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Statement by Mr. Mohammad Hassani Nejad on agenda item 64: Refugees

Statement by Mr. Mohammad Hassani Nejad

Counsellor Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations before the Third Committee of the 72nd Session of the GA

 under agenda item 64: Refugees

(1 November 2017, New York)


In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. Chairman,

Intrusive and destabilizing policies along with foreign occupation and terrorism continue to push millions of peoples away from their homes causing massive influx of the refugees and displaced persons. Though it is a global responsibility, developing countries with limited local resources are the first and in most cases the final destination of the people who flee crisis in their home countries.

However, no single country, regardless of its economic situation, can respond to the ramifications of such influxes alone. Regrettably, host countries should mostly be contented with empty promises of support. This unfair situation is unsustainable.

Mr. Chair,

Over the last four decades, Iran has always been on the top list of countries hosting large number of refugees. As such, we felt firsthand the heavy burden of such phenomenon on our economy and society. We continue to emphasize on the importance of international responsibility and burden-sharing on refugees and the necessity of a defined & clear mechanism with a view to assist countries hosting large number of refugees. Taking into account all the problems that countries like mine are facing, including the inhumane sanctions, durability of the current services provided to the refugees cannot be guaranteed.  

Iran has offered educational and health & medical care services to refugees, including vaccination, maternal-child care, personal hygiene and prevention of contagious diseases. Beyond our commitments under the 1951 Geneva Convention on refugees, we have also offered job opportunities to the refugees. Currently, 420 thousands of refugee children and 4500 university students are enjoying educational services in Iran. Refugees also occupy more than 700 thousands of job opportunities in the country. Against our will, it is impossible to carry on these burdens indefinitely.    

We once again call the international community to take necessary measures in resolving the refugee problem through sustainable repatriation of refugees in their own countries as well as resettlement in third countries. It is disappointing that the number of refugees resettled in third countries from Iran during last two decades is only a very small fraction of the annual birth figure among refugee community in the country. 

The responsibility of protecting refugees is not confined to a few countries or regions. Geographical location has no place in defining or distribution of such responsibility. Asylum seekers, according to international rules, should be able to request asylum in any country that they like or prefer. Hospitality offered by a few developing host countries is no excuse for others to evade their responsibilities.    

I Thank You


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