Deputy FM Urges Need to Stop Politicizing Human Rights

 Deputy Foreign Minister for International and Legal Affairs Abbas Araqchi on Tuesday stressed the need for interaction and dialogue and preventing to “play politics with human rights” issue.

He made the remarks in an address to the High Level Segment of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva, Switzerland.

He regretted that despite promising achievements, the fulfilment of human rights worldwide “is facing both lingering and emerging challenges”.

“Iran continues its efforts towards promotion of human rights based on the recognition of an interactive and cooperative approach at different levels,” Araqchi told the 27-member council.

The full text of his statement follows:

Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Distinguished Colleagues,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me begin by congratulating you Mr. President and other members of the Bureau for your election. I am pleased to have the opportunity to address this august Council which is indeed a valuable platform for exchanging views on human rights issues.

Mr. President,
In spite of promising achievements, in particular those of structural and conceptual nature, fulfilment of human rights worldwide is facing both lingering and emerging challenges, affecting profoundly and equally all people of the world. First among these challenges is the cynical emergence of malignant violent and extremist groups in different parts of the world; from Takfiri groups in the Middle East to the Islamophobic and xenophobic groups in the West.

The evil black forces of extremist ideologies - manifested in violent radicalism- have ravaged the Middle East while distorting and defaming a great religion and demolishing great civilizations at the same time.

Cognizant of the menacing peril of such evil phenomena, President Rouhani called on the world leaders to support his initiative, World Against Violence and Extremism, (WAVE). The call has been unanimously endorsed by the international community through a General Assembly resolution adopted in December 2013 by consensus. Now it is high time to take concrete actions to fully implement the provisions envisaged therein.

At the same emphasis, we should address the root causes of the problem and break the vicious cycle of extremist ideologies of Takfiri, brainwashing the young warriors committing acts of terrorism in the name of those evil ideologies which are conducive to propagandizing the very ideology to reproduce violence and extremism in the next generation. To this end, we should bring to an end the ideological, financial and military support of violent extremists like ISIS on the one hand and avoid exclusion, marginalization and disrespect to a religion like Islam and its followers on the other.

Mr. President

The United Arab Emirates intervention in Yemen, is marred by attacks on civilian targets, including homes, Mosques, schools and hospitals supported by the renowned international aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) resulting in killing of innocent people. This intervention also created a power vacuum that offered opportunities for Yemen's al-Qaeda franchise to grow in strength. In this context, the international community cannot and should not stand by and watch passively and reluctantly, the bombardment of Innocent Yemeni people, in particular hapless women and children and crimes committed by invader forces which may amount to war crimes and crime against humanity there. Hence, there is an urgent need for the international community to use all means available to put an end to this brutal massacre and held the perpetrators accountable.

It is really ironic of our time that these days the occupying regime of Israel and the UAE are birds of a feather, flock together on their anti-Iranian policies and gestures, committing flagrant violations of human rights and crimes against humanity, supporting ideologically, financially and militarily the most extremist terrorist mercenaries of the time while trying notoriously to play blame game on others.

The age-old foreign occupation of the Palestinian territories as well as the systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinians by the Israeli Regime should be terminated immediately. For decades, the Human Rights Council and its predecessor, the Human Rights Commission, have issued numerous resolutions in this regard. However, implementation of all the adopted resolutions has been totally ignored by the occupying regime. The Human Rights Council should take stronger and more decisive actions to end the occupation and prevent systematic violations of the rights of the Palestinians.

Mr. President,
Inspired by its well-off historical, traditional and Islamic inheritance the Islamic Republic of Iran continues its efforts towards promotion of human rights based on the recognition of an interactive and cooperative approach at different levels. Iran’s pledge to the promotion and protection and of human rights remains authentic and somber, genuinely rooted in its enthusiasm to achieve the ambition of a brighter, better-off and more prosperous future for its citizens.

In December 2016, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran introduced the “Charter on Citizens’ Rights” and requested all departments of executive branch to implement it. This Charter is drawn up with the objective of realizing and promoting citizens’ rights as the “Plan and Policy” of the government, the subject matter of Article 134 of the Constitution.

No one can turn a blind eye to Iran’s meaningful cooperation with the UN Human Rights Mechanisms such as the UPR, the Treaty Bodies as well as with the Thematic Mandate Holders. Hence, the annual adoption of a resolution on human rights situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran in this Council is totally unwarranted and unacceptable. To play politics with human rights is a challenge which persistently stands before us while it should have no place in the Council.

It is unfortunate that abuse of the UN mechanism for seeking political objectives has ostensibly become a routine for certain member states; a move which undoubtedly undermines the credibility and work of the Council, and would inflict on it same problems which plagued the former Commission of Human Rights. The Council should be a cooperative platform for advocating and advancing human rights worldwide, through constructive dialogue; not a forum for accusation and division.

Mr. President,
Finally I would like to emphasize that the principled policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on interaction and dialogue. Iran expresses its unwavering commitment to this policy of cooperation and interaction as a key tenor in its foreign policy and in the field of human rights in particular, and will continue to utilize its national capacities to safeguard and promote human rights, based on its Constitution and other national and international legal obligations.

We believe respect-based dialogue is the key in promoting common understanding of human rights and its translation into practice. Monologue and biased finger pointing would only contribute to misguiding stereotypings. It is now a proven fact that dialogue could solve even the seemingly unresolvable issues of our time; JCPOA, or the nuclear deal between Iran and E3+3, is just a living example of how dialogue underpinned by 'joint political determination coupled with mutual respect and non-delusional recognition of relevant parties' legitimate concerns and considerations' yield mutually acceptable results. The Islamic Republic of Iran has genuinely demonstrated its true belief in dialogue as the only workable vehicle to counter even the most deeply-embedded stereotypes and misunderstandings.

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