6 February 2013
Statement by H.E Mr. Gholamhosein Dehghani
Ambassador, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
To the United Nations – New York At 51rst Session of the Commission for Social Development
On Agenda Item: 3
New York, 6 February 2013
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 51rstsession of the Commission on Social Development. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Secretary General for his useful and informative report on “promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all” which helps us to enrich our deliberations and discussions. Moreover, my delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by Fiji on behalf of the G77 and China.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that “Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all” is an important process which should be started from the right point of departure. To this end, prioritization of addressing the root causes of lack of empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication is crucially important. The empowerment is interconnected with the three core goals but there are different views on how to approach these core goals. For empowerment to occur, there must be an enabling environment and for having an enabling environment, topping the priorities are enough food and potable water for survival.
The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012 (SOFI), jointly published by FAO, IFAD and WFP that nearly 870 people in the world are chronically undernourished. It means one in every eight people in the world goes to sleep hungry at the end of every day. The vast majority of them which is 852 million, live in developing countries.
Time and again, all this information shows the importance of the effective implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty from 2008 to 2017.
According to the Secretary General’s report, over the past four years, the economic crisis and high food and fuel prices have slowed the rate of poverty reduction and hurt vulnerable populations. We believe that if the global efforts for poverty eradication concentrates only on extreme poverty, although it might be reduced on a long run, the population living in non extreme poverty will end up in to extreme poverty due to being neglected and this vicious circle will endanger the population of the whole world in the future.
The overall assessment of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development the world social development progress is minimum and inequalities have increased in many parts of the world and the gap between rich and poor is widening at an alarming pace.
The ongoing global economic and financial crises have had serious consequences for social development and have had a negative impact on the progress made in achieving the three pillars of the social development. They have led to sharp falls in employment and rapid increases in unemployment.
Youth are disproportionately affected by unemployment and overrepresented in the informal sector and among the working poor. Early labour market experience is a key driver of personal and social empowerment; a difficult transition from school to work has a negative impact on long-term earnings prospects and increases the risk of unemployment later in life.
The Islamic Republic of Iran in its country program from 2012 to 2016 focuses on four main areas, among which poverty reduction has got the first priority. Although Iran is a middle income country with a population of nearly 80 million which has more than doubled since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, however in 2011, according to Human Development Report of the UNDP, Iran’s HDI (Human Development Index) has reached 0.707 comparing to 0.437 in 1980. Thus the 5th national development plan specifically refers to the improvement of the HDI as one of Iran’s national development priorities for the next five years.
Social groups such as older persons, the youth and persons with disabilities are receiving necessary attentions and support from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. For instance, on the issue of ageing, recently the National Strategy Document on Ageing has been publicized by the State Welfare Organization of Iran. Although, respect for the older persons is deeply rooted in the Iranian culture, the quantity of bills of laws and regulations on the well being of the older persons is on a rise. The Social Security Organization and the Social Welfare Ministry of Iran as members of national focal points on ageing, work along with other governmental and non-governmental organizations on the implementation of the three priority directions contained in the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing. Their tasks include, inter alia, reaching out to older persons to ensure their rights, economic security and health care. The Social Security Organization has also initiated a plan called “Respect for the older persons” by which a wide range of health care services devoted to these people. Furthermore, the IranianResearchCenter on Ageing is active on research and data collection on ageing in order to better understand the social and psychological needs of the older persons.
Protection of persons with disabilities is a fundamental policy for the Islamic Republic of Iran. With the adoption of a comprehensive legislation for the protection of the disabled in 2004, extensive efforts have been made to mitigate the material and psychological problems of this segment of the Iranian population. Creation of a medical fund for the treatment of the persons with disabilities, providing special employment facilities, housing and sports for them are among the measures taken over the recent years. Furthermore, the Islamic Republic of Iran had played an active role in the preparation and adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and is a party to this Convention.
According to UNDP, Iran is well placed to play a leading role in applying the South-South cooperation modalities through exchange of knowledge and technical expertise, research and application of science and technology and training both globally and within its region. That is why UNDP has decided to build on its global network of knowledge and best practices to promote knowledge-sharing and South-South cooperation with Iran.
In conclusion, The Islamic Republic of Iran would like to stress again on the importance of priorities and root causes first in addressing “promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all”