6 October 2009
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Eshagh Al Habib
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Agenda item 61: Social Development, Third Committee of the 64th Session of the UNGA
6 October 2009
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Allow me at the outset, to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election to the 64th session of the Third Committee. I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his useful and informative reports on this agenda item which helps us to enrich our deliberations and discussions. Moreover, my delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the Sudan on behalf of the G77 and China.
The world social situation in 2009 has unfortunately not witnessed any progress but rather, as mentioned in the report of the Secretary General in document A/64/158, the current global crises are reversing whatever progress has been achieved so far towards the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. The World Bank estimates that 130-155 million people were pushed into poverty in 2008 alone because of rising food prices. It is estimated that between 73 and 103 million more people would remain poor or fall into poverty in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown. The ILO projects 50 million more people will be unemployed in 2009 compared to 2007. The global unemployment rate will rise above 7 per cent, bringing the total number of unemployed to 230 million. Consequently, an estimated 200 million workers could be pushed into extreme poverty particularly in developing countries. As a result, the two important pillars of the social development which are poverty eradication and full employment not only are remained unfulfilled but also the trend for their improvement was stalled by the current situation of the world. The third pillar of social development which is social integration is inseparable from poverty eradication and full employment. A mutually reinforcing relationship exists between economic growth and social well being and inclusion. Poverty and unemployment would lead to social exclusion, and it is also equally correct that social integration is an important factor for poverty eradication and full employment for all.
My delegation appreciates the report of Secretary General on the “Follow up to the tenth anniversary of the International Year of the Family” contained in document A/64/134. Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights stipulates that “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the states”. Protection of family foundation is a key element to achieve social integration. Since 1994 a number of activities have been undertaken by the international community towards the objectives of the International Year of Family. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has designed various policies and programmes to support family foundation. The Center for Women and Family Affairs affiliated to the Office of the President has the mandate to monitor implementation of those policies from the highest possible level. We share the view of the Secretary General to invite Governments to begin preparations for the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family in 2014 and use the anniversary to advance family policymaking.
Similarly, other social groups such as older persons, the youth and persons with disabilities are receiving necessary attentions and support from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. For instance, on the issue of ageing, respect for the well being of older persons is deeply rooted in the Iranian culture and was guaranteed by different laws and regulations. The Social Security Organization and the Social Welfare Ministry of Iran as members of national focal points on ageing, work along with other governmental and non-governmental organizations on the implementation of the three priority directions contained in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Their tasks include, inter alia, reaching out to older persons to ensure their rights, economic security and health care. The Social Security Organization has also initiated a plan called “Respect for the older persons” by which a wide range of health care services devoted to these people. Furthermore, the Iranian Research Center on Ageing is active on research and data collection on ageing in order to better understand the social and psychological needs of the older persons.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran remains committed to accomplish the goals set by the World Summit for Social Development and its subsequent review sessions as well as other UN plans and programs of action pertaining to social development at the national level. The progress in the implementation by Iran of the Copenhagen commitments indicates the significant efforts made in order to promote policies and develop institutions and programs that directly or indirectly relate to social development. Iran attaches great importance to the human development in its all aspects. Among the programs adopted and actions taken at the national level to realize the goals of human development, especial emphasis has been placed on improving health, fighting poverty and providing job opportunities.
Finally, it is our sincere hope that such initiatives and policies would lead to positive and tangible results by providing and promoting a secure and decent life for the present and next generation.