15 Nov 2016- Intervention by the Islamic Republic of Iran before action on the draft resolution L.25 on the Situation of human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly
Intervention by the Islamic Republic of Iran
before action on the draft resolution L.25 on
the Situation of human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran
at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly
(November 15, 2016)
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Draft resolution L.25 that the Third Committee is going to act upon only reveals once again the lack of honesty on the part of those self-proclaimed champions of human rights that submitted it. Iran is definitely not the country which deserves such a biased resolution. Canada and other sponsors of this resolution know this fact very well, nonetheless, they have been foolhardy enough to include among sponsors those who not only grossly violate human rights but also have and continue to commit atrocities against civilians, with impunity. It is repulsive that the greatest violator of human rights in the world is amongst the cosponsors of this resolution. It goes without saying that Iran is singled out only because it refuses to succumb to the political pressures of the main sponsors of this draft.
Human rights are once again being abused to serve as an unfair pressure tool on a nation that has chosen independence over yielding to interference. Human rights are once again being abused to pursue unjust interests of those who traditionally and historically supported colonialism, slavery, racism and apartheid. Indeed, beyond political considerations, there is no credible ground for tabling draft resolution L.25.Few would buy this absurd politicization of human rights as a genuine attempt for protection and promotion of human rights.
Iran earnestly believes in the imperative of respect for and promotion of human rights. As a clear indicator, during last four decades, numerous democratic elections have been held and decided the country’s direction in both internal and foreign affairs. Such level of reliance to the people’s voice and vote is a major development in our region. The sustained reliance on ballot boxes in my country has in fact encouraged peaceful and democratic processes in the society and contributed to transparency, accountability and stability at all levels of the State. However, for certain powers, peoples’ choices can be respected as long as they are in line with their interests. People who dare to choose otherwise deserve to be punished by military coup, aggression, sanction, occupation or recrimination through abusing UN human rights machinery. In case of their allies and clients, however, democracy and respect for human rights are optional. They conveniently protect their allies no matter how grave their records are; while fiercely censure unfriendly States no matter how democratically they behave. As the content of and the intention behind this draft resolution is concerned, we clearly see that the exact same cynical pattern against Iran and Iranians is in play.
Contrary to the unfounded claims contained in the draft, Iran has recorded during last four decades clear-cut progress in many fields of human rights. To provide only a few examples, Iran has recorded the second highest Human Development Index growth in the world during this period. Iran has also developed one of the most effective health and education networks and programs for women and girls. Female students in higher education persistently outnumber male students. The rates of practices such as FGM or honor killing in Iran are even less compared to those in Europe. Iran’s rate of child marriage is among the lowest in the whole region. Nonetheless and against this backdrop, Iran is being singled out with a human rights resolution!
In another relevant front that directly affects human rights of millions of people, Iran at the frontline of combating transnational criminals and countering illicit drugs has sustained enormous life and property losses. In the course of its relentless campaign against trans-border drug traffickers,who are typically armed and are linked with transnational organized crime as well as terrorist networks,thousands of law enforcement officers have lost their lives or maimed. As recorded in the UN documents the seizure of different kinds of opium-based illicit drugs made in Iran exceeds by far the one made in all other countries combined. Despite the fact that the West has been the net beneficiary of Iran’s firmness in the face of drug traffickers, including through saving their youth from the scourge of addiction, its support has been negligible. It explains a lot that in full disrespect of the sacrifices; Iran is being singled out with a human rights resolution!
Let’s consider another topic that is extremely relevant when it comes to human rights. While a few thousand refugees constitute a national security threat in some economically affluent countries, Iran for the last four decades have constantly hosted millions of refugees. Iran has always been among the top 10 countries hosting large number of refugees. Hosting these refugees, in the absence of meaningful international support, has played a significant role in maintaining peace and stability in our crisis-stricken neighboring countries. Iran has never shirked its humanitarian responsibility regarding refugees, did not keep them in camps and never closed its borders. Just in the current educational year, 460,000 refugee children, out of them 100,000 belonging to undocumented refugee families, are attending school in the Islamic Republic of Iran free of charge, despite the fact that this is an enormous burden on the educational system of the country. Yet, Iran is being singled out with a human rights resolution!
Recognizing the unequivocal link between promotion of human rights and combating intolerance, extremism and terrorism, and while some countries have compromising records in collaborating with terrorist groups, Iran has proven to be the most steadfast country in fighting against them. In the absence of such resolute determination, more parts of the Middle East could have been under the black flag of ISIS. Among the likely results of such horrible possibility many more tragedies and atrocities could have happened; more women and girls like Yazidis could have been fallen victim to extremists, thousands more young people could have been beheaded, burned alive or recruited as foot soldiers for terrorist groups, more mass graves could have been created, more crimes could have been recorded against minorities, more neighborhoods and cultural heritages could have been reduced to rubbles and millions more refugees could have been sent to the Mediterranean shores and beyond. Yet it is ironic that despite such hard facts, Iran is being singled out with a human rights resolution!
No government can claim to be perfect; neither can mine. However, our imperfection is no greater than that of any other country to warrant a country specific resolution. Misguided and politically-charged attempts can only increase mistrust. President Rouhani’s policy of constructive engagement with the world promises new horizons for dialogue, understanding, mutual respect and cooperation in other fields, including human rights. To enhance the credibility of human rights discourse, we seek respectful dialogue without recrimination or blame game and, as confirmed by the nuclear talks, we welcome meaningful engagement with serious partners.
Definitely, this draft resolution, which is an insincere move and presented by a country with hardly defendable human rights records, does not serve such an objective. The level of complacency shown by the main sponsor and many of the co-cosponsors with dark human rights records is striking. Specially, at a time when they continue to be largely heedless to the alarming growth of marginalization, social exclusion, disenfranchisement, cultural chauvinism, unabated xenophobic tendencies, racial hatred and racism as the breeding grounds for atrocities and terrorism in their own societies.
It is expected and legitimate that world public opinion continues questioning the integrity and veracity of these self-proclaimed champions of human rights.
I conclude by calling on Member States to reject this absurd political draft resolution that has for many times proven to be a futile exercise.
I thank you.