6 October 2009
H. E. Mr. Eshagh Alhabib
Deputy Permanent Representative of the
Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
At the General Debate of the Second Committee
64th Annual Session of the United Nations General Assembly
(6 October 2009, New York)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you for the high office you have assumed. Let me extend my congratulation to other colleagues in the Bureau as well. You can rest assured of the full cooperation of my delegation in the course of our collective work. I would also like to fully associate my delegation with the statement made by the distinguished Permanent Representative of Sudan as the Chairman of the Group of 77 and China.
Addressing new crises one after another and year after year is almost becoming a routine of our deliberations. Countries were busy confronting the food crisis when world economic and financial crisis hit. The unprecedented crisis for at least last 80 years originated in the developed part of the world spread swiftly and relentlessly to the developing world. The latter are indeed paying the brunt of the crisis while have neither any role in its creation nor adequate financial resources to initiate stimulus packages to salvage their economies and people out of this jeopardy.
Despite all the efforts at national and international levels and due to increasing financial and economic interdependence, developing countries are becoming more and more prone to external fluctuations and disturbances. Past experiences confirm that the poorest countries are the most vulnerable to such shocks. Taking into account the current realities, increasing the resilience of developing countries against external shocks continues to be a major challenge before the world community and in particular the United Nations.
The United Nations Conference on Economic and Financial Crisis and Its Impacts on Development was an opportunity to proceed ahead in that direction. In this regard, establishment of the ad hoc open-ended working group of the General Assembly to follow up on the issues contained in the final outcome of the Conference as well as establishment of an ad hoc panel of experts on the world economic and financial crisis as foreseen in the final outcome of the Conference are among measures that can hopefully serve to the purpose of reducing vulnerability of developing countries in confronting international economic and financial difficulties.
In the same vain, we reiterate our longstanding call to developed countries for establishing timetables for the attainment of the 0.7 percent target of GNI to developing countries by 2015 as ODA in order to assist developing countries to meet their development goals and the MDG’s in a timely manner.
United Nations, meanwhile, has a critical role to play in strengthening global partnership for development, based on the recognition of national ownership and national development strategies and, in securing full implementation of the agreed development goals and commitments. For this purpose, economic development should be at the heart of the United Nations agenda.
In this context, convening the 2010 review Summit on implementation of the MDGs is considered to be as an important event in the calendar of the UN. Deliberations of the Conference should lead to the review of the progress made, take stock of existing gaps in the achievement of the MDG’s, identify actions needed to ensure achievement of these goals, including in strengthening international cooperation, and to ensure that the achievement of these goals gets back on track and the momentum is maintained. Targets and areas which lag the farthest behind should receive adequate financial and technical resources for their on time accomplishment.
Each and every group of countries is entitled to make decisions or issue instructions, which they find suitable for their own constituencies. However, no country or group of countries, no matter how big or powerful, has the right to decide what others should do or to issue new mandates and tasks for international institutions with wider membership. Such tendency which can be seen in the conducts of G20, for instance, is not acceptable. Furthermore, decisions whatsoever, emanate form this kind of exclusive clubs do not constitute any responsibility or obligation for countries which are not their members.
Meanwhile, we reiterate our call for addressing, through the UN, issues concerning the persistent systemic inequities in international economic relations, in particular the unacceptable progress in enhancing the voice and participation of developing countries in the international financial and monetary institutions, which are to the detriment of developing countries.
My delegation would also like to reiterate the importance it attaches to the South-South cooperation and calls for furthering international support for such cooperation, which complements North-South and triangular cooperation. In this regard we expect a successful UN Conference on South-South Cooperation to be held on December 2009.
Concerning the ongoing deliberations on the system wide coherence my delegation takes note of the progress is made so far; and at the same time, would like to see a thorough, balanced and real coherence throughout the System, which enables the UN to fulfill its mandates in an effective manner in all major areas recognized by the General Assembly.
On the subject of sustainable development, it is worth noting that eradicating poverty, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are overarching objectives of and essential requirements for sustainable development. The “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection should be equally and evenly upheld and respected.
In this context, addressing climate change within the framework of sustainable development is not an option. It is rather the only and the best solution. In our efforts for tackling the challenge of climate change, great importance should be attached to the internationally agreed principles; such as the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities”.
Along the same line, the historical responsibility of industrialized nations for producing greenhouse gas emissions should be taken into account. We take note with concern that greenhouse gas emissions in most developed countries are still rising at an alarming rate. Industrialized countries should take the lead and spare no efforts in mitigating the emissions. The industrialized countries, should seriously undertake their responsibilities. It is time to translate the words into actions. Eliminating all impediments in transfer of climate change related technologies to developing countries has a key role in combating challenges of climate change.
Addressing the needs of developing countries in all four major components of the Bali Action Plan namely: mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology should be an integral part of any Post-Kyoto Deal and should preserve the right of developing countries to have access to the appropriate technology, know-how and finance, with a view to enabling them to protect their ecological sustainability and socio-economic prosperity, and to achieving the internationally agreed development goals including MDGs, and in particular the goal of poverty eradication.
Meanwhile, other environmental predicaments such as deforestation, desertification and loss of biodiversity, which threaten the livelihoods of billions of people, need to be addressed at the same pace and intensity.
Dust and sand storm as one of the most serious and hard-to-beat consequences of environmental degradation has struck western half of my country and inflicted substantial damages to the socio-economic condition of the region and has impaired normal life of the people during the last few years. Dust component of the air amounts to 400 times more than normal ratio and lasts between 24 to 72 hours.
Dust and sand storms originating from the Middle East deserts, located in some neighboring countries, have caused enormous destructive consequences for our region and its people. Thus, and beyond national solutions, addressing this evolving challenge requires a region-wide effort.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, bearing in mind the damages that other countries are also suffering, stands ready to enter into bilateral and multilateral arrangements to identify the root causes of the problem and to eradicate it in a collective, coordinated and cooperative manner involving all stricken countries and relevant international institutions.
Thank You Mr. Chairman.