Vienna: The Austria-based Universal Peace Federation (UPF) has designated and recognized Sardar Masood Khan, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, as Ambassador of Peace. At a simple ceremony, the President was given this award and title by Mr. Peter Haider, President of the Universal Peace Federation. President Masood Khan is in Vienna to attend an international peace conference and to speak at different think tanks.
The Universal Peace Federation acknowledges as individuals whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others, and who dedicate themselves to practices which promote universal moral values, international harmony, renewal of the United Nations initiatives, a responsible public media, and the establishment of a culture of peace. Transcending racial, national and religious barriers, the Ambassadors of Peace contribute to the fulfillment of the hope of all ages of a unified world of peace.
While accepting the peace award, the President expressed the hope that the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy, within the framework of the United Nations, and the people of Kashmir will see peace in their land.
Earlier addressing International Peace Studies Conference on Peace, Development and Governance hosted by the Academic Council on the United Nations System, Diplomatic Academy and Vienna School of International Studies at the International Institute of Peace. Sardar Masood Khan, President Azad Jammu and Kashmir has said that world peace was at risk as conflicts were no longer confined to Africa, Middle East, Latin America, South Asia, but were knocking on the doors of Europe. There was a risk of a large-scale war that should be averted as local conflicts can snowball into regional and global conflicts.
The President made these remarks while chairing the second session of the Sardar Masood Khan said building trust between the parties to the dispute was important for conflict resolution. He said that instead of the use of force there should be more emphasis on dialogue, negotiations and frequently resorting to the United Nations’ intercession.
The President said that sustainable peace is closely linked to sustainable development and the key here is to develop a nexus between peace, development and governance. He added that with 1.4 billion people live in conflicts zones it is pertinent we invest in human and economic development, create conditions for stable governance, building inclusive societies, promoting justice and education.
The President said that that there are limits to bilateralism in resolving serious disputes and if the parties to the dispute fail to resolve the issues through dialogue, negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resorting to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice, as provided in the Charter of the United Nations, they should refer the matter back to the United Nations Security Council. If the Security Council determines that the continuation of the dispute is likely to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security, it can take further measures to settle the dispute peacefully either under Chapter VI or VII of the Charter, he said.
He said that for world peace the international community does not have to start from scratch because the UN is already there trying to its job through peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace-building. What is needed, he said, was to empower the UN to play its role for the maintenance of international peace and security. Major powers, he said, because of their political clout should not monopolize decision making on chronic conflicts like Jammu and Kashmir. The United Nations, in accordance with its mandate, should be allowed and encouraged to seek democratic solutions to disputes and let the people of Kashmir exercise their right to self-determination.
The speakers at the event included Dorothea Hamilton, Lucia Mokra, Tang Xiaomin, Roger A Choate, Anas Audeh, Roque Silva Morgado, Meliz Erdem, Kyo Yeon Park, Elisa Rieger, Laure Gnassou, Jana Lozanoska, Pritam Singh, Alexandra Amling, Suha Atature and Sarah Amser; who presented their papers on various topics relating to peace, development and good governance.