Iranian envoy stresses right of UN members to self-defense

May 24, 2022 - 21:12

TEHRAN- Majid Takht Ravanchi, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations, asserted on Monday that any framework agreed by the General Assembly on the management of conventional munitions must accept member states' right to self-defense.

The Iranian ambassador made comments in an address to the General Assembly’s Open-Ended Working Group (OEWG) on Conventional Ammunition.

“...We believe that conventional ammunition should be handled with caution, taking into account the legitimate needs and concerns of member states, including the need to address their national security concerns,” he underlined.

Takht Ravanchi went on to say that “the elaboration of any framework to manage the conventional ammunition ... must not jeopardize the legitimate rights of all states to the inherent right to individual or collective self-defense.”

“This inherent right should encompass the right of each state to manufacture, import, and retain the non-prohibited weapons and ammunition for self-defense and security purposes,” Takht Ravanchi said, cautioning that “criminal groups and terrorist organizations must be denied access to these weapons.”

“The final document of the OEWG should reflect its voluntary and nonbinding nature while encompassing various positions of the member states,” he pointed out.

“The outcome document should reaffirm the states’ inherent right to individual or collective self-defense,” the ambassador said, adding that “it is the sovereign prerogative of Member States to decide, oversee, and manage the safety and security of their conventional ammunition.”

The inaugural substantive session of the OEWG on Conventional Ammunition focuses on substantive agenda items 4 "General exchange of views" and 5 "Elaboration of a new global framework that will address existing gaps in through-life ammunition management," according to the UN website.

Izumi Nakamitsu, Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs, is attending the four-day session, which began on May 23.

The OEWG was constituted as a result of the General Assembly's adoption of Resolution 76/233 on December 24, 2021.

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