in the Congo continues to cause concern to all of us. The threat of unilateral intervention by the great powers in the countries of Africa and the consequent danger to peace in the African continent has not been removed. If Africa is to be saved from becoming an arena of conflict between the East and the East, it is imperative for the United Nations to play a positive and impartial role. We believe that as far as possible he Secretary-General has endeavored to scrupulously comply with the spirit and the letter of the resolutions of the Security Council. However, considering the magnitude and the complexity of the task and the speed with which the United Nations operation had to be launched, Mr. Hammerskjold and his associates must be considered to have faithfully carried out their difficult mandate in accordance with the basic principles endorsed by the Security Council. The Pakistan delegation recognizes that the Secretary-General‘s mission is an extremely delicate one and has not been made any easier by the internal confusion in the Republic of the Congo. Therefore, we take this opportunity reaffirming our confidence in the Secretary-General’s integrity. It would appear to my delegation that at present the main problem in the Congo is the prevalence of internal strife which is unhappily preventing the restoration of normal conditions. The resolution adopted at the emergency session does envisage the appointment of an Advisory Committee on the Congo in consultation with the Secretary-General, consisting of Asian-African representatives for the purpose of conciliation between the parties to the political and constitutional conflicts. In the furtherance of this objective, the African states must of necessity play a leading role. Thus the mandate given to the Secretary-General can well be supplemented by the good offices of the African states in the solution of the internal problems of the Republic of the Congo. Whatever might have been the changes in the situation and the conflicts of interest, it was the general expectation that United Nations operation would crystallize the positive role that the organization could play in strengthening the independence of emerging nations against external pressures.
Mr. President, my delegation believes that the isolation of the African continent from the East-West conflict must be ensured by the Africans themselves and supplemented by the assistance of the United Nations whenever necessary. It cannot be done by the United Nations alone because the organization itself is often a center of this conflict. It may not always be capable of adequately filing a vacuum. Therefore, the principal action on the African scene must be the Africans themselves, and in our opinion they are capable of answering their own destiny. That great continent is pulsating with a new life and a new force. It is in transition from the old to the new. Colonial empires are being succeeded by community of sovereign states, conscious of their solidarity and determined to give Africa its rightful place in the comity of nations. We have heard in this hall the voices of free Africa and seen the passion in African hearts for peace and justice and their determination to exclude outside interference in the affairs of their continent.
Mr. President, it is a matter of sorrow that great nations and statesmen should not see the logical sequence of events as they must ensure. Events carry with them the seeds of consequences and like nemesis, they are inexorable. Prejudice and chauvinism make men myopic. In this world of turmoil and conflict, the heart of humanity is yet with the peoples struggling for freedom and equality. One may delay the deliverance of a people but then, nature extorts a high price for it, as in the Congo. It may also do so in the Union of South Africa where racial discrimination is rampant. As one who is aware of liberal political thought, I am appalled that in a country which claims to be civilized and Christian, human beings should be denied basic human rights because of their race and color.
The Sharpville disturbances underline the serious nature of the situation prevailing in the Union of South Africa. They made it very plain that unless the situation improves, conditions would deteriorate to an explosive point. The General Assembly has adopted resolutions for many years asking the Union Government to cease and desist from its discriminatory racial policy. The South African government has so far ignored the appeal to reason. In a continent which is now free and in the midst of peoples determined to make good their claim to equality, South Africa cannot remain isolated. To attempt to do so is to oppose the march of history. The future generations of South Africa may have to pay a very heavy price for the resentment and rancor that the apartheid policy of that country is creating around her.
Mr. President, nothing in this world is quite perfect and it would be futile to expect perfection in an organization which combines the attributes and characteristics of almost all the nations of the world. Looking at the performance of the United Nations from the darker side, one would be inclined to stress the failures, the unsettled problems, the unattained objectives, the Lopes unfulfilled, the promises unrealized. There are catenas of them, but life must be measured not only by failures but also by accomplishments. We can mention grave failures where peoples have been denied their rights because political expediency has prevailed over the conscience of nations. I shall not dilate on them, for, despite their tragic remembrance, we still have faith that right must prevail and the United Nations must succeed. In this context, amongst the other vital unresolved issues, I have Algeria in min –that strife-torn land where the blood of patriots still flows in their fight for freedom. Is it not an irony of fate that that struggle should have to be won against a nation which through history has been identified with liberty and equality?
At the opening of the General Assembly last year, we welcomed the declaration of President de Gualle recognizing the right of self-determination for the people of Algeria. We regret that no significant development has since taken place which would translate that inalienable right into a reality. At one time there appeared a prospect of a rapprochement between Algeria and France, but the preliminary talks to arrange the pourparlers have failed. Let me declare here that the sympathies of the people of Pakistan are with the valiant sons of Algeria, fighting heroically for their freedom. At, at time when so many countries on the continent of Africa are taking their place in this Assembly, it is with great sorrow that we note the absence of Algeria. We appeal for a new effort on the part of the parties concerned to settle this human problem by peaceful means. If we succeed, a tragic chapter will close in history, and to the brave people of Algeria will be brought peace and the freedom and dignity for which they have fought so long and so well.
