ODVV Statements at 30th Session of the Human...
Item 3: General DebateMr. President
According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees from conflict who are in pursuit of better lives in other countries has surpassed 59 million, which is the highest since the Second World War. From the beginning of 2015 approximately 153 thousand refugees have entered Europe which shows a 149 percent increase compared to the previous year.
The International Organization for Migration has announced the number of Iraqis displaced by DAESH conflict about 4 million. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees has said that approximately 15 million Iraqis have been displaced as a result of internal and external wars, and approximately 4 million have fled to neighboring countries.
Poverty and unemployment, continuation of war with DAESH, not having safety because of DAESH being close to where they live and fear of random death by suicide bombings, are all some of the reasons the migrants give for their migration. For my organization it is clear that disastrous policies and wrongful interventions of the west has resulted in what is happening today. A human tragedy and crisis on a scale unseen before. Syrian and Yemeni refugees are even more unfortunate their situation is more complicated and deteriorating due to some countries negative interventions and fallacious policies.
Our organization expresses its deepest concern for the ongoing situation, where lives are lost, and calls on the Human Rights Council to set the investigation on refugees of DAESH attacks as its top priority. We also call upon the international community to take practical measures to end the refugee’s endless sufferings.
Item 3: General DebateEconomic Sanctions Are Violating Human RightsMr. President
According to UN documents, the whole theory behind economic sanctions appears to be inaccurate, because pressure on civilians does not necessarily translate into political changes in the governments. In addition, according to the same documents, sanctions should not “target civilians” nor they should interfere with the free flow of medical supplies of any kind.
It must be said with great regret that in the case of economic sanctions imposed on Iran, none of the criteria stated in UN documents about sanctions were observed. Instead, the sanctions targeted the most vulnerable people in the society including the patients and the poor.
Despite the reached agreement in nuclear talks which is supposed to result in removal of economic sanctions, Iranian people especially the patients have been suffering from the adverse consequences for more than three years now which is a too long period of time for those who are tolerating chronic diseases and in some cases die of medicine shortage in silence. Medicine was supposed to exempt from the sanctions but in practice it is not.
Sanctions aggravate imbalances in income distribution, hamper the process of development, weaken civil society organizations, ban foreign financial humanitarian aids, generate unethical businesses, affect the most vulnerable people and in the long run ruin the infrastructures of societies.
All these sufferings occur in spite of the fact that human rights are guaranteed in Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights covenants including International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) considers sanctions as a systematic violation of human rights and urges the Human Rights Council to make every effort to protect the human rights of the Iranian civilians and remove “all” economic sanctions imposed on Iran.
Item 4: General DebateMr. president
Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) is deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Yemen. The extensive killings of civilians, indiscriminate bombings of residential areas and infrastructure are clear examples of the grave violation of fundamental international humanitarian law. Distinction between civilians and combatants by both sides of the conflict in order to protect civilians and their properties is a principle reiterated in humanitarian law. This is while according to latest figures, since the start of the conflict in Yemen and coalition forces intervention to-date, more than 23 thousand people have been killed and injured. Children's conditions is alarming. Since March 26th, 400 children have been killed and another 600 injured, infrastructural facilities, many residential buildings, medical centers, mosques and schools have been destroyed. 13 million Yemenis are suffering from food shortages, and another 6 million are suffering from severe food insecurity. Two out of every five Yemenis require emergency assistance. The health situation is dire, destruction of medical centers, lack of enough hospitals, drugs and medical equipment shortages, and the difficulty for international organizations to provide aid, have all made the situation worse.
While drawing the attention of the Council towards the inhuman consequences of the Yemeni conflict, ODVV calls upon the Council to conduct a special investigation of the human and humanitarian rights situation of the country.
While reminding the Council of its 27th Session Resolution on the investigation of all human rights and humanitarian law violations taken place in Yemen by the parties in the conflict, this NGO alongside some other Iranian NGOs states that to-date none of the parties in conflict have attempted to investigate human rights violations. Therefore we, Iranian NGOs, call upon the Council to set up an investigation committee to note and register events and human rights violations that have taken place.
Item 6 : General DebateToward Improving the UPR MechanismMr. President
UPR mechanism provides a positive peer-learning process, and serves to open a variety of multilateral and bilateral avenues of cooperation.
Fortunately the majority of UN member States are committed to the mechanism and a study conducted on the UPR process has found that 48% of recommendations by Member States have triggered actions by Governments three years after the first review.
However the success of the UPR lies in its universal nature and the involvement of all relevant stakeholders at all stages.
