Iran’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Zahra Ershadi delivered a speech at a meeting of the United Nations Commission for Social Development, which was held in New York on Monday.
The full text of his statement is as follows:
“In the name of God, the Merciful, the Merciful;
It is a great privilege for me to address the 60th session of the Commission for Social Development. I would like to extend to you and to the other members of the Bureau my most sincere congratulations on your election.
The Islamic Republic of Iran stresses the importance of national development policies and strategies as an appropriate platform to respond to national priorities and the needs of Member States.
In this regard, Iran is implementing its “6th Five-Year National Development Plan” by strengthening a knowledge-based economy as well as developing advanced technologies in a wide variety of subjects.
In addition, a solid legal and legislative framework has been created which provides a solid platform for the planning, implementation and monitoring of national development strategies and policies, particularly with regard to poverty eradication. .
Significant progress has been made so far despite external challenges ranging from unlawful unilateral coercive measures (UCM), including sanctions and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the current circumstances, the Iranian government has provided special financial envelopes as well as social and economic rehabilitation plans for the poor and those in vulnerable situations as well as economic support measures, especially for small businesses.
Meanwhile, treatment programs have been provided to approximately 4 million legal and illegal Afghan refugees.
The United Nations system and its specialized agencies can play an important role in the exchange of successful experiences of countries in the implementation of post-COVID economic and social rehabilitation projects, as well as in the mobilization of international financial resources for achieve desired national goals in the post-COVID era.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The COVID-19 pandemic affects every person’s daily life. 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 much more evident and dire.
The illegal sanctions have hindered the access of vulnerable segments of society in the affected countries, including my country, to basic medical items and extremely difficult needs, thereby endangering the lives and health of these citizens.
Medicines, medical supplies and health products have been targeted with strict restrictions on foreign exchange resources, even for these humanitarian items.
These illegal actions have had a direct impact on the lives of the most vulnerable Iranian citizens, including women, children and patients. What is even more distressing is the fact that many children have lost their lives because of it.
As our President stated in his address to the UNGA session, imposing unilateral sanctions against the Iranian people, especially sanctions on medicine and humanitarian items, are criminal acts just like crimes against humanity.
Those who sanction countries must not go unpunished for such heinous crimes.
The deterioration of the economic situation as a result of illegal sanctions seriously affects the exercise of economic and labor rights, which in the long term will aggravate poverty and hinder the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
As the representative of a country whose people are subjected to the most brutal form of economic terrorism and illegitimate unilateral coercive measures by the United States, I call for the complete and immediate lifting of all measures unilateral coercive measures, including sanctions, in order to ensure the full achievement of economic and social development and enable the targeted countries to repair their economies while guaranteeing the well-being of their people in the aftermath of the pandemic.
I thank you.”