Speech

"It remains crucial that we keep a focus on human rights and continue to hold the Iranian Government to account for its human rights record."

Statement by Ambassador Martin Shearman, of the UK Mission to the United Nations, on the Third Committee resolutions on Iran

Thank you very much Madam Chair,

The United Kingdom welcomes the resolution on human rights in Iran and thanks Canada for keeping this issue on the agenda for consideration in the Third Committee.

The United Kingdom remains deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Iran. We are particularly concerned about the number of executions that continue to take place in Iran, and especially executions of juveniles and those convicted of crimes that are not deemed the “most serious” under international law. We also have serious concerns about limitations on the right to freedom of religion or belief, restrictions on freedom of expression, the operation of the rule of law and women’s rights within Iran.

The United Kingdom believes that this resolution is evidence-based and balanced. The resolution acknowledges progress where it has been made but also identifies areas where Iran needs to do more. In addition this resolution provides a useful platform for engagement with Iran, not only for UN member states and the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran, but also the human rights NGOs .

The United Kingdom welcomes re-engagement with Iran following the nuclear deal. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action was a major achievement and we are committed to Iran seeing the benefit of sanctions relief. But it remains crucial that we keep a focus on human rights and continue to hold the Iranian Government to account for its human rights record.

Finally Madam Chair,

We would like to express disappointment at the attempt made by some delegations to misuse the rules of procedure to undermine the mandate of this committee. We note with appreciation that a wide range of countries chose to oppose that attempt and to allow this, and other resolutions under this agenda item, to be considered on their merits.

I thank you, Madam Chair.