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Unilateral coercive measures prevent achieving sustainable development objectives: Iran envoy

Iran's ambassador and permanent representative to the UN stressed that Iran is not like other targeted countries which are subjected to unilateral coercive measures to be affected, but achieving sustainable development objectives, like pure water and health are facing obstacles.

Unilateral coercive measures prevent achieving sustainable development objectives: Iran envoy

Ambassador Amir Saeed Iravani who was speaking on Friday at the UN Water Conference added that the world is at a sensitive juncture now, in which many countries are faced with a water crisis and many others will face that challenge very soon.

The Iranian diplomat said that this is a global challenge, in which real partnership for mobilizing the required international facilities, science, and technology transfer aimed at boosting capacities in sustainable water resources management in developing countries is necessary.

He added that in order to achieve shared objectives in the water field, multilateralist support and solidarity, as well as regional and international cooperation must be fortified, and the UN must shoulder its vital responsivity in this respect.

Iran's permanent ambassador to the UN reiterated that the Islamic Republic of Iran has a semi-arid country with limited water resources, is experiencing the effects of global climate changes, and is therefore, like many other parts of the world under the destructive effect of a deteriorating natural environment. Those effects include changes in precipitation patterns, lingering draughts, heat stress, sand and dust storms, air and water pollution, erosion of soil, and loss of natural environments and habitats.

He emphasized that it is a natural right and basic need of the Islamic Republic of Iran to try to provide pure drinking water for its citizens and will continue its efforts in that field.

Iravani said that Iran has devised its Strategic National Water Management Program, after consultations with a broad range of concerned state and private sector bodies, and planned its political priorities for achieving the objectives of National Development Plans in five fields, namely water management, information, and data collection, mobilizing the required financial assets and development of capacity-generating.

The full text of Iranian Ambassador Amir Saeed Iravani's speech at the UN 2023 Water Conference is as follows:

The Statement Delivered by H.E. Mr. Amir Saeid Iravani, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations

ON 2023 Water Conference, UNHQ

(24 March 2023)

In The Name of God, The Most Compassionate, The Most Merciful

At the outset, I would like to thank the Government of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands for co-hosting this conference.

Mr. President,

We are at a critical juncture; many countries are on the threshold of a water crisis, and many others will face these extreme challenges soon. This is a global challenge, and a genuine partnership is critical to mobilize international financial resources, transfer technology and know-how, and enhance capacity building for sustainable water management of developing countries. To accomplish our shared objectives, we must uphold multilateralism, strengthen regional and international solidarity and cooperation, and the United Nations should fulfill its crucial function in this regard.

As a semi-arid country with limited water resources, the Islamic Republic of Iran is experiencing the impact of global climate change with profound consequences. Similar to other parts of the world, my Country is affected by environmental degradation. The impact includes changes in precipitation patterns, persistent droughts, heat stress, sand and dust storms, air and water pollution, soil erosion, as well as loss of biodiversity, habitats, and natural resources.

As a basic need and right, the Islamic Republic of Iran has made great efforts and will continue its endeavors to ensure that everyone has access to clean, safe, and reliable water as well as sanitary facilities.

Having developed its National Water Management Plan and Strategy in consultation with a range of stakeholders, including key government counterparts and private sectors, the Islamic Republic of Iran has set the following policy priorities in order to carry out its national sustainable development goals and plans: 1) improving water governance,2) gathering and processing data and information, 3) mobilizing national financial resources, 4) developing capacity building, and 5) innovation.

The plan aims to promote sustainable water use and management, improve water efficiency, address water scarcity and pollution, reduce water waste, promote water-saving technologies, improve irrigation systems, and increase climate resilience.

Another top priority for Iran is to increase the sustainability of agricultural production, improve public health, reduce water use overall, particularly in the agriculture sector, implement market-based reforms, restore water resources, increase local and national public awareness, build infrastructure, use water in an emergency and develop greenhouse plantations, using an integrated water approach.

Mr. President,

To close the gap between the village and the city as one of the mean priorities, the Government has established the Water Supply Campaign, such that the rural water network can serve 100% of the rural regions by 2030. Nowadays, access to drinking water facilities is available in 86% of our villages and 99.9% of our cities.

Like other targeted States, the Islamic Republic of Iran is negatively impacted by the inhumane and cruel unilateral coercive measures. The impact of UCMs on people's access to food, water, and healthcare is significant. The SDGs, including access to clean water and sanitation in targeted States, are hampered by the UCMs, with adverse impacts on human rights, particularly the right to development, the right to health, the right to life, and the right to access environmentally friendly technologies.

As you are aware, the Islamic Republic of Iran is the fifth-largest Country in terms of the number of refugees it hosts. Despite the previously said challenges, particularly the UCMs and the water scarcity, more than 5 million Afghan refugees live in Iran for the time being. It is irrefutable that immediate international assistance is required to fulfill their needs.

Mr. President,

In closing, let me express my gratitude to the Governments of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands for holding this historic conference, and also underlining the Islamic Republic of Iran's readiness to cooperate with other countries at the regional and global levels to accomplish our shared objectives.

Thank You, Mr. President.

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