Decision on UN Resolution on Myanmar Explained

Decision on UN Resolution on Myanmar Explained  Decision on UN Resolution on Myanmar Explained

Foreign Ministry's spokesman explained a reversal in Iran's decision regarding a resolution on human rights violations in Myanmar, as he announced Tehran's positive vote to the resolution has been registered with the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. Iran sent a letter to the UN Secretariat on Tuesday announcing its vote in favor of the resolution, IRNA quoted Bahram Qasemi as saying in an statement on the same day. This is while Iran had initially abstained from voting on the resolution put forward by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which was adopted on Sunday by a vote of 122 to 10 with 24 abstentions.

Tehran's abstention raised eyebrows among its citizens and elsewhere, as the country has been vocal in its criticism against the Myanmar government's role in oppressing the Rohingya, the most persecuted community in the world. Earlier this year, Iran had approved the same resolution through the OIC.  The document called on Myanmar to halt its military campaign against Rohingya Muslims, allow access for aid workers, ensure the return of all refugees and grant full citizenship rights to the minority people. The resolution also called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to assign a special envoy to the country.

Qasemi said Iran was supportive of the content of the resolution.

The spokesman explained Iran used to vote against resolutions under the special mechanism of the Third Committee, but considering the terrible atrocities against the Rohingya people, which has led to the biggest forced exodus of 2017, it decided not to attend the voting session.

However, considering the significance of core principles of Iran's foreign policy, including supporting the rights of all Muslims, the Iranian government decided foreign policy should have been preferred over technical considerations and changed the decision, Qasemi said.

  Victim of Politicized Committee  

In a statement earlier on Tuesday, the office of Iran's permanent representative to the UN had said Iran's refusal to approve the resolution was due to the highly politicized nature of the Third Committee.  

"For the last three decades, Iran has been one of the [few] victims of the highly politicized nature of the Third Committee of UN General Assembly," said the statement. It said Iran's policy with respect to the examination of countries' conditions by the Third Committee has been to counter it. "This fundamental policy is still pursued, taking into account the western governments' antagonistic measures against Iran and their abuse of the Third Committee to satisfy their own interests," the statement read.

"Taking into account the unreliability of the Third Committee over its measures against countries, Iran decided not to participate in the approval of the resolution against Myanmar. This lack of participation indicates Iran's stance toward the Third Committee and is not limited to any specific resolution."

Iran says the Third Committee's special mechanism is unsuitable for examining human rights situation across the world, arguing that the country-specific mechanism can be exploited as a tool by western governments who wield heavy influence in the UN for putting pressure on independent governments. Tehran has been frequently targeted by politically-motivated resolutions in the committee, which are part of the West's pressure campaign against the country since the Islamic Revolution toppled the rule of US-backed dictator Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979.

Notably, Canada has led an annual Third Committee resolution condemning "human rights violations" in Iran since 2003.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints