7 October 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. Gholamhossein Dehghani Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative
Of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Agenda item 27: Social Development
Third Committee of the 68th Session of the UNGA
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
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Allow me at the outset, to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election to Third Committee at the 68th session of the General Assembly. My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by Fiji on behalf of the G77 and China.
I would also like to thank the Secretary General for his informative reports on this agenda item which would help us to enrich our deliberations and discussions.
Nevertheless, my delegation is uncomfortable that in some of the Secretary General’s reports certain terms are used that are controversial and do not enjoy support by many states but rather, are opposed by them. We believe that the inclusion of such controversial terms in the report of the Secretary General should be avoided in articulation of the future reports.
The preparation for the observance of the twentieth anniversary of the International Year of the Family at all levels is very important and my delegation is fully committed to participate in the process of its preparation in collaboration with other interested states.
The General Assembly in its resolution A/RES/66/126 encouraged Member States to adopt holistic approaches to policies and programmes that addressed family poverty, social exclusion and work-family balance and that shared good practices in those areas.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches high importance to the rights of youths and their role in the development of the country. Our ministry of sport and youths has run several national plans on the youth marriage, youth leisure time, youth partnerships and youth consultations. We also have national high council of youths in charge of policy under the ministry of sport and youths.
Undoubtedly, the challenges to achieving social development remain daunting. 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. In much of the developing world, national development efforts are sagging under the weight of the global financial and economic crisis. In particular, prospects for reducing poverty, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment, inequality and social exclusion have been undermined.
On the rights of persons with disabilities we believe that their inclusion in the process of decision making through democratic processes and procedures is of high importance. Ms. Leila Barzamini, is the first Iranian woman with disability who could become the chair of the city council through election in a city called Daland in the northern province of the Islamic Republic of Iran in coincidence with the recent presidential election. This is a vivid example of how participation of persons with disabilities especially, women equally with other persons in the democratic process of decision making. We believe the governments as well as the civil society are to provide such opportunities for their persons with disabilities to participate effectively.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the 2013 high-level meeting on disability and development has provided an important opportunity to bring global attention to the situation of persons with disabilities and to establish a strategic vision and its corresponding plan of action for disability inclusive development.
The harmonization of national legislative, policy and institutional structures in line with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and development instruments, should also be prioritized and accelerated.
With the adoption of a comprehensive legislation for the protection of the persons with disabilities in 2004 in Iran, extensive efforts have been made to mitigate the material and psychological problems of this important part 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 measure taken over the recent years.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the role that sport plays in the empowerment of persons with disabilities. Iran had ranked 22nd in Paralympic 2008 with 5 Gold medalists and could rank 11th at the Paralympic 2012 with 10 Gold medalists which shows 100 percent of improvement. During the Paralympic 2012 Mrs. Zahra Nemati, the first Iranian woman to win a gold medal at Paralympic level, was named the individual winner in Sport Accord’s Spirit of Sport awards. This award is given annually to those whose sporting achievement or work has led to positive social change.
The Islamic Republic of Iran attaches great importance to the promotion and protection of the rights of older persons. Iran as a developing country is undergoing a rapid transformation in its demographic structure with a considerable rate of ageing. The percentage of older persons in Iran’s population is now 8.2 and by the year 2028 will reach 14.5. It is also estimated that older persons in Iran will constitute more than 22 percent of the whole population by the year 2040.
The State Welfare Organization of the Islamic Republic of Iran prepared a national strategic plan on aging which is to become operational by the next year.
The Islamic Republic of Iran encourages all relevant UN bodies to improve their technical cooperation with the least developed and developing countries in addressing the alarming issues on social development namely, the related issues to persons with disabilities and elderly people with a holistic approach.