5 October 2010
Statement by H.E. Mr. Eshagh Alehabib
Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the General Debate of the Second Committee
(5 October 2010 – New York)
Since it is the first time my delegation takes the floor in the Second Committee of the Sixty-fifth GA Session I would like to congratulate you and the rest of the Bureau for your well deserved election and wish you every success in moving forward agenda of the Committee.
I would like to begin with expressing my government and people heartfelt sympathy and support to the government and people of Pakistan following the recent natural disaster. As a neighboring country we feel compelled to provide our unconditional support to the rehabilitation efforts undergoing by government and officials of Pakistan.
The change in the economic policy discourse as the silver lining of the financial crisis has been successful in critically questioning many thoughts and principles considered as sacred to mainstream politics for so many years. The blind faith to self-regulatory of the markets has in fact seen its end. However, such positive shift in mind setting is yet to be reflected in the practical macroeconomic sphere at national and international levels.
Major financial actors and funds are going back to business as usual as if there has never been a crisis. Perhaps they are confident that should things go wrong they will be again bailed out. They have the least to care about millions of people who pushed back to poverty and hunger due to their misconducts preceding the crisis. In fact, very little has been done to rectify the systemic imbalances and over-financialization of economic activities as the main sources of the recent financial crisis.
Ensuring safety of all financial products, putting in place stricter standards for hedge funds and bringing the rating agencies under international ownership and control need to be rigorously pursued. There is also a need to retool our approach in light of the recent events. It is now obvious that market cannot adjust to externalities when it comes to address human development, distribution of growth dividends and social goals.
As a matter of fact, in countries with high rate of inequality, growth does not help poverty reduction. In contrast, it even worsens poverty and inequalities. An inclusive development, therefore, is not something to be left to market forces. A Second Bretton Woods Conference under the auspices of the United Nations – that has been called for by many- seems not only desirable but also necessary to address the new realities and to make decisions on the structural reform of the current system and imbalances therein.
The ongoing reform of the IMF and the World Bank, however, looks more cosmetic than a real one. The introduction of a double majority voting procedure, ensuring accountability of IMF to its instructions, abandoning pro-cyclical conditionalities and putting an end to the current application of non-economic non-technical considerations by the World Bank are needed in any meaningful reform of these bodies. We welcome the work and report of the Working Group of the GA to follow up on the issues contained in the Outcome of the Conference on the World Financial and Economic Crisis and see the merits of extending its mandate.
Increasing poverty, hunger and inequality at all levels are preventing governments from taking effective policies to realize their development aspirations and goals including those reflected in the MDGs. At the same time, the external environment at work is not conducive for their attainment. However, the outcome of the recent High Level Conference on MDGs in main parts failed to address systemic shortcomings. Developing countries took a practical yet flexible path during negotiations on the Outcome which unfortunately was not properly reciprocated.
The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes the adoption of the Outcome as a negotiated and consensual text. We are, however, concerned on its overall strength and the message it supposed to send to the poor people around the world. We expected a more action-oriented text with new and additional commitments from all parties to realize MDGs on time. Notwithstanding such concerns, we hope the positive political momentum succeeding the Conference be kept alive for the few years left to the 2015 deadline.
Climate change is a matter of serious concern and has the potential to create widespread poverty and socio-economic instability in all countries. The current trend while more than ten years has past from adoption of Kyoto Protocol leaves little hope for being optimistic. We need to make every effort to have the main building blocks for a solid, reliable and meaningful agreement in COP16 in Cancun, Mexico. To pave the way for such an agreement, concerted, and ambitious commitments and measures are required by developed countries, based on the principles enshrined in the Convention, to address the needs of developing countries in all four major components of the Bali Action Plan namely; mitigation, adaptation, finance and technology.
Dust and sand storm is one of the most serious and hard-to-beat impacts of climate change, inflicting substantial damage to the socio-economic life in Iran and many countries of our region during last few years, impairing the normal life and health of the people, eroding agricultural lands and polluting water resources throughout the area.
This is a region-wide problem and in addition to a firm national determination in all countries involved, requires regional and global cooperation and interaction. In the framework of regional cooperation to combat this challenge, Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran hosted a regional Ministerial environmental session including Iraq, Turkey, Syrian Arab Republic, Qatar and Islamic Republic of Iran on 29 September 2010, in Tehran, in which they agreed to cooperate to bring dust and sand storms under control over the next five years. The post-Kyoto arrangements have to look at the dust and sand storm closely in order to identify the root causes of the problem and to eradicate.
Sustainable development is a key element to achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs, and those contained in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. As such the 2012 Conference is a unique opportunity for the United Nations and member states to address the failure, implementing the Rio and Johannesburg outcomes and considering changes which have occurred since 1992. The preparatory process should focus on three pillars of sustainable development (economic development, social development and environmental protection) and give equal weight to each of three pillars.
Poverty eradication and changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and protecting and managing the natural resource base of economic and social development are comprehensive objectives and essential requirements for sustainable development. Transfer of technology should become the focus of the international community and the UN System, including at the highest political level. This should include the full implementation of the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity Building. There is also no need to redefine sustainable development. Green economy is not a substitute for sustainable development.
Thank you very much.