Instrumental Use of Human Rights Denounced

Instrumental Use of Human Rights Denounced Instrumental Use of Human Rights Denounced

Iran's envoy to the United Nations questioned the world body's record in promoting human rights worldwide and criticized it for letting the human rights issue be used as a political tool by certain member states.

"Regrettably, the state of human rights in the United Nations is not promising either … The overall contribution of the United Nations in addressing the people's genuine interests is highly disputed and questionable," Gholamhossein Dehqani said.

"Even relevant and functioning mechanisms such as the UPR (Universal Periodic Review) are tainted by certain member states with politicization and undermined with continued presentation of unwarranted country specific resolutions that do nothing but reduce the revered cause of human rights to a tool for political gains."

UPR stands for the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council, a cyclical review of the human rights record of the 193 members.

Speaking in a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Human Rights on Wednesday, Dehqani said everyone concurs that human rights are "universal, interdependent, indivisible and interrelated".

  Blight of Selectivity  

The Iranian envoy said double standards and selectivity are the established norms and the regular conduct. He added that some human rights are considered more significant than others while others are sidelined to a large extent.

Dehqani stressed the need for what he called a "cultural shift" in the UN structure that "infuses human rights into the system to enhance its role in promoting fundamental human values such as equality and justice".

"The United Nations should be able to defy pressures when serious violations of international law occur, no matter how big the violator financially contributes to the UN or what powerful country supports it—a UN that is not permeated with the prevalent tendencies of double standards and politicization," he said.

Dehqani said such a shift should involve building a universal approach that would apply equally to all countries, regardless of their wealth or power, according to a transcript of his statement posted on the website of Iran's permanent mission to the UN.

"To avoid the exclusive focus on developing and poor countries, respect for universality is an imperative for any cultural change within the UN. The alarming growth of xenophobia, racial hatred, Islamophobia, racism and social exclusion as the breeding grounds for atrocities in most economically affluent countries should not fall off the radar," he said.