19 October 2012
the Delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran
the Third Committee of the 67th Session of the General Assembly
on Agenda Item 65: Promotion & Protection the Rights of Children
New York, 19 October 2012
Every child has a dream of a brighter future and an ambition to achieve their goals. Today’s children are our future generation and their rights are special in that their promotion and protection depend largely on us. Investing on children is not a choice, but an obligation, of which only the effective fulfillment will secure a better opportunity for the succeeding generations.
Despite significant achievements in the promotion and protection of children, serious challenges still persist around the world. Based on the report of the Secretary General (contained in document A/67/229), although child mortality is steadily declining globally, the latest estimates reveal that in 2010 some 7.6 million children did not survive to see their fifth birthday and that in the developing world nearly one in five children under age 5 is underweight.
Additionally, still children are the primary victims of armed conflicts, foreign occupation and interventions, unilateral sanctions and terrorism. Increased number of targeted attacks by armed groups against children is also alarming.
The Special Rapportuer on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary execution in his report to the Human Rights Council contained in document A/HRC/20/22/Add.3 highlighted that targeted killings of children and women around the world through the use of night raids on housing by the United States, in February 2011 had resulted in approximately 600 deaths within the space of three months. This could set a dangerous precedent in targeted killings of children on the territory of other states. We encourage the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict to address this issue in his next report to the General assembly.
As a result of terrorist acts around the world, especially those resulted from the state terrorism, children are even more vulnerable to these kind of tragic and inhumane acts. Recently, children of the assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists met with H.E. Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, who attended the 16th Summit of Non- Aligned Movement in Tehran. Among them, there was a girl named Armita Rezaei Nejad, who is the daughter of a young Iranian nuclear scientist targeted in front of his wife and daughter. In that meeting she wanted to herald message of peace and friendship of the Iranian Nation to the international community. These children sleep every night over the dream of their fathers’ lullabies’ have been targeted just because they have been working sincerely for the independence of their nation. These innocent children are the Ambassadors of Peace of our great country.
While, my delegation notes the report of the Special Representative of the Secretary – General for Children and Armed Conflict (A/67/256), reiterates its principal position that this report continue to ignore an important principle of international law and international humanitarian law in the framework of armed conflict which is the impact of the persistent pattern of foreign occupation on children. In our view, this report must present a clear picture of the humanitarian situation of the children living under foreign occupation around the world. In our view, the lack of reference to foreign occupation in the context of armed conflict introduces a narrow framework for the analysis of such issue.
The Non-Aligned Movement’s Heads of State and Government, through in the Final Document of the 16 Summit, which held recently in Tehran, the Islamic Republic of Iran, expressed their deep concern over the fact that around 69 million children of primary school age remain out of school, had no access to primary education, particularly children in Africa and Asia. They recognized that without accelerated progress towards education for all, national and internationally agreed targets for poverty reduction would be missed, and inequalities between countries and within societies would widen. In this regard, they reiterated the Movement’s continued support and full commitment to cooperate in attaining the MDGs and the goals of the UN Literacy Decade (2003-2012).
To this end, my delegation takes note of the new global initiative of the Secretary- General on education, entitled “Education First.” This initiative is expected to give a stronger impetus to the global movement for education, so that the existing momentum turns into concrete commitment and action to spur a global movement to achieve quality, relevant and inclusive education for all by 2015.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is strongly committed to the promotion and protection of the rights of children. In this regard the National Institution on the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Child is dedicated to promote the implementation of this Convention. Furthermore, my country has made progress towards achieving MDGs and has gone beyond 2015 goals. As part of judicial development process in Iran, a new comprehensive bill on the protection of children and juvenile has been ratified by the Parliament. The provisions of the new bill include all aspects of promotion and protection of children in legal framework. Yesterday, one delegation referred to the existence of child marriage in my country based on a highly political report. This allegation came from the delegation that has not ratified the most universally accepted treaty of history, the International Convention on the Rights of Child.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, we earnestly believe that there is still much to be done should our children enjoy their inalienable rights to a childhood free of violence, foreign occupation, terrorism, poverty and all other unpleasantries. We must work together, hand-in-hand, to create a world fit for children.