9 February 2011
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee
Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
at the 49th Session of the Commission for Social Development on agenda item 3:
Follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development /Priority theme: Poverty eradication
(New York, 9 February 2011)
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 chairmanship of the 49th session of the Commission for social development. 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. My delegation also aligns itself with the statement delivered by distinguished delegate of Argentina on behalf of the G 77 and China.
Poverty eradication, through decisive national actions supported by international cooperation, is placed at the heart of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development. To halve extreme poverty by 2015 and developing and implementing sustainable pro-poor growth strategies, international community in 1995 correctly recognized that poverty eradication had to be put at the center of any economic and social development strategy.
More than fifteen years has passed since Copenhagen and it is a disgrace to the whole humanity that despite progresses, the figure of one billion people living in hunger and poverty is still relevant as it was in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, poverty and inequalities have increased in many parts of the world and the gap between rich and poor, among and between States, is widening and deepening at an alarming pace.
In fact, the present situation gives the indication that something is seriously wrong beneath the world economic and financial architecture and structure. No matter how hard the governments in developing countries strive to put in place right strategies and policies, their people and achievements are always subject to external threats and shocks. The financial and economic crisis is just a recent and fresh instance of such concern. The crisis contributed to the increase of vulnerabilities and inequalities and has adversely affected development gains of developing countries while they actually had nothing to do with its creation.
Indeed, a non-conducive international environment has exacerbated the situation for many developing countries while, poor people are severely and disproportionately suffering from the consequences of the wrong policies of major economic players. Irresponsible neo-liberalism, unilateralism and a biased international economic order are evidently working against poverty eradication and pro-poor policies of most developing countries. Unconditional transfer of advanced and job creative technologies and elimination of distorting agricultural subsidies by developed countries to eliminate poverty in developing countries seem as distanced unattainable goals.
In Copenhagen world community recognized poverty as an offence to human dignity. It called for enhancing social development throughout the world so that all men and women, especially those living in poverty, exercise their rights, utilize the resources and share the responsibilities that enable them to lead satisfying lives and to contribute to the well-being of their families, their communities and humankind.
To reach this end efforts must be redoubled to ensure that all segments of society, including youth, older persons, and persons with disabilities, have access to resources and opportunities to realize their full potential. In fact, this is the approach which underpins the social policy agenda of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
My country attaches great importance to the poverty eradication in all its aspects. Among the programs adopted and actions taken at the national level to realize the goals of poverty eradication, especial emphasis has been placed on improving distribution of resources and providing job opportunities.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran inspired by the Islamic values and principles of Country’s Constitution, has regarded poverty eradication as an integral element for improving human development and combating inequalities and as such incorporated it as a prime objective of its current National Development Plan.
Increasing job security through legal support and increase unemployment insurances; enhancing equal opportunities and easy access to education, employment, capital and decent work, along with providing financial facilities; strengthening of social security system especially for poor people; leading public section support towards investment in construction of “cheaper house”, rental shelters, enrich basic food basket and securing health services; and combating poverty through public education and increasing standard of living have been the goals and objectives of the latest Five-Year National Development Plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran pertaining poverty eradication.
Subsequently, significant steps has been taken and incredible improvement been set in reducing poverty during last decade. As figures on social indicators reveal, the Islamic Republic of Iran during the third decade of the Islamic Revolution has made great achievements in successful implementation of social development plans, although the sustainability of this process requires new initiatives to financially support the cost of the social development initiatives.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran being determined to uprooting the absolute poverty has taken a series of measures which has led to following achievements:
Decrease the ratio of the population living with income under 1.25 US$ per day, from 4/6% in the year 1997 to 0.46% in the year 2008; Reduction of the population suffering from hunger to half during 1990 to 2005; Ratification of the “Poverty Eradication” bill in the parliament in 2005; Launch of the massive plan on “rationalization of subsidies” to give a better share of the national resources to the poor people; Establishment of insurance fund for poor villagers; and provision of subsidized milk for poor families.
In conclusion, I would like to reiterate once more that the political will of all members of world society is the main prerequisite for realization of the goals and objectives set in Copenhagen Declaration and Programme of Action in particular on poverty eradication. The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran for its part remains committed to uproot poverty and inequality form its society.
I thank you very much