Therefore, during the reviews, equal treatment of all States must be ensured and reviews should be conducted in an objective, transparent, non-selective, non-confrontational and non-politicized manner. That is, similar cases of human rights violations in different countries should receive equal attention. States should not be subjected to politically motivated scrutiny for their human right issues. The civil society organizations encourage all UPR stakeholders to avoid politicization of the UPR mechanism.
In addition to observing the principles of equality in offering recommendations, the quality of the given recommendations is also important.
According to the figures, by the end of the second cycle, over 50'000 recommendations will have been made at the UPR. However, the number of recommendations should not lead to a decrease in the number of quality recommendations. Offering weak, unspecific recommendations should be seriously avoided.
In order to support the UPR mechanism, Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) urges the UN member States and the civil society actors not to follow political intentions while making recommendations.
Also, ODVV calls on all States and the civil society to make an effort to improve the quality, specificity, practicality and measurability, of the recommendations they are offering to the State under review, so as to better guide the implementation process.
Item 7 : General DebateMr. President,
We all know that the ultimate goal of the laws of war is to protect every single individual in the times of conflict. If the goal is ever achieved, that means no one can be outside of the protection of the law.
According to the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Israel has committed war crimes in Gaza. It is deeply alarming that the international response so clearly falls short of what is needed to end the conflict in Palestine. The same conclusion was reached after the recent 183-page report of the United Nation Human Rights Council on the 50-day Gaza war.
The report suggested that Israel's overall military policy during the conflict may have "violate[d] the laws of war." In particular, it bemoaned the lack of accountability on the part of Israeli officials conducting the war and expressed dismay that Israel did not alter its strategy of airstrikes even after it became clear that many civilians were dying.
US was the only country in the world to oppose a resolution accepted by 41 countries, adopted in July 2015, calling for Israel to be held accountable for war crimes. US was the only country to vote against the UN resolution, adopted in 2015, condemning Israel operations in Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPT), while it was accepted by 29 other countries.
It is shameful that even the basic demand for full humanitarian access has not been met. UN resolutions are being ignored and war crimes are being committed on a daily basis.
Accordingly, ODVV urges the US and all the governments around the world to put aside their disagreements and mount a new attempt to solve the conflict politically.
Item 8: General DebateWorld Drug problem and Human RightsMr. President
Drug addiction involves people in countless number of problems including poverty, domestic violence, child abuse, health problems and even death. It creates challenges such as unemployment, homelessness, street women and children, child abuse, divorce, domestic violence, HIV transmission, crimes and murders. Our country, in addition to the mentioned problems, faces the highest number of border guards losing their lives in the fight against drug smugglers. So far, more than 3760 of Iranian soldiers are killed and about 12 thousand have become injured and handicapped in the struggle. Our country is neighbor to the producer of %80 of the world opium, making Iran suffer from the bitter consequences of drug abuse much more than any other country. In addition, Iran is considered as the main transit route for the smuggling of drugs into Europe which adds to the complexity of drug problems in the country. Dealing with devastating effects of drugs addiction has turned to a daily challenge for many Iranian people, including vulnerable women and innocent children, putting a huge amount of pressure on Iran NGOs to help the people deal with the problem. Iran is in the front line of the fight against drugs trafficking, fighting a lonely battle against drugs for decades, paying high expenses, sacrificing human lives to prevent the products from being transited through the country.
Our organization calls on the international community to provide Iran with more support in the fight against smugglers:
Now, our country needs technical assistance in order to raise public awareness about the deteriorating effects of drug abuse and methods of preventing and treating addiction.
Iranian NGOs needs more international support from countries with common problems, and NGOs active in the field to share their experiences regarding drug addiction rehabilitation process and drug control.
Item 9: General DebateMr. President,
Organization for Defending Victims of Violence (ODVV) would like to remind the world of the Muslim victims of the terrorist attacks in the Middle East. As we all hear the news these days, Muslim refugees from targeted Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are trying to get into European borders and many of them have died on the way of doing so.
The reality is that over the past five years, close to 90 percent of the victims of these terrorists are reported to be Muslims . ISIS even killed a Muslim professor in Iraq who publicly opposed the group’s persecution of Christians. In other words, while war crimes are being committed under the name of Islam, Muslims are the ones who hourly die brutal deaths at the hands of ISIS. Islamophobia is real and anti-Muslim hatred touches thousands. We simply believe that people should not be defined by the things that are done to them, but by the things they do.
Accordingly, ODVV calls upon the United Nation and the international community to:
- Immediately end human rights violations and resolve the grievous situation of Muslim in countries of Syria and Iraq.
- Immediately take effective measures in order to save the suffered refugees from such countries, and
- Condemn and take action against hate speech and propaganda against all ethnic religious groups.