27 November 2012
H. E. Mr. Mohammad Khazaee, Ambassador and Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
on the Draft Resolution L.51:
“Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran”
New York, 27 November 2012
IN the Name of God the Compassionate the Merciful
The Third Committee is once again about to take action on another non-objective and counter-productive draft resolution concerning the human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, contained in document (A/C.3/67/L.51). It is therefore our right and also duty to reflect on this draft resolution and the reporting procedure established thereby. In doing so, I humbly seek your indulgence and attention as well as that of our distinguished colleagues.
In fact, this draft resolution finds its way to the Third Committee of the General Assembly out of the urgencies and exigencies of Canadian internal politics. It has been evident that Canada brought a bilateral case of judicial nature to the General Assembly with the view to abusing human rights mechanisms to advance its self-centered political interests.
Insisting on tabling of this procedurally and substantively flawed resolution, which may only satisfy the short-sighted political interests of a few countries, undermines the imperatives of United Nations human rights machinery. Clearly, a move of this nature, in principle, only undermines the promotional potentials within the system and direct the environment towards further polarization and politicization of human rights in the United Nations.
Giving an illuminating example, I went through the draft resolution thoroughly, and surprisingly found out that in a single draft resolution more than one hundred and fifty unsubstantiated allegations are leveled against my country, whereas only few positive human rights developments with negative connotations are implicitly mentioned. Clearly, this serious structural imbalance in the draft, which in no way could be considered reflection of the actual situation on the ground, is contrary to rationality and reason.
Furthermore, the resolution has major obvious flaws in terms of “facts” and “concerns” it articulates. It is out of touch with realities of the Iranian society because of relying on websites and partial Media as the main source of information. It is overly heedless of the internal and indigenous mechanisms in protection and promotion of human rights. In the draft resolution, orthodox judgmental approach based on prejudice is employed and vigorously pursued, to the extent that remarkable efforts are made to build up negative image of the draft domestic penal code before its coming into force. Huge exaggeration and persistent focus on rights of one of the minorities in Iranian colorful society has been among the particularities of this draft resolution since its inception.
Due to the time constraint, I do not intend to review the draft resolution and underline its contradictions and shortcomings. Rather, I would like to emphasize that the adoption of these kind of resolutions will uncover the real intention and motivation of co-sponsors hidden behind the facade of human rights. In fact, through the above points, and by raising following issues, I would like to shed lights on deficiencies of the UN human rights country specific special procedures, and help impartial observers realize the fact that how “country specific mandates” is susceptible and vulnerable to manipulation and politicization.
We shall not forget that the whole reason the former Commission of the Human Rights was abolished and replaced by the new institution of the UN Human Rights Council was exactly the need to prevent Member States from being named and shamed for human rights criticism in a selective way. Selective country specific resolutions will reduce human rights noble concerns to manipulative devices of political rivalry. The devices that some certain western Countries are simply, frequently and heedlessly exploited under disguise of human rights for their political ends.
Observing partiality and selectivity in country specific mandates, the international community took hard efforts, through United Nations Reform, to establish the UPR Mechanism to ensure universality, objectivity, non-selectivity and impartiality in the work of UN human rights machinery. The real performance of this mechanism, in a logical setting, should allow the human rights machinery to act beyond the monopoly, maintained by a few in the past, in monitoring the human rights situations in countries.
Disproportionately and unnecessarily suffered from existing flaws of the country specific mechanism, the Islamic Republic of Iran has long been supportive of and contributor to the establishment of human rights scrutiny of all UN member States on the basis of the principle of equality, fairness and universality. To fully cooperate with the newly founded mechanism, a very high ranking Iranian delegation took part in the Human Rights Council Working Group on UPR to present Iran’s report under the UPR mechanism. Providing comprehensive record of steps had been taken at national level, we cooperated and actively participated in the deliberations on the report and explained in detail our human rights policies and practices.
The content of Iran’s resolution, as pointed out earlier, in particular, the reporting procedure established therein, alone, suffice to illustrate that this move against my country is ill-intended. The resolution, contrary to established practice, gives redundant mandate to the Secretary General to compile and produce a parallel report, in addition to the report mandated to be produced by the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic Iran.
It seems, when it comes to the Islamic Republic of Iran, the drafters of the resolution purposefully disregard even their advocated criteria, denouncing duplication, parallelism and redundancy of the work in the United Nations human rights mechanisms. As result of this double-standard two similar reports with the same nature and many overlapping have been submitted to this Committee, indicating that with regard to Iran practices and procedures could simply be ignored.
Furthermore, compilation of the reports on the so – called situation of human rights in Iran has substantially and significantly deviated from professional, just, non-discriminatory, fair and non-political principles established within human rights special procedures.
It is worth noting that despite our strong opposition to the resolution and established mandate, requesting the Secretary General to produce a report, we expressed our readiness to provide all the necessary information to the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare an impartial, balanced, nonpolitical, accurate, substantiated and well documented report, free from any sort of prejudice or bias. It was the natural and logical expectation of the Islamic Republic of Iran to see the authors of the report to act as an impartial body and prepare the new report without prejudgments and take into account the facts and the truth behind the claims. But unfortunately in practice what we have seen is in contradiction to those legitimate expectations.
In addition to the above measures, also we had already submitted our general comments and observations, in Fifty Seven pages, in due time on the draft report of the Special Rapporteur (on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran), in July and August 2012, with the hope that the writer of the report took them into consideration and included the provided viewpoints and replies in his final report to reduce its massive imbalances and deficiencies, as an honest and responsible mandate holder would do.
Regrettably, the submitted responses have not been reflected into the report, which is contradictory to standards of ethical behavior and professional conduct as well as requirements for compilation of report by a Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council which shall be subject to specific procedures as contained in HRC Resolution 5/2 on the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures.
