7 February 2014
Statement by H.E. Gholamhossein Dehghani Ambassador and
Deputy Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran
on behalf of Non-Aligned Movement in the
Eighth Session of the General Assembly
Open Working Group on Sustainable Developments Goals
7 February 2014, New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
The Non-Aligned Movement commends your efforts in leading the discussions of States to assess the existing inequalities in regard to social and economic development worldwide and to explore possible ways to attain comprehensive development through sustainable development goals for all. Since the theme for discussions of this part of the open working group focuses on the linkages between the rule of law and development, I would confine my statement to the important aspects of this topic and reflect positions of the NAM countries in this regard.
The Movement has been constructively engaged in efforts at the United Nations to promote the rule of law at all levels and has always believed that respect for the rule of law is essential to maintaining international peace and security and achieving socioeconomic development. Adoption of the “Declaration on the rule of law at the national and international levels” by the General Assembly at its high-level meeting in September 2012 was a milestone in this process. The Declaration has taken into account many elements which could directly or indirectly affect the development agenda of the United Nations and which their implementation would contribute to the promotion of the rule of law. However, those elements should be viewed together to facilitate achieving development for all rather than possibly creating new conditionalities for it. The right to development as mentioned in the Declaration is an inalienable human right, and enjoyment of all nations of this right should not be restricted under any pretext.
While the Movement fully recognizes the critical importance of the rule of law and supports the United Nations contributions to meet that end including through the ongoing consultations in the current format of the open working group, the NAM reiterates that it is
indispensable to maintain the balance in developing the national and international dimensions of the rule of law and looks forward that any joint effort in this regard reflects such balance. We further continue to believe that the rule of law at the international level needs greater attention by the United Nations. A rules-based international relations that equally respects rights of all nations would make an enabling environment in which all countries can best use the existing potentials, boost their capacities and strive for their social and economic well-being.
The Movement emphasizes that the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations as well as the principles of international law provide normative guidance as to the basis of the rule of law at the international level, and they are paramount to peace and security, rule of law, economic development and social progress and human rights for all.
The principle of sovereign equality of States entails that all States have equal opportunity to participate in law making processes at the international levels. The participation of developing countries in the international, financial and monetary institutions, and the need for a comprehensive and structural reform of the global financial and economic governance and architecture in order to establish an equitable, transparent and democratic international system should not be underestimated.
Rule of Law entails compliance at international level of commitments made with regard to funding development programs and transfer of technology, especially in compliance with MDG 8. We also reaffirm the critical role that a universal rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system, as well as meaningful trade liberalization, can play in stimulating economic growth and development worldwide, thereby benefiting all countries at all stages of development. Turning these legitimate demands into goals and targets can be promising to millions of entrepreneurs in developing countries who see the current circumstances unfavorable.
It is our understanding that the new set of sustainable development goals would be universally applicable. The Non-Aligned movement upholds the rule of law both at the national and international levels. The laudable goal of the rule of law should be pursued in a manner that it does not ignore the diversity of legal, political and economic system besides the local culture. While discussing rule of law, it is important to avoid being over-prescriptive and respect the diversity of national circumstances. The configuration of the political and legal system is a
matter within the domestic jurisdiction of States and “no one size fits all”. In addition the framework must ensure that all states work for promoting rule of law at national and international levels.
The NAM Members remain concerned on the application of unilateral and extraterritorial measures and politically motivated domestic laws directed against other States, and stress upon their negative impact on the rule of international law as well as on international relations. States should refrain from unlawful coercive measures including through imposing sanctions, individually or collectively. No State or group of States has the authority to deprive other States of their legal rights for any political considerations.
The Movement reaffirms the need for the international community to uphold its commitments, as expressed in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the 2005 World Summit Outcome and the outcome document of the High-level Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on the Millennium Development Goals of 2010, to take further effective measures and actions, in conformity with international law to remove the obstacles to the full realization of the right of self-determination of peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which continue to adversely affect their economic and social development as well as their environment, which are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated.