18 December 2013
Statement by H.E. Mr. Mohamad Khazaee,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the I R Iran
to the United Nations to introduce draft resolution A/68/L.31
before the General Assembly
New York ,18 December 2013
In the Name of God, the Compassionate the Merciful
I have the honour and privilege to introduce, on behalf of its sponsors and under agenda item 15, the draft resolution entitled “A World against Violence and Violent Extremism” contained in document A/68/L.31. Since the release of this document, the following delegations have joined the initial 12 sponsors of the draft resolution: Afghanistan, Belarus, Bolivia, China, India, Iraq, Japan, Nicaragua, the Philippines, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, Thailand.
Let me first express my sincere gratitude to all sponsors of the draft and all other delegations for their constructive participation and support during the open and transparent consultations that my delegation conducted. Their proposals, suggestions and interventions made the draft resolution more robust and helped accommodate the views of different Member States. The cross-regional sponsorship also underscores the universal recognition of the need to act on the pressing global challenge of violence and violent extremism. In that spirit, the sponsors respectfully call on all Member States to support the draft resolution.
Growing violent extremism and sectarian violence that are plaguing many parts of the world constitute the core issue that this draft resolution deals with. It draws on the ideas presented by H.E. Mr. Rouhani, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during his electoral campaign on the need to promote prudent moderation and reject extremism. This overarching theme was further developed in the statement that he delivered during the general debate of the UN General Assembly. He allocated a best part of his statement to the imperative of fighting violence and extremism. In this statement, he talked of fears and hopes: “fear of institutionalization of violence and extremism” and “the hope of preference of dialogue over conflict, and moderation over extremism.” President Rouhani expressed alarm over “the catastrophic impact of violent and extremist narratives” and reiterated that it “should not-in fact, must not – be underestimated.” He also expressed regret over the fact that “violence and extremism nowadays have gone beyond the physical realm and have unfortunately afflicted and tarnished the mental and spiritual dimensions of life in human societies.” While stressing the need to “promote and reinforce tolerance”, he proposed to the United Nations to consider the idea of “the World against Violence and Extremism”.
This draft resolution was crafted on the basis of the above and also in the light of the dismaying developments in parts of the world and the great importance that we attach to the fight against violent extremism and sectarian violence that threaten to plague our region and in other parts of the world. Given these developments, it is imperative today more than ever before that the international community agrees on effective measures to combat violent extremism.
The time has now come for the General Assembly, as the sole universal body encompassing representatives of nearly every nation on earth, to act to address violent extremism and the wide-ranging problems that it creates and take the first step in laying the foundation for promoting and institutionalizing fight against sectarian violence and violent extremism. We hope that this draft resolution provides a solid basis for such a process. Our action in the General Assembly could be part of and contribute to other endeavors at the domestic and regional levels in addressing multi-front confrontations and redressing conditions and situations in which only violent nihilism could thrive.
This draft resolution means to serve as a call to break the endless rehearsals of the past, to uphold the concept of citizenship over sectarian allegiances, to place the next generation’s prosperity above the settling of past scores and look to the future with hope, with prudent moderation as the master key. By adopting this draft resolution, all Member States would also concur that, in dealing with the threat of violent extremism, we all need to cooperate and there is no room for zero-sum game in any field.
The draft resolution is new in the sense that the General Assembly has not dealt with violent extremism in the past. It expresses alarm over the rise in violent extremism, condemns all those behind this scourge and their acts such as targeting civilian population, attacking religious and cultural sites and disrupting the development process in societies. The draft reaffirms the purposes and principles of the Charter, including the obligations of all States to refrain from the threat or use of force and to settle their international disputes by peaceful means, as armed conflicts could create conditions conducive to the spread of violent extremism. It also emphasizes the importance of tolerance and the respect for human rights as antidote to violent extremism.
The draft invites all Member States, the United Nations system, and other international and nongovernmental organizations to initiate policies aimed at checking the spread of violent extremism and sectarian violence. An important element of the present draft resolution is the concrete remedies, including in the fields of education and community engagement, it recommends and the appeal it makes to all actors to take them up and implement. The Secretary-General is also requested to keep the General Assembly informed at its 70th session on the implementation of the present resolution, and to recommend ways and means by which the UN system and the Secretariat could assist Member States in generating public awareness about the dangers of intolerance as well as fostering understanding and non-violence.
Finally, allow me to express my sincere hope that this draft resolution will gain the broadest possible support and be adopted by consensus. That will help accelerate the coordination and cooperation among States towards addressing the growing problems emanating from violent extremism.
Thank you Mr. President.