Iran Urges UNSC to Suspend, Lift Humanitarian Sanctions

Iran Urges UNSC to Suspend, Lift Humanitarian Sanctions

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations called on the UN Security Council to assess the effectiveness of sanctions and their humanitarian repercussions at various stages of conflict and suspend or lift them as needed.

Addressing a UN Security Council open debate on “Implementation of the note by the President of the Security Council (S/2017/507): Working Methods”, held in New York on Tuesday, Majid Takht Ravanchi warned against the serious humanitarian consequences of sanctions, saying they have put civilian populations' health and lives in grave jeopardy.

What follows is the text of his statement:

“In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

Mr. President,

I thank you for organizing this open debate. I also thank the briefers for their informative briefings.

Increasing the Security Council's efficiency and effectiveness must always be viewed as a work in progress, because the nature and scope of challenges related to international peace and security are constantly evolving.

This requires the Security Council to commit to continually improving the effectiveness and transparency of its work, as well as its interaction and communication with non-Council members. To that end, reforming and evolving the Council into a fully transparent, rule-based, and, above all, accountable body is the most efficient method to ensure its transparency, efficiency, and effectiveness. That is the reason why the Council's "working methods" are among the five primary topics under consideration in the ongoing Security Council reform discussions.

We commend the significant efforts and measures that have been made in recent years to improve the Council's working methods; nonetheless, these efforts have fallen short of what the UN members had expected because they have been few and slow. Therefore, in accordance with discussions on the subject within the "Intergovernmental Negotiations", efforts to advance in this field must be increased, especially within the Council itself.

Against this backdrop, I would like to address the following points.

The Security Council must adhere to the purposes and principles of the United Nations in all of its decision-making procedures. Full compliance with the UN Charter will enable the Council to refrain from adopting ultra-vires decisions that contravene the UN Charter, or considering circumstances that do not pose a threat to international peace and security as well as issues pertaining to the domestic affairs of States. This will assist the Council to avoid abuse or overuse of its Chapter VII functions and instead carry out its obligations hereunder, appropriately, and responsibly.

The Security Council must assess the effectiveness of sanctions and their humanitarian repercussions at various stages of conflict and suspend or lift them as needed. Sanctions, as is well acknowledged, have serious humanitarian consequences as we have all witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic, putting civilian populations' health and lives in grave jeopardy. Furthermore, working in an environment where sanctions are prevalent is often difficult for humanitarian actors.

The United Nations System is built on multilateralism. In the face of serious and increasingly complex global challenges, the Council must practice and uphold true multilateralism, which necessitates resolving international issues through collaboration. A candid review of the Security Council's practices reveals that the Council's authority and powers have been repeatedly abused by certain States, who, in pursuit of their short-sighted political objectives, particularly against developing countries, regard this body as their preferred tool to exert pressure on other countries. Such conduct not only breaches the UN Charter and fundamental principles of international law, but also demonstrates disrespect for the Council's authority and powers, jeopardizing its integrity and efficiency.

The number of issues discussed in the Council has steadily increased in recent years, which is cause for grave concern. The Council should exercise caution when introducing new topics for consideration and maintain consistency in its priorities. To avoid duplicating efforts and encroaching on the General Assembly's mandate, the Council should improve communication and cooperation with the General Assembly and other UN organs on cross-cutting issues.

The annual reports of the Security Council should contribute to the much needed transparency and accountability of decisions and measures taken by the Security Council. During recent discussions in the General Assembly on this issue, the vast majority of Member States renewed their call on the Security Council to present an annual report that goes beyond a simple compilation of its activities.

And finally, constant improvement of the Council's working methods must be recognized as a shared responsibility of Council members and, more generally, the entire UN membership. We are willing to constructively contribute to such efforts.

I thank you, Mr. President.

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