Geneva, September 22 (KMS): On the sidelines of the 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the International Human Rights Association of American Minorities (IHRAAM), in collaboration with International Commission for Human Rights (ICHR), conducted a parallel event “Obstacles to right to self-determination.”

Barrister Abdul Majeed Tramboo of IHRAAM, chairing the event, remarked that civil society and NGOs have been vocal since the inception of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to ensure that the right to self-determination is brought back on its agenda. He posed the question of obstacles and the methods to remove them, asking if there was a way to successfully influence the UNHRC to return the right to self-determination back on its agenda and put in action. “It is a combination of issues and causes around the world that demands that the right to self-determination be put back on the agenda of the Human Rights Council,” Barrister Tramboo emphasized.

The Chairman of South Asia Centre for Peace and Human Rights (SACFPHR), Professor Nazir Ahmed Shawl, on the occasion stressed that the Kashmir dispute, based on the United Nations resolutions, needed to be addressed in accordance with the will of the Kashmiri people. He also appreciated the UN High Commissioner’s recent report on Kashmir and pointed out that the right to self-determination cannot be taken away as it has been protected by international law.

The UN Legal Representative for Resource Centre for Palestine Residency and Refugee Rights, Rania Madi, shared her concern about numerous causes still searching for the right to self-determination. She reminded the participants of a resolution adopted in the March 2018 session in favour of recognizing the Palestinians’ right to self-determination, yet Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian land and demolish Palestinian homes.

Barrister Stuart Stevens of Holborn Chambers observed that the world is no longer governed by justice but by domination of economic interests, creating victims out of anyone who wants self-determination, and to change this phenomena, political will of all stakeholder must exist.

The Chairman of Kashmir Youth Assembly, Zubair Awan, commented that collective responsibility by the world community can ensure the right to self-determination for the people of Kashmir. He hoped that the youth in the UK and Europe would give a fresh impetus to the Kashmir cause in the power corridors.

The special guest at the event was a noted lawyer and human rights activist, Advocate Deepika Singh Rajawat, who represents the parents of eight-year-old Aasifa Bano, who was raped and brutally murdered in Kathua area of occupied Kashmir. She stressed if one actually wishes to work on the protection of human rights, one must work from the heart with passion, putting everything on stake; that is when you become a true human rights activist, otherwise it is only for show.

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