11 February 2014
Statement by Ambassador Gholamhossein Dehghani Deputy Permanent Representative
of the Islamic Republic of Iran To the United Nations At
The 52nd Session of the Commission for Social Development
On Agenda Item: 3 a
11 February 2014, New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
Allow me, at the outset, to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your re-election for leading the 52ndsession of the Commission on Social Development. I would like to thank the Secretary-General for the report on Promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all, which will contribute to enrich our discussions on the matter. I would also like to extend my gratitude to Mr. Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs as well as his team in UN DESA for their important recent report on the “World Social Situation 2013” which is well titled “Inequality Matters”.
Moreover, my delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered by the PlurinationalState of Bolivia on behalf of the G77 and China.
The overall assessment of the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit on Sustainable Development indicates that the world social development progress is at a minimum level and inequalities have increased in many parts of the world and the gap between rich and poor is widening at an alarming pace.
The “empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all” as the priority theme of this session can not be promoted without addressing global inequalities as well depicted in the report of the UN DESA.
The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2013 (SOFI), jointly published by FAO, IFAD and WFP indicates that nearly 842 million people in the world are chronically undernourished. It means around 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 827 million live in developing countries.
These figures show, time and again, the importance of the effective implementation of the Second United Nations Decade for the Eradication of Poverty from 2008 to 2017.
The global financial and economic crisis and its aftermath have added urgency to the need to address inequalities and their consequences. Draconian fiscal austerity programmes still dominate attempts to reduce sovereign debt in many developed countries, and a growing number of developing countries are cutting public expenditure. Popular discontent has grown as people believe they are bearing the brunt of crises for which they have no responsibility and feel increasingly disenfranchised.
Furthermore, the slow—and still unstable—recovery in output has not resulted in an across-the-board recovery in jobs and wages, leaving millions to struggle under the burden of the crisis. It is important to bring forth evidence-based strategies to address this persistent problem. Much can be learned from countries that have been able to reduce inequalities despite the uncertain global economic outlook.
The Islamic Republic of Iran ranked second in the list of countries that registered large reductions in HDI shortfall or high rates of growth in gross national income per capita, during 1990 to 2012, according to the UNDP Human Development Report 2013. The achievement has been obtained by Iran against all cruel illegitimate sanctions against the country and its nation.
President Rouhani announced recently in Davos that “one of the theoretical and practical priorities of my government is constructive engagement with the world”. The new government has a robust commitment to improve the socio-economic status of the Iranian nation.
The Islamic Republic of Iran in its development plan for the years 2012 to 2016 focuses on four main areas, among which poverty reduction has the first priority. Iran is a middle income country and despite the fact that its population has reached nearly 80 million which is more than doubled since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran’s HDI (Human Development Index) has reached 0.707 in 2011, comparing to 0.437 in 1980, according to Human Development Report of the UNDP. 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 care and support from the Government. For instance, on the issue of ageing, recently the National Strategy Document on Ageing has been publicized by the State Welfare Organization of Iran.
With the same token, the parliament approved a comprehensive legislation for the protection of the disabled in 2004 according which, extensive efforts have been made to mitigate the 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 disabled people are among the measures taken over the recent years.
Let me conclude by underlining, once again, that inequalities at the international level as one of the main obstacles of world progress towards social development as well as economic development in the course of promoting empowerment of people in achieving poverty eradication, social integration and full employment and decent work for all, must be addressed by the robust commitment of the international community.
Thank You very much for your kind attention.