Tuesday, 20 December 2011

UN Representative of Canada Tables Resolution against Iran and in favour of Baha’is.

(It is not favouring Baha’is, it is using Baha’is)

The United Nation took up the draft resolution on the situation of human rights in Iran (document A/C.3/66/L.54), which was tabled by the representative of Canada.  He said that since the draft’s introduction, the human rights situation in Iran had further deteriorated.  The text’s co sponsors did not take the action of bringing a country specific text lightly.  But, given the circumstances in Iran, it was necessary to do so. 
The Committee then approved by a vote of 86 in favour to 32 against, with 59 abstentions its third country specific draft resolution. The representative of Iran called the draft text a shameful fabrication, stressing that the United Nations should be the safe refuge of all Member States, not a “playhouse or theatre” for those who claimed superiority over other States.

Iran’s response

Iran’s delegate said it was the ninth consecutive year that the United States, member States of the European Union and Canada had submitted a draft resolution on his country with the alleged purpose of addressing the human rights situation in Iran.  That move was procedurally unwarranted, substantially unfounded and intentionally malicious.  The Human Rights Council had been created in the place of the Human Rights Commission to prevent Member States from being singled out for selective human rights criticism.  Such resolutions would only reduce human rights concerns to manipulative devices of political rivalry.

He noted that Iran had historically opposed and rejected any such resolutions.  This year it had an additional point of argument in doing so — namely the creation by the Human Rights Council of a Special Rapporteur to evaluate the human rights situation in the country.  In that context, he stressed that the Rapporteur should be given the time and opportunity to prepare his reports without external pressure or induced prejudices.

He further noted that Iran had long supported human rights scrutiny of all Member States based on the principle of universality.  As the head of Iran’s delegation to the Universal Public Review in February 2010, he had cooperated and actively participated in the deliberations on the country’s report.  On 17 and 18 October 2011, Iran had also defended its third periodic report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.  A judicial colloquium had been conducted with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in December 2010 in Tehran.  Furthermore, Iran had had the highest number of visits by the special mandate holders in the regions, he said.  The preparatory delegation of OHCHR would visit Iran on 17 and 18 December 2011.  Together, these and other examples, fell within the category of “meaningful and genuine cooperation” with the United Nations human rights mechanisms, he said.

He said that while Iran strongly believed the universal periodic review mechanism was the best possible way to promote the human rights situations in any country, it also believed the mechanism had been misused.  Further, the reports of the Secretary General and the Special Rapporteur were “unprofessional, unbalanced, [and] impartial”.

Stressing that the substance of the text was absolutely unfounded and constituted a shameful fabrication of baseless and totally preposterous allegations, he said his rigorous review showed it contained more than 157 allegations.  He wondered why they did not include more than 1,000 allegations, since it seemed no degree of professionalism was required and vulgar language was permitted.

He said those countries that had historically supported the dictatorships across the Arab world were the same co sponsors of the draft text today.  Moreover, they had also repeatedly ignored and even supported the gross violation of the most basic human rights of the Palestinian people by the Israeli regime.  That brought to light the true nature and hidden agenda of such countries’ approach to human rights issues, which ultimately amounted to a mockery of human rights.

As a result of its revolution, Iran had been transformed into the most advanced State in the region, he said.  Far beyond the Western expectations, it had emerged as a unique democracy in the Middle East where leaders acquired all seats of power and were removed by the vote of the people.  In that context, he called for a comparative study of human rights in the region in place of tabling malicious human rights resolutions.  Such study would, he said, uncover that the main problem with his country was not its human rights situation, but its rejection of secular liberal ideology.

Concluding, he underlined that the United Nations and all of its institutions should be the safe refuge of all Member States, not a “playhouse or theatre” for those who claimed superiority over other States.  Iran’s experience in building a democratic polity was a contribution to social and political developments around the world, especially for the uprisings in neighbouring Muslim States.  He requested a recorded vote on the draft resolution, and, in order to preserve the integrity and credibility of the human rights mechanisms, he called for other States to vote against it.

Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Response

Making a general statement before the vote, the representative of Kazakhstan, on behalf of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in New York, said it opposed the practice of country specific resolutions on human rights situations, which were selectively targeting developing and Islamic countries.  That practice transformed the work of human rights bodies into a political exercise, rather than advancing the cause of human rights, she said.  The draft resolution on Iran, as last year, contradicted the spirit of cooperation and the situation of human rights in Iran.  Iran had been fully cooperating with the universal periodic review mechanism of the Human Rights Council by submitting a detailed and substantiated national report and sending a high level delegation to the Council on a regular basis.  Despite Iran’s cooperation with United Nations human rights mechanisms and positive developments in the country, the draft resolution against it was submitted to the Third Committee in a targeted manner.  She urged all States to oppose the draft resolution submitted against Iran.

Syria’s Response

Speaking in explanation of vote before the vote, the representative of Syria said his delegation opposed interfering with Member States under the guise of defending human rights — a noble cause that needed to be dealt with in the consensual forum in Geneva.  The United Nations Charter explicitly stipulated the principle of sovereign equality between Member States and called upon them to uphold human values and not interfere in the internal affairs of countries.  Unfortunately, some Member States in the Organization were no longer pleased with the provisions of the Charter, and were seeking to put forward new standards to apply political pressure on one country, or another.

Responsible, objective dialogue and understanding based on mutual respect for sovereignty, non selectivity and transparency was the right path to build bridges between countries and to safeguard everyone’s enjoyment of human rights and freedoms, while giving due to national cultural and religious specificities.  Syria supported the position of the representative of Iran:  human rights matters should be addressed in the appropriate forum — the Human Rights Council, not the Third Committee.  Country specific resolutions put forward for political reasons known to all threatened the field of international relations and undermined consensus on human rights matters.  More importantly, the politicization weakened international consensus reached on review in the Human Rights Council.  Human rights issues were sensitive and needed dialogue, not name calling, and for that reason Syria encouraged opposition of initiatives such as the resolution.  It would be voting against the draft resolution, he said.

India’s Response

The representative of India said his delegation was traditionally not in favour of country specific resolutions, which had historically been found counterproductive.  It would ask the co sponsors of the resolution not to pursue it, particularly in light of recent reforms in the country.  India would be voting against the resolution, he said.

With reference to the above the Baha’is and the Baha’i Organization should take a note that :
Using different countries backing them on petty issues, which can be settled within the framework of government itself, is not doing any good to them. The world is coming to know that there is definitely a group of powerful Nations backing and using the Baha’is for their own selfish purpose. Mr. Jaffer from Canada and the Journalist Ms. Asma Jehangir from Pakistan have been used by these powerful Baha’i lobbies to campaign for the discrimination of Baha’is. Such identities have become well-known now in the political stage. Their presence, letters and speeches have become too predictable.

The internet has provided the scholars and foreign affairs experts of each country with tons and tons of materials to do research on the subject of Baha’i-Zionism relationship. If these backing and support of the pro-Zionist countries continue,  then surely the balance will not be in  favour of Baha’is. A common simile, would the childhood story of “the lion has come…. the lion has come…”. Surely the lion is actually absent in most circumstances and truly present (read as Zionist-Imperialist-Colonialist countries) when and where people do not know.

The Baha’i Faith is presently banned not only in Iran but in other countries like  Iraq, Egypt, Korea, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Germany. The Bahá'í Faith was banned in the 1970s in several countries: Burundi, 1974; Mali 1976; Uganda 1977; Congo, 1978; Niger, 1978. Political experts world-wide are gradually becoming aware of this.

With this trend, the next round of balloting can be expected to voted 50 in favour and 127 against. There could be more countries having restrictions on Baha’i activities. Indeed the day is not far when even propagation in the US will be banned just as in Israel. Watch out!!
By Ravian Bilani
As appeared on Iranian.com