Intervention made by Ms Thilmeeza Hussain, Deputy Permanent Representative, at the Interactive Dialogue  with Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Third Committee of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, 19 October 2011

Thank you Mr. Chairman.

Let me first take this opportunity, to thank the Special Rapporteur for his interim report on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, and extend to him the full support of the Maldives for his mandate and his proposed methodology of work. Let me also thank the Secretary-General for his report, and the recommendations contained herein.

Mr. Chairman,

The Maldives was a co-sponsor of the Human Rights Council resolution 16/9, which established the mandate in June this year. We did so, knowing fully well the challenges faced by Iran in promoting and protecting the rights of its citizens, sometimes reminiscent of the situation we faced not so long ago. Our experience, as a Muslim country, in engaging with the different human rights mechanisms, treaty bodies and the UPR was instrumental in the democratic transition of the Maldives, now, seeking to share our practices and knowledge with other countries going through similar difficulties.

We strongly believe that in our view, the establishment of the new mandate on Iran is not a reprimand; on the contrary, it is an excellent opportunity for dialogue, to discuss and engage on all the issues contained in the report.

Cooperation….., Mr Chairman, is a constructive approach to also communicate the genuine views of Iran to the UN system, and will contribute greatly to allay some of the concerns raised by the Special Rapporteur.

We are however, deeply concerned by the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran, specifically the alarming increase in the application of the death penalty without due process and judicial safeguards especially amongst juveniles.

We are also concerned about the rights of minority groups, women, human rights activists, members of the civil society and the intelligentsia of Iran, and calls upon the Government to fulfill its obligations to promote and protect basic rights, as a State Party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Mr Chairman,

The responsibility of a sovereign state to its own people cannot be undermined. Although, we understand sensitivities that do exist in Iran’s perspective of the mandate and its willingness to cooperate, we believe that under these difficult circumstances, both the international community and the Islamic Republic of Iran must find common ground, a point of convergence to initiate dialogue.

We acknowledge that such a point of convergence could be the implementation of the recommendations of the Universal Periodic Review, and other human rights mechanisms of the United Nations. Furthermore, the Maldives would like to urge that a constructive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur, and other mandate holders be used as a platform to assist in implementing some of these recommendations, which would be a leap in the right direction.

In this regard, we call upon the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to seriously consider the request by the Special Rapporteur to visit Iran at the earliest possible opportunity, to fulfill his mandate and to address the concerns raised in his report.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.