Iran ready to contribute to UN peacekeeping operations: ambassador

February 16, 2022 - 19:5

TEHRAN - Majid Takht Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, has reiterated Iran’s readiness to contribute to the UN peacekeeping operations logistically and militarily.

In a statement before the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations, the Iranian ambassador reiterated Iran’s commitment to UN peacekeeping operations. 

“I would like to once again reiterate our strong commitment and support to the UN peacekeeping operations as the flagship activity of the United Nations. In this regard, my government stands ready to increase its contribution to the peacekeeping operations logistically and militarily by deploying troops, military observers, police and civilians,” Takht Ravanchi said.

In the beginning, he paid homage to those serving under the flag of the United Nations. 

“First and foremost, my delegation wishes to pay tribute to the men and women who have served under the flag of the United Nations, especially those peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the cause of peace and in defending the honor of the United Nations,” Takht Ravanchi said, adding, “More than seven decades since the founding of the United Nations, maintenance of international peace and security still remains a major challenge for the world today. Therefore, the role of the United Nations in conflicts’ prevention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustaining peace requires consistent and continuous enhancement and strengthening now more than ever. In our view, peacekeeping operations, despite its challenges, remain a vital tool for the promotion of international peace and security. In this regard, we emphasize the unique and crucial role of the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C-34) as the only United Nations forum mandated by the General Assembly to comprehensively review the whole question of United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in all their aspects.”

He noted, “While recognizing the need for UN peacekeeping operations to keep pace with the ever-changing and complex nature of peace and security, we believe that it is highly important to observe the purposes and principles of peacekeeping, namely the consent of the parties, the non-use of force except in self-defense and impartiality. We strongly believe that the respect for principles of sovereign equality, political independence, territorial integrity of all States and non-intervention in matters that are essentially within their domestic jurisdiction should also be upheld in this regard.”

The Iranian ambassador continued, “The Islamic Republic of Iran continues to emphasize the importance of the role of United Nations peacekeeping operations, and, in this context, I would like to bring the following to the attention of the Special Committee: We take note of the A4P+ action plan and its renewed focus on developing concrete deliverables on the A4P agenda. Iran, as one of the signatories of the declaration of Shared Commitments on UN Peacekeeping Operations, expects that this ambitious roadmap will continue to be followed with solid practical results. We emphasize the importance of the active participation of Troop and Police Contributing Countries (TPCCs) in policy formulation and decision-making process in all stages of peacekeeping operations to achieve the partnership and effectiveness required for the United Nations peacekeeping missions. We believe that the principle of equitable geographical representation should be fully taken into account in staffing the headquarters and agencies in the fields at all levels.”

He added, “We reaffirm that improving the safety and security of uniformed personnel is a shared responsibility that calls for each stakeholder to fulfill its role in reinforcing and providing UN peacekeeping operations with the necessary capabilities, capacities and resources to ensure the protection, health, safety and security of our troops.”

Takht Ravanchi further said, “Protection of Civilians (PoC) is the primary responsibility of host countries. Peacekeeping missions where mandated, should aim to support the national efforts of host countries to protect the civilians. Therefore, any military intervention by the United Nations or by any foreign forces under the pretext of protection of civilians should be avoided.”

He stated, “Regarding the use of modern technologies and intelligence in peacekeeping missions, we believe that using such technologies and intelligence should aim to increase the safety and security of UN personnel, including peacekeepers. The use of such technologies in a peacekeeping context should be considered on a case-by-case basis while the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, namely the respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States, as well as the fundamental principles of UN peacekeeping, in particular the consent of the host State must be upheld. Further, the legal aspects of using such technologies and intelligence should be defined in appropriate intergovernmental processes. The role of regional arrangements in peacekeeping should be defined in accordance with Chapter VIII of the Charter of the United Nations. Regional arrangements should not, in any way, substitute the United Nations or disengage it of its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.”

Iran development policies explained

Earlier on Monday, Zahra Ershadi, Deputy Permanent Representative of Iran to the UN, addressed a meeting of the UN Commission for Social Development.

In the meeting, Ershadi highlighted Iran’s developments policies and their legal requirements. 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran highlights the importance of national development policies and strategies as an appropriate platform for addressing the national priorities and requirements of Member States. In this connection, Iran is implementing its ‘6th Five-year National Development Plan’ through the reinforcement of a knowledge-based economy together with the development of advanced technology among a wide variety of subjects. Further, a strong legal and legislative framework has been created that provides a solid platform for planning, implementing and following-up with national development strategies and policies, particularly regarding poverty eradication. Significant achievements have been made so far despite the external challenges ranging from unlawful unilateral coercive measures (UCMs) including sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic,” she stated.

Ershadi added, “Under the current circumstances, the Government of Iran has provided special financial packages as well as social and economic rehabilitation plans for poor and people in vulnerable situation along with economic support measures, especially for small businesses. In the meantime, treatment programs have been provided for around 4 million legal and illegal Afghan refugees. The United Nations system and its specialized agencies can play an important role in exchanging countries' successful experiences in implementing post- COVID economic and social rehabilitation projects, as well as mobilizing international financial resources to achieve the desired national goals in the post- COVID era.”

She noted, “The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the daily life of every single person. Women, children, the elderly, medical personnel, refugees, migrants and those suffering from chronic and rare diseases are the most affected. In fact, the pandemic has made the negative humanitarian effects of unilateral sanctions far more obvious and more disastrous.”

According to Ershadi, the illegal sanctions have hampered access of vulnerable segments of the society in affected countries, including Iran, to basic medical items and requirements extremely difficult, thus endangering the lives and health of those citizens.

She added, “Medicines, medical supplies and health commodities have been targeted through tight restrictions of foreign exchange resources, even for these humanitarian items. These illegal actions have directly impacted the lives of Iran's most vulnerable citizens, including women, children and patients. What is further distressing is the reality that many children have lost their lives as a result. As our President stated in his address to the UNGA session, imposing unilateral sanctions against the Iranian people, particularly sanctions on medicine and humanitarian items, are criminal acts on par with crimes committed against humanity. Those who sanction countries should not go unpunished for such heinous crimes.”

She said, “The deteriorating economic situation as a result of illegal sanctions severely affects the exercise of economic and labor rights which, in the long run, will increase poverty and impede the achievement of sustainable development goals.”

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