In a speech before a meeting of the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the UN General Assembly on “Sustainable Development and its Subtopics” held in New York on October 11, the Second Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran Nooshin Teymourpour denounced US sanctions for limiting Iran’s access to modern technologies and predictable financial resources.
He said that the illegally imposed sanctions have negatively affected Iran’s national plans to conserve biodiversity, affected its ability to stop the degradation of ecosystems, and left no access to means of implementation for climate action.
The following is the full text of his statement:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
My delegation would like to associate itself with the statement made by Pakistan and Venezuela on behalf of the Group of 77 and China and the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations.
According to the 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Report, cascading and interlinked crises are dangerously jeopardizing the Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Report, which is prepared by UN DESA in collaboration with more than 50 international and regional agencies based on data from more than 200 countries and territories, states that it highlights the seriousness and magnitude of the challenges that lie ahead. While this report correctly identifies the many challenges and obstacles to achieving the sustainable development goals, it also refrains from making a single reference or even the slightest mention of unilateralism and unilateral coercive economic measures as one of the most important challenges facing many countries in achieving the goals. sustainable development. This is while paragraph 30 of the Agenda explicitly and strongly calls on all countries to enact such measures.
When the only official UN report that monitors the global progress of the Agenda for Sustainable Development deliberately closes its eyes for political considerations on one of the most important challenges in the path of sustainable development and simultaneously ignores one of the main paragraphs of the Agenda, how can we accept the statement that “no one will be left behind” as an honest statement?
Unfortunately, and surprisingly, the need to promote multilateralism is not mentioned in this report, nor is unilateralism and its negative impacts on sustainable development criticized as if such a problem did not exist in the world despite the fact that the politicization of development is a painful reality. We hope that in the next report, the authors will take a more realistic and less political approach.
Given the geographical location of Iran and its susceptibility to natural disasters, our country has faced numerous challenges, such as floods, land degradation, desertification, sand and dust storms, water shortages, and more unstable weather conditions, on the one hand. On the other hand, Iran has grappled with the threat of illegal unilateral coercive measures, as well as foreign-sponsored terrorism and extremist violence. The result is that often instead of focusing on ways to reverse poverty, environmental destruction and impediments to development, governments are forced to commit their limited national resources to combat insecurity.
Over the past few years, Iran has accelerated its efforts in areas that support policies and programs that ensure more inclusive and sustainable development. However, it is unfortunate that such efforts towards national development are not backed by adequate international support, especially in mobilizing the available means of implementation.
Developing countries are, as always, disproportionately affected by the adverse consequences of climate change. The effective implementation of the United Nations environmental conventions would depend on the provision of financial resources and the transfer of technology. However, it is a matter of serious concern that after three decades, developed countries have not fulfilled their commitments under these agreements, especially with regard to technology transfer and provision of financial resources.
Access to modern technologies and predictable financial resources remains limited for the Islamic Republic of Iran, not only because of the unwillingness of developed countries to honor their commitments to support developing countries, but also because of its position as a target of the constant imposition of unilateral coercive measures by the United States.
Those illegal actions that contravene the principles of unity and solidarity have affected all the rights of Iranians, including the right to development, the right to a healthy environment and the right to enjoy social welfare. Illegally imposed sanctions have negatively affected our national plans to conserve biodiversity, affected our abilities to stop ecosystem degradation, and left no access to the means of implementation for climate action.
Sand and dust storms are just one of the many challenges we face around the world. Despite the fact that more than 150 countries around the world suffer from this phenomenon according to numerous reports from the United Nations and Specialized Organizations, our impact in our region is more severe, more frequent and more complex due to the interconnection between drought, desertification, unsustainable development and innumerable additional factors. When it comes to the damaging impact of sand and dust storms, we must unite our efforts to mitigate their impact and adapt our economies to this long-term environmental challenge.
Due to the transboundary nature of sand and dust storms and in order to enhance regional collaboration, the Regional Ministerial Meeting on “Environmental Cooperation for a Better Future” was held in Tehran in July 2022, with the aim of meeting solutions for transboundary environmental challenges, especially the problem of sand and dust storms. Its Ministerial Declaration has embraced the idea of developing a regional agreement to improve cooperation between the countries of the region and created a regional fund to financially support the implementation of joint projects to combat sand and dust storms in their respective countries.
Despite all restrictions, national economic empowerment plans aimed at reducing the economic fallout during the pandemic focus on people in vulnerable situations, including female heads of households and rural women and girls. Various investments have been made in infrastructure in the field of health, education, empowerment and creating access to internet and digital facilities for Iranian women, the result of which is as follows:
Women’s life expectancy increased from 56 years in 1976 to 79 in 2020, and the Maternal Mortality Rate decreased from 91 in 1988 to 16 in 2021.
About 50 percent of Internet users in Iran are women, and the rate of women’s participation in R&D activities has increased to 31.2 percent. Nearly 50 percent of higher education graduates are women, and 31 percent of employees are women with higher education.
As a result of intensified efforts to improve the managerial skills and executive experience of female employees and thereby increase women’s participation in decision-making, the Government has appointed more women to managerial positions. This rate has increased from 13 percent in 2017 to more than 25 percent in 2021.
In Iran, women make up 73 percent of health professionals and 49 percent of doctors.
To conclude, Madam President, we need to make sure that the agenda slogan that no one will be left behind is not just an ornament. We believe that this motto is the DNA and the backbone of the Agenda, without which sustainable development will not be achieved and towards which we must take constructive, efficient and serious steps. This would not happen without working together and taking effective and immediate action to end the MCU.