21 November 2008
H.E Mr. seyed Hossein Rezvani
Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs
Before the Third Committee
On draft resolution L.40
Third Committee of 63rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York, November 21, 2008
In the name of God, the compassionate, the Merciful
Distinguished Representatives, Exploiting some of the existing procedural deficiencies, gaps and ambiguities surrounding the mandate entrusted upon pertinent UN’s Human Rights organs, and undermining the authority of Human Rights Council, as the sole and principal UN institutions responsible for the human rights issues, once again the Canadian delegation, is attempting to entice the third committee to consider the adoption of yet another unwarranted, nonobjective and politically motivated draft resolution against the Islamic Republic of Iran.The draft resolution is manifestation of the continued resentful attitude and unwise approach vis-à-vis Iran.
As for the content of the draft resolution, I invite you kindly to read it a second time. Having a fair, impartial and objective judgment, one would note that it is an obtrusive example of selectivity and double-standard. The draft resolution contains a number of falsified and unsubstantiated elements that contradict the realities of the human rights situation in Iran. It is our firm conviction that the said draft is a response to a bilateral legal dispute between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Canada, and constitutes part of the disinformation campaign against Iran. It is launched with the aim of maximizing pressure on my country at the international level.
In view of the time constraint, and as a matter of our principled policy towards this political move, I refrain from delving into details of these allegations contained thereof. However, my delegation stands ready to shed light and provide necessary clarifications on those baseless assertions for all interested parties, as we have done so in the past. The 17 pages compilation of updated information supported by solid and documented facts regarding the actual human rights situation and the steady trend of improvements and achievements in Iran, which has been presented in General Assembly document A/C.3/63/6 of 4 November 2008 and is readily available for the preview of all distinguished delegations.
Indeed majority of members of the Third Committee came to this conclusion that Canada has crossed the line of fairness and honesty. A clear example of this judgment is the pattern of voting that has been exercised in this august body with regard to such resolutions in the past few years. In reality, the resolution has not only been supported by any meaningful majority of the member states, as a matter of fact, it has always been rejected or disliked by the solid majority of member states who has consciously decided to vote against or abstain or not to vote at all. This is particularly important because a large number of member states believe that resolution of this nature undermines the credibility of the Third Committee and further politicize human rights machinery of the United Nations.
Surprisingly, the Government of Canada arrogates to itself a leading global role on human rights advocacy, whereas objective and the factual information released by the authentic and credible international sources such as relevant inter-governmental organizations, United Nations human rights treaty bodies, human rights defenders, NGOs, as well as information which has been brought to the attention of public by credible media, discloses outstanding cases of Canada’s non-compliance with its international obligations, abuses and systematic violation of human rights of its own citizens and particularly that of the migrants and foreigners residing in that country.
The Canadian Government’s discriminatory treatment with, and repressive tactics against its nationals, in particular towards the Aborigines, migrants and minorities entails different dimensions and manifestations which can generally be categorized in social exclusion policies, discrimination and police brutality. Unlawful detention and denying Aborigines the right to adequate housing, food and water, violence against women and children, torture and deaths in custody and in particular harassment of Muslim community under the disguise and pretext of “war on terror” Examining the government of Canada’s country reports, UN treaty bodies on occasions, through their concluding remarks and recommendations, raised their concerns about Canada’s non-compliance with its international human rights obligations.
Grave concern were also expressed over the situation of individuals deprived of their liberty awaiting trial or sentencing, continued allegations of police brutality, inappropriate use of illicit chemical agents by law enforcement authorities in the context of crowd control.
The alleged legitimacy and any probable justification of the illintended move of tabling of such draft resolution, is fundamentally shattered, once, one realizes that, the co-sponsors of the draft resolution, themselves have an un-defendable human rights records, when it comes to complying with their obligations arising from international Human Rights instruments. Top on the list appears names of the United States of America and the Zionist and racist regime of Israel. Horrific situations in places such as Gaza Strip and in occupied Palestine in general, Guantanamo Bay and Bagram and disclosed unlawful activities of secret detention centers in Europe and bombing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan and some other areas constitute grave and systematic violation of human rights. They will also negatively impact the conceptual structure of the international law on human rights and its application worldwide. Even worse, they will be used as a reference by some, inventing repressive interpretations of the provision of human rights treaties within the growing culture of unilateralism.
These are but a few examples of gross violations of human rights committed by Canada and the so-called claimants and self-proclaimed champions of human rights.
We believe that all peoples in all parts of the world, irrespective of their ethnicity, race and religion deserve to live in dignity and respect. A dignified and prosperous life requires a social and political system free from discrimination, injustice and inequality. In this context, we are of the view that the international community should pay attention to human rights situations in all corners of the world without exception or ulterior considerations. With this in mind, the Islamic Republic of Iran, along with the other developing countries, actively participated and positively contributed to the reform processes of the UN human rights machinery and establishment of Universal Periodic Review mechanism within the Human Rights Council with the view to put an end to long time politicization and manipulation of UN human rights machinery by few countries.
Ensuring universality, objectivity, non-selectivity and impartiality in the work of UN human rights machinery with the aim of genuine promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms is the raison d’etre and underlying rationale for development of the said mechanism.
The real performance of this mechanism, in a logical setting, should allow the human rights machinery to act beyond the monopoly, maintained by a few in the past, in monitoring the human rights situations in the countries.
We are of the view, now that UPR mechanism has commenced its work to examine human rights records of all countries around the globe,resorting to any duplicative and overlapping means of singling out and scrutinizing human rights situations in any given country, such as presenting a specific country resolution, would optimize the risks of the United Nations Human Rights system to become susceptible to selectivity and politicization,which would be a major blow to the credibility of the system and outstanding obstacle to achievement of our common goal.
As a party to the major International Human Rights Instruments, the Islamic Republic of Iran based on principles enshrined in its Constitution, and in full compliance with its international commitments, has continuously put the great efforts into safeguarding the status and inherent dignity of human person as well as promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
The human right’s policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, emanating from its national and regional particularities as well as cultural, historical and religious backgrounds, has continuously emphasized the significance of interactive and cooperative approach in progress towards fulfillment of human rights obligations that countries are committed to.
This target-oriented policy entails, inter-alia, measures designed to overcome obstacles and difficulties hindering the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights at national level.
To this end, we are firmly determined to maximally utilize our potentials and capacities for achieving the full realization of human rights based on divine teachings and our commitment to international human rights instrument to which we have acceded. I confirm that we are in a position to solemnly assert that we have done a lot and have a firm conviction to continue to build on the progress achieved thus far.
We will continue steadfastly our resolute drive at promotion of human rights, irrespective of adoption or rejection of this resolution. Our commitment to protection and promotion of human rights is inherent and genuine, deeply rooted in our belief and values. It is intertwined with our hopes for a brighter, happier, more prosperous and saner future and our desire to work for the betterment of our own citizens.
In light of the views and observations just elaborated, my delegation humbly expect that this august Committee to opt for preservation of the dignity, credibility and legitimacy of the UN human rights mechanisms, I therefore, invite you to vote against the draft resolution L.40.