Another problem which haunts the conscience of nations is the negation of justice to that part of the Arab nation which comprises the population pf Palestine. The failure to solve the Palestine question has kept the Middle East for all these years on the verge of conflagration. It has been suggested that the tension in the Middle East should be removed by the dictates of realism. In the view of my delegation the only realistic approach in this case is to recognize the human rights of a million Arab refugees who have been uprooted from their homes. Unless the resolutions of the General Assembly on this que3stion are implemented, no arrangements to enforce peace in the Middle East by outside powers are likely to be effective or lasting.
The solution of the problems to which I have referred is, without doubt, difficult and seemingly insurmountable. But they have to be solved and solved by peaceful means. The principle of the peaceful settlement of international disputes is a cardinal feature of the foreign policy of Pakistan. Only a few days ago, our firm faith in peaceful procedures was indicated when we resolved our dispute with India over the distribution of the waters of the Indus Basin. This dispute, which had defied solution for almost as many years as the existence of Pakistan, has ended by the signing of the Indus Waters Treaty. The conclusion of this Treaty demonstrates the triumph of the procedures of peaceful settlement. We are hopeful, Mr. President, that this initiative for peace will be extended now to the only grave issue still outstanding between India and Pakistan, namely the Kashmir Question. It is our most earnest hope that this noble precedent will give rise to a new spirit in the relations between Pakistan and India, and lead to a settlement of this problem of problems of our vast region.
Mr. President, we have always believed that every people and every nation must be permitted to live according to its own way of life, which reflects its accumu8lated national heritage. In fact it represents an accretion of history. We, the 90 million people of Pakistan, claim to pattern our lives on the precepts of Islam. After all our turmoil’s and tribulations we now have a leader in whom the people of our country have reposed their hopes and their faith. He firmly believes in promoting fraternal relations between the peoples of Asia and Africa, and to that end he has directed his efforts in a most positive and constructive way. Under his inspiring leadership Pakistan is engaged in a great political experiment known as “Basic Democracies”. The objective of this political system is to foster and encourage the creative urges of our people.
The system of Basic Democracies is an attempt to evolve a political framework related to the conditions in the country, in conformity with our requirements and suited to the genius of our people. The system enables the people of Pakistan to be associated in the activities of government through their elected representatives at every level of the administration beginning from the village and culminating at the center of the highest functions of the state. Our objective in Pakistan is not to imitate systems of policy which have evolved in the altogether different historical circumstances of other countries. Our aim is to institute a system which would be rooted in the experience of our own people and would enable them to reorient their whole outlook regarding their collective welfare. We believe that our system of Basic Democracies is the answer to our needs and perhaps a guideline for other peoples placed in situations similar to us.
Mr. President, it has been said that hope builds sooner that knowledge destroys, and thus, despite the many buffets of fortune and the fluctuations in international relations, mankind has subsisted on hope, hope for a world free from humiliating poverty and degrading fear. The progress of science has opened majestic vistas of new worlds. That, while there is the infinity of space to be explored and conquered, those in whose hands lies the knowledge and the means to do so, are engaged in internecine struggle, creates new fears every day. The problem of poverty remains unsolved. There are hundreds of millions of men from birth to the grave who live an existence of privation and insecurity. May we not hope that these problems may be dealt with as the primary ones and that the phantom of armed conflicts and nuclear annihilation will be exercised from the world so- beautiful and full of such great opportunities of happiness.
The Charter enjoins us not only to save ourselves but also succeeding generation from the carnage3 of war. It has often been said that in the event of a world conflagration, there will be neither victor nor vanquished. This seems obvious but even if there be a sham victor, his victory will be that of the dying over the dead, his thrill, the dubious one of a glory in the utter demolition of civilization, the destruction of its culture, of its universities, of its institutions for art and science, of its mosques and temples and churches. It will be in this scene that the victor too shall pass into nothingness.
We have the opportunity, and the means to avert this catastrophe and to realize mankind’s dream of progress towards a future unbelievable at the present time. Shall we also have the will and the courage? We have the means because we are now told that according to the correct interpretation of Marxism-Leninism war between the two social systems is not inevitable. But those who witness the arms race between the East and the West cannot but be burdened by the fear that unless it is immediately halted and the trend reversed, was is inevitable. A race in armaments has never ushered peace. It has ever brought the sword. To one who can contemplate the terrestrial scene, with deep insight into the march of history, it would seem that a blind fate is moving us towards self-destruction. Is it that an imminent and blind will rules our affairs, driving us to inevitable doom? May it be given to the great men who take part in this Assembly, to prove that it is otherwise, that mankind does have a freedom of choice and that peace and war in this age of glorious opportunity and mortal peril are not predetermined but hinge upon the exercise of man’s free will and his determination to avert the ultimate tragedy.
Thank you, Mr. President.