Iran’s ambassador to the UN office in Geneva denounced the unilateral economic and financial sanctions for endangering the fundamental architects of free and fair trade and eroding the basic tenets of international law and principles of the UN Charter.
Addressing the ninth ministerial meeting of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, Iran’s ambassador and permanent representative to the UN office in Geneva, deplored the weaponization of currency and instrumentalization of economic power to coerce developing states into political submission.
What follows is the full text of his speech at the UNCTAD IX Ministerial Meeting on October 4:
“Madam President, Excellency Honorable Prime Minister, Honorable Ministers, Distinguished delegates,
My delegation would like to begin by expressing our gratitude to Barbados for hosting this important Fifteenth Conference on Trade and Development.
My delegation aligns itself with the statement delivered on behalf of the G77 and China and supports the Group’s constant efforts in pursuance of the Groups’ aspirations for development and prosperity of their people.
UNCTAD’s principal mission is to ensure that development remains top on the global agenda and that trade benefits all.
The mutually reinforcing nexus between trade and development is key to promoting prosperity and decent life for all, reducing inequality within and among countries, and lessening vulnerability across the board.
UNCTAD XV is convened at a critical juncture where the world needs to take some existential lessons from the global pandemic that is still ongoing, and to realize the ever-increasing urgency of other global crises such as the climate change, natural disasters, emerging and protracted conflicts and their ensuing humanitarian consequences, etc.
Apart from teaching us the fragility of our developmental achievements, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed, without any room/excuse for denial, the dramatic inequalities among the countries.
The pandemic only exacerbated the existing inequalities and widened the divides in terms of people’s access to the basics and their enjoyment of decent life free from hunger and poverty and access to life-saving medicine and medical care.
That said, my delegation would like to share a few observations concerning the current state of play and the way forward:
1) The right to development must be recognized as an inclusive and broad one encompassing almost all other fundamental rights. The Right to Development is essential for realizing other economic, social, civil and political rights and should be regarded as such.
2) Development and growth need to be sustained by an enabling environment conducive to rule of law, and fair, inclusive and non-discriminatory trade relations that effectively address different levels of development and provides for access to technology, finance and capacity-building. The current international environment seems to be prejudicial towards developing and least-developed countries in many respects. The ideals of free and rules-based non-discriminatory trade have come under unprecedented distresses as the result of a host of unilateral measures and policies that are undermining basic principles of WTO as well.
3) The frequent and widespread resort to unilateral coercive measures have severely affected trade and development both. The weaponization of currency and instrumentalization of economic power to coerce developing States into political submission repress development, and contaminate free trade. Such measures, continue to disrupt the free trade and subdue development. Unilateral economic and financial sanctions, as inhuman and unjust as they are, are not only endangering the fundamental architects of free and fair trade but also eroding the basic tenets of international law and principles of the UN Charter by normalizing the extraterritorial application of domestic law at the cost of sovereignty and dignity of other States.
4) To bounce back from sever traumatic consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and build forward better, we need a forward-looking approach that prioritize human wellbeing over selfish political and economic interests. The immediate requirement for a viable recovery is to immunize populations against the disease and to curb the viral spread. Equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatment must therefore be ensured. The issue of health inequities and inequalities must be considered in light of costly experiences gained during the Covid-19 crisis.
5) The continuing deprivation of Palestinian people of their right to self-determination has deprived the nation from all other basic human rights including the right to development. The international community must stand up to its responsibility to end occupation and denounce the military apartheid regime that continues violate the Palestinians human rights and plunder their resources.
Madam President, Distinguished delegates,
Only an inclusive and fair trade order that is conducive to development can sustain the shocks and keep resilient against the multiplying crises It is high time that we all recognized the need for sustained action in favor of sustainable development.
The theme, “From inequality and vulnerability to prosperity for all”, requires genuine political will on the part of developed countries to fulfill their responsibilities both in terms of facilitating technological transfer and know-how and finance and, more importantly, by refraining from unilateral policies and measures that are detrimental to development and overall well-being of the people. We should be reminded that the global South is already disadvantaged as the result of many of colonialism, exploitation and intervention.
They are truly entitled to be compensated for those grave injustices, not to be further pushed back and left behind by continuing unilateral colonialist policies and measures.”