Addressing a meeting of the Second Committee of UN General Assembly, held in New York on Tuesday to discuss the Agenda item 20: “Sustainable Development”, Gholamali Khoshroo said Iran is committed to promoting sustainable development in the country.
The ambassador also pointed to the nationwide plans and initiatives in Iran that are in line with the global objectives of the UN agenda for sustainable development.
What follows is the full text of the Iranian diplomat’s speech:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful
At the beginning, I would like to associate myself with the statement made by South Africa on behalf of the Group of 77 and China; furthermore, allow me to add a few points in my own national capacity.
Let me, commend all those involved in the past years of effort to finalize the outcome document, “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and stress that the main task of implementing this important document begins now.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has already contributed seriously to the realization of the millennium development goals. My country will continue its constructive cooperation to fulfill its commitments. The multi-sectoral Iranian Committee on Sustainable Development, established in 1992, plays a pivotal role in advancing our national agenda in line with the global one. We have our national objectives and sixth five-year development plan on the way.
We are committed to promote sustainable development in Islamic Republic of Iran, and here I introduce few cases:
Increasing environmental awareness across the board,
Introducing environmental education in school curriculum,
Revamping dam-building policies,
Reviving endangered wetlands,
Exerting relentless efforts to preserve endangered lakes.
However, to implement the agenda, my country faces specific challenges. Although Iran’s diversity in climatic conditions and its assortment of marine and terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems are rooted in its unique geography, pressure has been put on environmental resources and biodiversity due to persistent droughts, pollution of scarce water resources, air pollution in urban and industrial areas, degradation of rangelands, wild life and soil erosion, desertification and deforestation, loss of arable land; depletion of groundwater, which is the main source of water for irrigation in the farming sector.
Moreover, given its location in one of the most seismically active regions of the world, Iran is the sixth most disaster-prone country in the world. Although, Iran has developed an effective disaster preparedness and response capacity at the national and local levels, disaster prevention and risk reduction are areas that require longer-term and extensive national and international cooperation.
To implement the Agenda, following steps need to be taken to facilitate achieving our common goals especially in our region:
The implementation of the ambitious objectives of the agenda should be facilitated by even more ambitious, fully inclusive and non-discriminatory measures for implementation, particularly regarding the finance and transfer of technology and associated know-how towards achieving meaningful global partnership.
The agreed principles of “country ownership” and “common but differentiated responsibilities”, with an emphasis on the development orientation of the three pillars, should remain the cornerstones of our common venture. They remain relevant, pertinent and critical to keeping international cooperation on the right track.
The West Asia region is not only facing with real challenges such as poverty, land degradation, desertification, water scarcity, hotter climate conditions and continued extensive drought, it is also grappling with the scourge of terrorism and extremist violence. Terrorist groups crush the sustainable development goals that results in further poverty and environmental destruction.
Not only have terrorism and violence damaged the environment, but also they have taken sustainable development out of the agenda of countries, forcing them to expend their national resources on fighting against insecurity. It is our responsibility to identify and develop a regional action plan that will be looking at ways to implement SDG, based on the urgent priorities.
The new agenda call for the strengthening of the global partnership, in which developed countries must take the lead and undertake to support the developing countries to implement SDG, particularly through capacity building, technology transfer, trade facilitation and access to financial resources.
In this connection, the role of the recent launch of the technology facilitation mechanism will be crucial and we look forward to its effective operationalization, as we remain mindful that there is vast potential for technology transfer in different modalities from developed countries to developing countries and more modestly through South-South cooperation.
A solid and strong HLPF, visionary but practical, is necessary to provide the political leadership and support advancing the agenda. It should live up more vigorously to its mission on providing policy guidance on sustainable development issues and also support the integration of the three dimensions, and follow-up of all the United Nations conferences and summits in the economic, social and environmental fields, including the means of implementation.
In conclusion, I wish to express that the Islamic Republic of Iran firmly believes in the ambitious goals of the new agenda and stands ready to work closely with all relevant partners to ensure that our collective efforts in the Second Committee will bear best possible results under your leadership.
I Thank You.