14 April 2014
Statement by Mr. Mesbah Ansari Counselor at the Permanent Mission
of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
Forty Seventh Session of The Commission on Population and Development
Item 4- General Debate
14 April 2014,New York
In the Name of God, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
At the outset I would like to congratulate you and the bureau members for being elected to lead the 47th session of the Commission on Population and Development. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General of the United Nations for his reports.
The ICPD 1994 has set principles and incepted a program of action which not only has been a milestone in international policy making on population and development for the last 2 decades but also serve the same purpose for the era beyond 2014.
More than half of Iran’s population is under age 30. Iran considers its young population as a demographic bonus and a solid opportunity for resilient and sustainable development. Lest we forget at the same time that Iran’s population is among those populations in the world that ageing fast within the coming two to three decades. Hence, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is taking in to consideration the latter mentioned fact into its overall policies on the Iranian population dynamics.
The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has achieved many of the ICPD targets as well as the relevant MDG targets by 2006. According to UFPA facts and figures, Iran has achieved and surpassed the targets on under-five mortality in 2001 Infant mortality in 2006 though targets like maternal mortality and Ratio of girls to boys in tertiary education already achieved and surpassed in 1989 and 1990.
Iran has made remarkable progress in the reduction of maternal mortalityfrom 91 in 1990 to 21 in 2013 per 100,000 live births, whichindicates approximately 80 percent decrease in twenty- three years. Law requires that all couples intending to marry, has to attend a pre-marital counseling course and undergo medical examinations. The coverage rate for pregnancy health care which includes 6 visits is 96.9 percent, showing 4 percent increase from 2000 to 2010. Furthermore, the percentage of delivery with skilled birth attendance also increased from 89.6 percent in 2000 to 96.4 percent in 2010 in the country. These ensure inclusive, affordable and safe access to reproductive health care services.
The economic and social impact of an ageing population is both an opportunity and a challenge to all societies. Many countries are currently re-examining their policies on theprinciple that elderly people constitute a valuable and important component of society’s human resources. They are also seeking to identify how best to assist elderly people with long- term support needs.
However, declining number of workforce may pose an important threat to sustainable and resilient development, which is based on empowered, educated and prosperous population. According to statistic, by 2050 lots of countries including mine will face a large number of aging populations. As a matter of fact, one third of Iran’s population will be more than age 60 at that time. So, in some countries including mine there would be a need to boost fertility rates to a secured and reasonable level.
Illegal and unilateral sanctions have a negative impact on the basic internationally recognized human rights, in particular the right to development and infringe the letter and spirit of the UN Charter as well as the provisions of the ICPD. They seriously undermine development efforts of the targeted States. Sanctions cause significant disruption in the distribution of food, pharmaceuticals and sanitation supplies. Sanctions have the effect of seriously hindering universal, non-discriminatory, timely and affordable access to medicines, vaccines, commodities, equipment, technologies and other supplies required for the comprehensive provision of health-care services, to guarantee the basic human rights of groups in vulnerable situations. It is incumbent upon the international community to stop this inhumane and cruel practice.
Let me conclude by emphasizing that a safer and healthier world would be out of reach unless any new HIV infection, any mother dying while giving birth or any child abuse case is properly addressed and unless every single girl and boy find her or his way to school and receive quality education, health services and adequate nutrition. Many developing countries face major development obstacles, among which are those related to the persistence of trade imbalances, the slow-down in the world economy and the need for technologies, and external assistance. Achievement of development and eradication of poverty should be supported by macroeconomic policies designed to provide an appropriate international economic environment.
Thank you very much Mr. chairman