1 April 1999
H.E. Seyed Mohammad Hadi Nejad Hosseinian
Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the second meeting of the
United Nations Population Award Committee, 1999
1 April 1999
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Now that the Population Award Committee has elected the winners of the award for the year 1999, and particularly, now that Dr. Ali-Reza Marandi, former Minister of Health and Medical Education of the Islamic Republic of Iran, has received the vote of confidence of the Committee, I have the distinct pleasure of taking the floor to say a few words. These words are, of course, of an appreciative nature. Let me express, on my own behalf and also on behalf of Dr. Marandi and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, our most sincere gratitude and appreciation to the distinguished members of the Committee for their valuable support towards this choice. Our words of gratitude also go to Dr. Nafis Sadik and her colleagues in the UNFPA for all their commendable efforts, including as regards the affairs of this Committee. Special words of thanks are due Professor Brown and especially Professor Gayle Ness, the honourable advisor of the Population Award Committee, whom I am sure played an important role in this process through his very candid appraisal of the nominees this year.
Your collective choice here today signifies recognition of the perseverance and untiring efforts of an individual who has been responsible for changing population policy and programme at the national level. To borrow words from the appraisal of Professor Ness, the very rapid impact of that policy change on human welfare in the country is also noteworthy and quite rare indeed. Moreover, your judicious selection today of Dr. Marandi among a long list of highly qualified candidates is also indicative of your support for a successful government policy in a dynamic society. Relevance and applicability of the Iranian experience to other developing societies, particularly those with similar socio-cultural characteristics, is another important aspect in this respect. The fact that this population policy has been devised and implemented successfully by a religious government and in a deeply religious society is bound to have both conceptual and practical lessons. While having the floor, let me add that we are very much cognizant of the valuable assistance the UNFPA has extended to Iran over the past decade in the field of population policies and look forward to further expand and strengthen the existing cooperation.
Let me close these brief words with a reiteration of our appreciation for the choice you and the other distinguished members of the Committee made today and also for your kind words on behalf of the Committee. I would also like to take the opportunity to offer our heartfelt congratulations to The National Committee for Population and Family Planning of Vietnam and wish them best of success. And as the very last word, let me say that we are looking forward, with great anticipation, to the Award Ceremony when the distinguished awardees themselves will have the chance to address – in person – the Committee and the colleagues.
Thank you very much.