20 November 2009
H. E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
on Draft resolution L.37: situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Third Committee, 64th Session of the UNGA New York, 20 November 2009
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
The Committee is about to take action on yet another highly politically charged and motivated draft resolution on human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Government of Canada, by submitting this draft resolution revealed its ill intention toward our nation for the seventh consecutive year by persisting to abuse this august Committee for advancing its narrow political agenda. The Committee should not allow this political game to continue.
Human Rights reflect the highest aspirations of humanity and should not fall within the monopoly of a few States. Nor should they become subject to selectivity, politicization and application of double standards. The universality of human rights does not only entail a universal theoretical basis but also requires a non-selective application and implementation. Abusing the UN human rights mechanisms for short-sighted political expediencies reduces the highly valued concept of human rights into a tool of foreign policy for certain States. This has created an atmosphere of confrontation and polarization which would only erode the capacity of the United Nations for the meaningful promotion of human rights. In this context, the draft resolution L.37 on human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran is an example of this unhealthy and indeed dangerous trend.
Application of double-standards and selectivity based on political considerations are no longer an exception to the pattern of tabling country specific resolutions; it has rather become an unfortunate rule of the game. The gross, systematic and massive violations of human rights in some parts of the world are simply overlooked, and even worse, acquiesced by those who claim to be the champion of the cause of human rights. Just two weeks ago the General Assembly resolution on the Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict which denounced serious violations of human rights committed by the Israeli regime, was opposed and voted against by a few countries, including Canada, the main sponsor of the present draft resolution.
Charity begins at home; the sponsors of the draft resolution L.37 do not have defendable human rights records themselves. Objective and factual information released by a number of credible international sources such as relevant intergovernmental organizations, United Nations human rights treaty bodies and NGOs disclosed many cases of non-compliance by Canada with its international human rights obligations, which resulted in systematic violations of human rights, including discriminatory policies and treatments against the Aborigines, migrants and minorities. Grave concerns have also been expressed over the situation of individuals deprived of their liberty as well as on police brutality, forced disappearances and murder of the Aboriginals and extra judicial, summary or arbitrary executions. Indigenous women and girls continue to suffer from systematic discrimination and violence.
Other co-sponsors of the draft resolution also have poor or disastrous human rights records. The saddest irony is that the name of Israeli regime is among the list of co-sponsors, a regime whose very establishment and existence is intertwined with the worst forms of human rights violations, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, crimes against humanity and terrorism. I need not to say anything more on the human rights record of Israeli regime since for more than six decades the world has been used to hearing the news of brutalities and mass violations of human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Apart from the purely political nature of tabling resolutions on the situation of human rights in Iran, the present draft resolution L.37 is substantially flawed by containing a number of disinformation and false claims which have nothing to do with the realities on the ground. For the information of the room I would like to highlight some of the false information inserted in the draft by Canada:
- Paragraph 2 of the draft resolution enumerates some flawed claims about the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran. These allegations were obtained from unreliable sources and which even are inconsistent with the report of the Secretary General;
- Paragraph 3 and the subparagraphs which are devoted to the 12 June presidential elections give a totally different version of the story and in contrast to content of the report of the Secretary General. The information contained in this paragraph is entirely misleading and incorrect. As a reminder, in June 2009 the Iranian people participated in the 10thPresidential Elections with an unprecedented turnout that amounted to 85 percent of those eligible for voting. The election was another display of the democratic nature and openness of the political system in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The mechanisms envisioned in the elections laws and regulations in the Islamic Republic of Iran are precise and comprehensive enough to preserve and guarantee the rights of the voters and those of the candidates, and provide adequate remedies for addressing any complaint or concern with regard to the results of the elections;
- Paragraph 5 of the draft has surprisingly disregarded the sincere cooperation extended by the Islamic Republic of Iran to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Human Rights Council special procedures. Moreover, the draft has called upon Iran to submit its reports to the relevant treaty bodies while Iran has already fulfilled all its reporting obligations with regard to the human rights treaties. Iran has recently submitted its periodic reports on the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as well as on the Covenant on Social, Cultural and Economic Rights;
- The Islamic Republic of Iran has designed and already accomplished a comprehensive plan for preparation and submission of its national report under the Universal Periodic Review mechanism. Iran has recently submitted its report to the Council which is due to be considered in February 2010;
- Another ironic part of the draft is the implicit request in paragraph 3g to grant a kind of diplomatic immunity to local employees of foreign embassies, a request which is neither legally sound nor has it any relevance to human rights issues.
The Government of the Islamic Republic Iran is best aware of its responsibilities, and is committed to observe and implement the provisions of its Constitution and the obligations arising from the relevant international instruments. The human rights policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has constantly emphasized the significance of interactive and cooperative approaches in progress towards fulfillment of human rights obligations to which States are committed. This policy has resulted in intensified efforts in strengthening our national capacity for human rights awareness raising, human rights education and constructive contribution to the national and international promotional activities including through programs of technical cooperation. My Government has further embarked on creating and strengthening system wide mechanisms for effective monitoring to ensure realization of human rights, democracy, development and the existence of representative, transparent and accountable governance.
The Islamic Republic of Iran will continue its efforts towards promotion of human rights. Our commitment to the protection and promotion of human rights remains unshaken and is deeply rooted in our beliefs, values, and our hopes for a brighter, happier and more prosperous future and our desire to work for the betterment of our citizens.
No Government including my own can claim perfection. Nonetheless, we believe that the old worn-out policy of introducing resolution on Iran is not only an unfair and unjustified action, but also a disservice to the Iranian policy of cooperation with the UN human rights mechanisms. Such a move is, therefore, doomed to fail and should be categorically rejected.
I earnestly seek the indulgence and understanding of the distinguished members of the Committee not to lend any credence to these unfair and baseless claims that have been artificially crafted.
In light of what I have said, and in order to preserve the dignity, credibility and legitimacy of the UN human rights mechanisms, I invite the distinguished delegations to oppose the instrumentalization of the concept of human rights for political purposes and the manipulations of human rights mechanisms, by voting against the draft resolution L.37