61st Session of the UN General Assembly; III Committee, Agenda Item 67(c): situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (A/C.3/61/L.41)
General Statement after the vote on behalf of the European Union by Mr. Janne Jokinen, First Secretary, Permanent Mission of Finland to the United Nations
New York, November 21, 2006
I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union.
The European Union is heartened by the fact that the III Committee has decided to adopt the draft resolution A/C.3/61/L.41 titled "The situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran". We are convinced that the international community cannot remain silent in situations where human rights violations are continuous, grave and widespread, and the countries in question do not demonstrate any willingness to address the situations or to engage in meaningful dialogue. All countries - large or small - should be held accountable for fulfilling their obligations.
The situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran meets these criteria. The European Union shares the deep concern of other delegations regarding the continuing serious violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and strongly believes that the situation needs to be addressed by the General Assembly.
The draft resolution L.41 builds on previous resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Commission on Human Rights. The text welcomes the positive steps that the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken in the recent past towards meeting its human rights obligations. However, it also draws attention to the persistence of grave and systematic human rights violations such as the use of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, including public executions and the issuing of sentences of stoning, as well as discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities - discrimination that has at times appeared in the form of violent crackdowns. The European Union is also concerned about the situation in Iran with regards to continued discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We urge Iran to abide by its principles to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms of all its citizens regardless of sex, gender, religion, ethnicity, belief, and sexual orientation.
When it comes to addressing the human rights situations in individual countries, constructive dialogue is what we all seek. The European Union hopes that the adoption of this draft resolution and the implementation of the recommendations contained therein will open new avenues for cooperation, and will contribute to the full enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all Iranians.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.