6 November 2012

Statement by

Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran

before the Third Committee of the 67 Session of the GA

on Agenda Item 69b: Human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of

human rights and fundamental freedoms

New York, 6 November 2012

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

We are in a world where human rights, human dignity, inclusion, equality and cooperation are and should be at the forefront of issues. In today’s multicultural atmosphere, some political and cultural views, which are convinced of the supremacy of their value-system, are pursuing a kind of cultural superiority in new and complex forms.

          The advocates of cultural supremacy are presenting an imperfect and tarnished image of other cultural systems with the aim of globalizing their own value-system at the expense of excluding others. This approach and the efforts to eliminate others identities, stemming from national, traditional and religious particularities, cause a major setback to the promotion of human rights, international cooperation and mutual enrichment for the cultural life of humankind.

          Given these facts, every day we hear of new challenges hindering realization of human rights, enhancement of international solidarity and cooperation which derive from cultural intolerance, mistrust, double standards, lack of respect for diversity others traditions and religions as well as from hegemonic ambitions in the political, economic and cultural fields.

Mr. Chairman,

In the course of recent years, we have seen unconstructive steady dangerous trends emanate, among others, from cultural superiority and malicious intentions manifesting itself in denigration of others religious sanctities, which have seriously harmed conceptual aspects of human rights. Regretfully, recently, some malevolent individuals, misinterpreting human rights concepts, insulted Muslim sanctities and hurt feelings of followers of other religions by releasing an antagonizing film on  Prophet Mohamed (PBUH).

Undoubtedly, this repugnant act represents an irresponsible misuse of the right to freedom of expression, the exercise of which carries with it special duties and responsibilities under International Human Rights Law, in particular, according to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Clearly, this film, as a part of an ongoing anti-Muslim campaign, would provide basis to giving rise to widespread manifestations of derogatory stereotyping, intolerance and incitement to religious hatred and violence. This trend, if continued, would lend more ground to normalizing the growing intolerance towards Muslims, and to legitimatizing the imposition of discriminatory practices against them.

It should be underlined that the alarming situation created by this hateful act affirms once more the urgency for all States to fully uphold their obligations under International Human Rights Law to prohibit any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.

 

Mr. Chairman,

We are of the view that to overcome this state of affairs requires genuine determination and collective action of the international community for the most part through United Nations system, inter alia, the UN Human Rights machinery.

In fact, we must take action to effectively prevent such despicable and willful acts which certainly erode the positive momentum being generated by the ongoing activities under various governmental and non-governmental initiatives, aiming to correct misconceptions and to promote understanding and respect of and among cultures and civilization. It is therefore an imperative to renew the international commitment to promote tolerance, dialogue and understanding at all levels.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman,

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