7 November 2012
Statement by Mr. Javad Momenei Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Iran
On Agenda Item 20: Sustainable Development
Before the Second Committee of the
67th Session of the General Assembly
(New York – 7 November 2012)
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the outset, my delegation would like to associate itself with the statement made by Algeria on behalf of the G77 and China.
Sustainable development is not an abstract concept. It is a well-defined and elaborated concept in various global agreements. Eradicating poverty, changing unsustainable patterns of production and consumption, protecting and managing the natural resource based on national strategy and economic and social development, financial support and transfer of technology are overarching objectives and essential requirements for sustainable development. In this regard, Rio+20 was a landmark United Nation Conference on sustainable development and its outcome achievement “the future we want” which renewed essential commitments and reaffirms previous understandings on sustainable development for international cooperation was reaffirmed in the UN General Assembly.
The multiple and ongoing crises, including the financial, economic, food and energy crises and the challenges relating to the limit of and the unsustainable use of resources have significant and unforeseen impacts on developing countries, and undermines their efforts to achieve the internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs. Meanwhile the international community still faces the challenge of fulfilling the commitments previously agreed in the sustainable development field, along with the full integration of the three pillars of sustainable development.
The United Nations Outcome Documents all refer to the “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection. What makes the development, “sustainable” is basically the integration of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainable development in policy-making at international, regional and national levels. For developing countries, effective international cooperation, capacity building and assistance continue to be essential factors to enable the full achievement of the development goals. 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.
Climate change is a matter of serious concern for all countries since it severely impacts scarce freshwater resources, forests and biodiversity, and agricultural lands and leading to food and energy insecurity around the world. Climate change also adversely imposes serious damages to vital socio-economic infrastructures of countries, and erodes their development progress.
Warming climactic system is expected to impact the availability of basic necessities like freshwater, food security, and energy. It will also adversely impact vital socio-economic infrastructures. Concerted and concrete measures are required at all levels to enable developing countries to achieve the internationally agreed development goals including MDGs, and in particular the goal on poverty eradication. This would only be achieved by adhering to the provisions and principles of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), particularly on the basis of equity in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To this end we need to take further action to mobilize the provision of financial resources, technology transfer, capacity-building and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries, as set out in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation.
Desertification, land degradation and drought corrode the pillars of sustainable development. The United Nations Convention to combat Desertification is an important tool to achieve food security, poverty eradication and sustainable development and to promote sustainable land use in dry lands. Dust and sand storm is one of the most serious and hard-to-beat challenges in the last few years inflicting substantial damage to the socio-economic situation in western half of Iran and impairing the normal life and health of the people, eroding agricultural lands and polluting water resources throughout the whole 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. Preventing and fully restraining of this painful disaster which covers many countries in the Persian Gulf region, requires technical support and transfer of technology to help countries combat and overcome the negative effects of the crises based on their national priorities, circumstances and development strategies. My delegation hopes that the post-Kyoto arrangements look at the dust and sand storm closely in order to identify the root causes of the problem for providing necessary arrangements to its eradication.
Rate of deforestation, land degradation and desertification exacerbate chronic poverty and pose serious challenges for the countries, especially developing countries, to achieve sustainable forest management, global objectives on forests and MDGs. In this regards, Low forest cover countries (LFCCs) are among vulnerable countries that are particularly susceptible to land degradation leading to desertification. Taking into account that Forests provide multiple economic, social and environmental benefits and sustainable management of forests contributes significantly to sustainable development.
Adequate financial resources, capacity building, and transfer of environmentally sound technologies for developing countries, based on their needs and priorities, remain critical to ensure the implementation of forest related policies at national and international levels. LFCCs are the most vulnerable group of countries to air pollution and forest fire and therefore, deserve outright attention.
The prime obstacle to sustainable forest management in developing countries is inadequate funding. These financial gaps can only be addressed by dedicating resources to support the implementation of the forest instrument, and the achievement of its global objectives on forests. Islamic Republic of Iran according to its national program is planning to develop its forest cover from the current 14.3 million to 16 million hectares during a 10-year period.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.