Envoy Lambasts UN Rapporteur for Claims about Status of Women in Iran

Envoy Lambasts UN Rapporteur for Claims about Status of Women in Iran

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to the UN office in Geneva decried the UN special rapporteur for accusing Tehran of violating human rights and treating women as second-class citizens, saying the establishment of special rapporteurs on Iran’s human rights is basically illegitimate and unfair.

In a speech to the 46th regular session of the Human Rights Council on Tuesday, Iranian envy Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh deplored the report from Javaid Rehman, UN special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

Rehman has claimed in his report that women and girls “continue to be treated as second-class citizens in Iran.”

What follows is the text of the Iranian ambassador’s speech:

The Islamic Republic of Iran honors our female doctors and nurses whom we lost to the pandemic. They are regarded as our martyrs not as ‘second class citizens’, as pejoratively called by Mr. Rehman in his yesterday’s press release.  We are alarmed how a flawed mandate can be reduced into a venue for propagating oversimplifying, prejudicial and judgmental statements about a whole nation.

In today’s Iran, women run 50 percent of managerial positions in the Ministry of Health. 73 percent of health professionals and 49 percent of physicians are women. The women's life expectancy has reached from 56 years in 1976 to 79 in 2018. Close to 50 percent of internet users in Iran are women and women’s participation rate in R&D activities has increased to 31.2 percent according to a recent UNESCO survey. Close to 50 percent of higher education graduates are women, and 31 percent of the employees are women with higher education.

Our women are not second-class citizens. It is absolutely unacceptable for any person, regardless of his/her title, to denigrate half a population of a country, our mothers, sisters and daughters, as ‘second class citizens.

 Mr. Vice President,

For more than 10 years now, this particular interactive debate has been used as a platform to launch a rhetorical campaign against Iran under the guise of human rights.

This is not interactive; it is counteractive to the promotion and protection of human rights. Nor is it truly a debate; it is a one-sided and accusatory disputation in which the sponsors set the terms of reference to arrive, uncontested, at the conclusions they preordained.

The way “human rights” discourses are framed and weaponized by a certain group of states to score points in their political conflicts against their adversaries should be a matter of serious concern to any responsible stakeholder.

Mr. Vice President,

The establishment of special rapporteurs on Iran's human rights lacks any legitimate ground, is not fair and is not justified. The country-specific resolution and the mandate it establishes contradicts the principles of universality, objectivity and non-selectivity in the consideration of human rights issues as enshrined in the UNGA Resolution (A/Res/60/251 dated 3 April 2006 on the establishment of the Human Rights) constituting this Council.

The mandate comes from a non-consensual resolution forced upon the Council by a few political actors who are long fixated in their habitual confrontational thinking pattern with Iran.

A mandate which is flawed by default can hardly yield a credible outcome other than profiling a country on the basis of generalization of individual cases, disinformation and false narratives.

That’s exactly how Iran’s courageous and efficient anti-COVID pandemic performance is egregiously distorted only to whitewash the deadly impacts of US inhuman unilateral coercive measures on Iran’s health sector.

We continue to do our utmost to minimize the suffering of our people despite unjust economic warfare that has targeted our health sector worst.

We have already begun vaccination of our population and are working on our indigenously developed COVID-19 Vaccine despite all the challenges.

My country is still under the most unprecedented unilateral sanctions ever imposed on a country. The US continues to carry on with the unlawful and inhuman legacy of the former administration in complete defiance of international law and basic principles of humanity.

The US must be held to account for the massive systematic and gross violations of human rights perpetrated as the result of these unlawful and brutal sanctions.

Mr. Vice President,

We reiterate our call to the main sponsors to desist from this unconstructive, confrontational and political practice.

Nevertheless, we will stand resolute in supporting the cause of human rights.  Nothing will distract us from pursuing our continuous endeavor to promote and protect human rights including through constant examination of our institutional, legal, administrative and judicial constructs.

The issuance of two major documents by the Head of the Judiciary, namely The Judicial Transformation and The Judicial Security, should be seen in this vein.

We would also continue our valuable engagement with the relevant human rights mechanisms, including the UPR, Special Procedures, treaty bodies and the OHCHR.

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