Terror a Major Hindrance to Sustainable Development

Terror a Major Hindrance  to Sustainable DevelopmentTerror a Major Hindrance  to Sustainable Development

Intensified activities of terrorist and extremist groups in West Asia have hindered global development as they have imposed a reordering of priorities on governments and prompted them to address consequent security threats, the deputy ambassador to the United Nations warned.    

"The West Asia region is not only facing hotter climate conditions and challenges of continued extensive drought, it is also grappling with the scourge of terrorism and violence," Gholam Hossein Dehqani said.

"Not only has terrorism and violence damaged the environment, but it has also taken sustainable development out of the agenda of countries, forcing them to expend their national resources on fighting insecurity."

Speaking at the United Nations' General Debate of the Second Committee in New York on Wednesday, he called for greater collaboration within the international community to help promote sustainable development, according to a transcript of his remarks posted on the website of Iran's permanent mission to the United Nations.

"We believe that greater efforts are needed in the committee to reach our goals and targets. The challenges ahead of us in this regard should be addressed collectively in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, especially through the United Nations system."

  Tall Order

Dehqani singled out poverty as the primary challenge facing the international community, saying it should remain the main focus of the UN post-2015 development agenda, detailed in a document entitled "Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development."

"The developing countries continue to face a number of development challenges originating mainly from global economic imbalances and downturns. For them, responding to the challenges of poverty, food insecurity, health, water scarcity and impacts of climate change remain a tall order. Hence, the eradication of poverty, the greatest challenge of our world, should continue to be the core objective of the agenda."

"To implement this truly transformative agenda, these ambitious objectives should be facilitated by more ambitious, fully inclusive and non-discriminatory provisions for implementation, particularly regarding the finance and transfer of technology and associated know-how towards achieving meaningful global partnership," he added. Elsewhere, addressing the UN Third Committee on "International Drug Control" the next day, Dehqan lamented the poor global control over cultivation of opium poppy which has seen a considerable jump in recent years.

"It is unfortunate to see that, according to [an official] report, global area under illicit opium poppy cultivation in 2014, was the highest level since 1998 with a 7% increase in Afghanistan. This is a pattern repeated for four consecutive years."

"It shows that poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is growing at an alarming rate. As a result the production of opium in 2014 was estimated to reach 7,500 tons comparing to 5500 tons in 2013."

The international community has so far failed to contribute its share to the anti-drug campaign, he said, urging further support for affected countries, especially Afghanistan.

  Venomous Nexus

Dehqan cautioned the campaign against drug smuggling has taken on new urgency as traffickers have forged a "venomous nexus" with terrorists."

"In the past several years, the borders between terrorist and criminal groups have blurred and both are increasingly banding together with a view to using the proceeds to expand their criminal and terrorist activities in the region and beyond. This is a very important aspect that traffic in drugs is acquiring, which calls for more resolute action on the part of the entire international community."