UN chief calls for dialogue to address rising tensions in South Asia

UNITED NATIONS: The 74th session of the General Assembly began on Tuesday with a call from the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres for dialogue to resolve the crisis in South Asia, where tensions had escalated.

Prime Minister Imran Khan led the Pakistani delegation at the gathering at the United Nations headquarters, as Guterres opened the annual debate. In his speech, Guterres said on the global landscape, he saw conflicts persisting, terrorism spreading and the risk of a new arms race growing.

“Tensions are elevated in South Asia, where differences need to be addressed through dialogue,” the UN chief told world leaders attending the assembly’s high-level segment in an obvious reference to the current Pakistan-India confrontation over New Delhi’s move to alter the status of occupied Kashmir.

People still believe in the United Nations. But do they believe in us? Do they believe that as leaders we will put people first? Because we, the leaders, must deliver for we, the peoples –@antonioguterres #UNGA pic.twitter.com/5a3gWiSwa3

— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) September 24, 2019

On August 5, India illegally abolished Jammu and Kashmir’s special status, unleashing a crackdown that included arrests of thousands of people, cut off of communications and internet services as well as detention of political leaders. The lockdown is now in its 51st day.

Guterres presented assessment of the international situation in his annual report on the work of the organisation. He warned that he saw conflicts persisting on the global landscape, terrorism spreading and the risk of a new arms race growing.

“Outside interference, often in violation of Security Council resolutions, makes peace processes more difficult”, he said. “And many situations remain unresolved, Yemen to Libya to Afghanistan and beyond,” he said.

“A succession of unilateral actions threatens to torpedo a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine… We face the alarming possibility of armed conflict in the Gulf, the consequences of which the world cannot afford. The recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities was totally unacceptable.”

He stressed that in a context where a minor miscalculation could lead to a major confrontation, “We must do everything possible to push for reason” and restraint.

“I hope for a future in which all the countries of the region can live in a state of mutual respect and cooperation, without interference in the affairs of others,” he said.

“And I hope equally that it will still be possible to preserve the progress on nuclear non-proliferation represented by the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action,” he added. “Consider the lives we can save by intensifying our investments to sustain peace around the world.”

Guterres warnings over South Asia tensions were echoed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his address to the General Assembly, who said that the stability and prosperity of that region could not be separated from the Kashmir issue.

PM Imran will address the UNGA on Friday. His speech at the global forum will highlight Pakistan’s stance on various agenda items. He will particularly dilate on the grim situation in occupied Kashmir.

Imran Khan meets Jacinda Ardern on the sidelines of 74th UNGA session in New York

A peek at the mountains in Pakistan's northern areas

Original news : https://tribune.com.pk/story/2064380/3-unga-begins-call-dialogue-amid-tensions-south-asia/