In principle, the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the reports of the UNSG and Special Rapporteur as an important mechanism, provided that they are purely professional and free from politicization. We firmly believe that the two repetitive reports submitted to the Third Committee have neglected a large number of achievements and positive developments of human right in my country. Moreover, the reports suffer from partiality and lack of balance, and both adopted a selective approach towards available information.
At least, we expected the inclusion of the positive human rights developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran, in different fields, in the Report. Unfortunately, both reports lack the required general balance in form and content. Mere repetition of unfounded, illogical and unrealistic allegations, lacking legal foundations, resorting to foreign, non-governmental, informal, biased and mal-intended sources against the Islamic Republic of Iran have outstandingly decreased credibility of the reports.
Ironically, although despite the fact that there are ample examples of violations of human rights in the countries of self-proclaimed champion of human rights, none of them are under any scrutiny through country specific resolutions.
Various reports of the Thematic Rapporteurs and Treaty Bodies of the United Nations human rights machinery bear testimony to the fact that Canada and other sponsors of this draft resolution are themselves implicated in serious human rights violations for which they must be held accountable.
Increasing discrimination against immigrants, Muslims and other people of foreign origin, the aggressive, unnecessary and excessive police force against peaceful protesters, and journalists, unjustified closure of public space, dispersal of peaceful assemblies in Europe, United States and Canada, the gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law by the US under different pretexts are but a few examples among many others that figure notably on the long list of human rights violations by the sponsors of this draft resolution. No one can deny that the speedy increase in Islamophobia in the Western world have seriously violated the fundamental rights of the Muslim populations in those countries. The special Rapporteur on violence against women reported of gross violation of human rights of women in particular black women in the US prisons as well as in the US army. Not to mention killing of innocent Afghan women and children by the US drone on a daily basis.
Additionally, it is also reported by the reliable sources about the human rights situation in the US in recent years which refer to: “the persecutions of the Occupy Wall Street movement activists, excessive use of force and cruel prison conditions, scores of men remained in indefinite military detention in Guantánamo… hundreds of people held in US military custody in the US detention facility on the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan etc. The US authorities blocked efforts to secure accountability and remedy for crimes under international law committed against detainees previously subjected to the USA’s secret detention and rendition programme”.
On the situation of human rights in Canada, according to credible and reliable reports during last two years: “indigenous Peoples of Canada faced ongoing, systematic violations of their rights and concerns about human rights violations associated with counter-terror and security operations persisted. Few months ago the High Commissioner for Human Rights included Canada in the list of the world’s worst on human rights for the restricting freedom of assembly.
The Government of Canada is racist in behavior. The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concerns that minority groups in Canada in particular, African Canadians and Aboriginal peoples, continue to face discrimination in all walks of life”. The Committee also expressed concerns at the extent of the dramatic inequality in living standards still experienced by Aboriginal peoples.
Moreover, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women noted with concern that a disproportionate number of Aboriginal women in Canada are incarcerated; this is true also of Afro-Canadian women and other women of colour. Indigenous women and girls continue to suffer from a high level of discrimination and violence.
In reality, the claim by Canada and its partners on human rights advocacy has proven to be a myth, as they have, on numerous occasions, put on display their fully politicized approach to human rights issues. It is worth mentioning that the sponsors of the draft resolution before this Committee today are mostly those who have repeatedly ignored and even supported the gross violation of the most fundamental human rights of Palestinians People by the Israeli regime.
Deadly silence of the so – called champion of human rights vis- a-vis the recent inhuman and brutal attacks by the Zionist regime against the innocent Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, who are living for many years under a barbarous siege, is another simple and illustrative example of how these pseudo-champions are hypocritical in their advocacy of human rights.
We don’t need to go far away to prove their hypocrisy. In this very room, each one of those so – called flag-leader countries of human rights in their statements, in general debate under Item 69c “concerning human rights situations” put together long list of countries, in a finger-pointing manner, accusing them of different kind of violation of human rights. Astonishingly, none of these so called champions in human rights advocacy made any reference to gross and systematic violations of human rights which occur in Gaza and Palestinian Occupied Territories, as if there is no rights violations in the said Territories.
This has yet again brought to light the true nature, and hidden agenda of such countries’ approach to human rights issues, which obviously amounts to making a mockery of human rights itself, as well as the whole international human rights machinery. It is also ironic that the Israeli regime, with an appalling and unspeakable record of war crimes and systematic violations of human rights, is among the co-sponsors of the draft. Once again, this alone is telling enough and adequately self-explaining that how deceitful and preposterous this politically motivated move by Canada is. In fact, if any country had to get resolution, they would have deserved it more than others, because of their unsparing support of a regime that has frequently committed genocide in the Palestinian Occupied Territories.
We believe that universality in the consideration of human rights situations should be a basic principle to which the United Nations should adhere to. Selectivity and double standard will lead to the manipulation of the whole system of the UN. Moreover, we believe that the best approach to promote and protect human rights across the globe is to engage in a meaningful and sincere cooperation. We have always stressed that cooperation, mutual understanding and respect should lie at the heart of interactions on human rights and enable Member States to use the existing mechanisms to effectively promote and protect human rights worldwide.
Finally, Mr. Chairman, as I explained, the Canadian draft resolution against my country solely seeks political interests and goals that its sponsors pursue. It certainly lacks credibility as far as our human rights situation is concerned.
In view of these considerations, I would like to ask for a recorded vote on the draft resolution L.51, and in order to preserve the dignity and credibility of the UN human rights mechanisms, I hope the members of the Third Committee choose the right path by taking into consideration my statement today.