4 November 2013
Statement by Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
on Agenda Item 67( a&b):
Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance
before the Third Committee of the 68th session of the UNGA,
New York, 4 November 2013
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
At the outset, I would like to thank the Secretary-General for his reports submitted under this agenda item and also thank the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, for his comprehensive report and presentation.
Today, racism, racial discrimination and xenophobic attitudes and actions are among main sources of violence and extremism in the world. In such an environment, governmental and non-governmental, religious, ethnic, and even racial violence have been increased, and there is no guarantee that any country in the world will remain immune from such violent discourses, practices and actions. The catastrophic impact of violent and extremist narratives should not – in fact, must not – be underestimated.
More than one month ago, my President in the name of the Islamic Republic of Iran proposed, the consideration by the United Nations of the project , namely: “the World Against Violence and Extremism.” (WAVE) To attain the noble goal of “World against Violence and Extremism”, we consider elimination of racism and xenophobia as an important element in this regard.
Iran has repeatedly manifested its commitment both at national and international levels, in order to combat seriously racism, racial discrimination, Xenophobia and other related intolerance in all its forms and manifestations.
To this vein, within the Fifth economic, social and cultural development national strategic program, promulgation of respectful concepts towards social groups and different ethnic minorities have been seriously taken into account. Furthermore, recently the President of Iran has appointed the Special Assistance on minority issues.
In this context, we maintain that the international Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as well as Durban Declaration and Programme of Action remain main normative framework for our activities. Iran has cooperated with other members of the international community and has played an active role in all international conferences held in this field.
In some part of the world racial and xenophobic attitudes and actions, discrimination, violence and hostile acts increasingly have targeted different groups of people especially the Muslim communities, indigenous peoples, migrants, African and Asian descendents and Roma.
Although rigorous measures have been taken during the past decade to extract people of African Descent from historical exclusion and discrimination, their legitimate expectations haven’t been adequately fulfilled. The continuation of discrimination against People of African Descents in the administration of justice and alarming high rates of police violence along with racial profiling in some countries are the new alarming conditions that deserve greater consideration. In this regard, we maintain that, awareness-raising measures for such recognition should start with education at national level.
Continuation and intensification of systemic and systematic trends of defamation of Islam as well as discrimination against Muslims crave the assiduous attention of the international community.
The Fifth report of the OIC Observatory reveals an alarming upsurge of Islamophobia that can jeopardize peaceful coexistence in our interdependent world. Hence, we call upon the international community not to allow these tensions be simmered but addressed through concrete immediate actions. We have no doubt that the future will be bright with the entire world solidly rejecting violence and extremism as manifestation of racial and xenophobic thoughts.