United Nations Iran
سازمان ملل متحد در ایران
Dr. Zarif, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Dr. Najafi, Mayor of Tehran,
Dr. Araghchi, Deputy for Political Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I bid you all a very good morning.
Today, I bring you greetings from the Unites Nations Family in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It gives me an immense pleasure to be a part of this tree planting ceremony.
I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate everyone – especially women present in the audience – a very happy International Women’s Day.
Trees are one of earth’s greatest natural resources.
As you know, trees keep our air supply clean and remove pollution from the atmosphere – improving air quality and human health.
Trees improve water quality, they help prevent erosion, provide food, and make our landscapes look beautiful. Trees create shade and provide us with much needed cooling.
Trees are essential elements in helping reduce the effects of climate change. When properly placed, trees help us save energy. They also provide vital wildlife habitat.
In a sense, tress are living treasures.
But unfortunately, as a result of climate change and other man-made problems we are losing our trees and forests at a rapid rate. And this loss is creating environmental challenges such as shortage of water. Deforestation. Desertification. Air pollution amongst other challenges.
As mentioned earlier, these environmental challenges are all man-made, and for every man-made problem there exist a man-made solution.
We need to recognize the inseparable link between man and nature and to build a sustainable, climate-resilient future for all.
We must invest in our trees and world's forests, and invest and support those who guard and protect these precious resources.
For these reasons, and more, saving trees and forests are integral part of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals which came in to effect 1st of January 2016, as well as in the development plan of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
These global goals will guide the decisions of UN member states like Iran during the next twelve years – until 2030. Many focus on the environment and the need to think and act “green”.
This tree planting ceremony is thus a symbolic event and it portrays the effort and the energy of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran in recognizing the need to be green and the need to promote environmental causes.
The timing of this event – in my opinion – could not be more perfect. I am referring to Nowruz being just around the corner.
Celebrating Nowruz means the affirmation of life in harmony with nature, awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and a solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life.
I would like to thank the organizers and also wish to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you – on behalf of the United Nations – joy, peace, prosperity, friendship and harmony with nature.
We are at a pivotal moment for women’s rights. The historical and structural inequalities that have allowed oppression and discrimination to flourish are being exposed like never before. From Latin America to Europe to Asia, on social media, on film sets, on the factory floor and in the streets, women are calling for lasting change and zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination of all kinds.
Achieving gender equality and empowering women and girls is the unfinished business of our time, and the greatest human rights challenge in our world.
The activism and advocacy of generations of women has borne fruit. There are more girls in school than ever before; more women are doing paid work and in senior roles in the private sector, academia, politics and in international organizations, including the United Nations. Gender equality is enshrined in countless laws, and harmful practices like female genital mutilation and child marriage have been outlawed in many countries.
But serious obstacles remain if we are to address the historic power imbalances that underpin discrimination and exploitation.
More than a billion women around the world lack legal protection against domestic sexual violence. The global gender pay gap is 23 per cent, rising to 40 per cent in rural areas, and the unpaid work done by many women goes unrecognized. Women’s representation in national parliaments stands, on average, at less than one quarter, and in boardrooms it is even lower. Without concerted action, millions more girls will be subjected to genital mutilation over the next decade.
Where laws exist, they are often ignored, and women who pursue legal redress are doubted, denigrated and dismissed. We now know that sexual harassment and abuse have been thriving in workplaces, public spaces and private homes, in countries that pride themselves on their record of gender equality.
The United Nations should set an example for the world.
I recognize that this has not always been the case. Since the start of my tenure last year, I have set change in motion at UN headquarters, in our peacekeeping missions and in all our offices worldwide.
We have now reached gender parity for the first time in my senior management team, and I am determined to achieve this throughout the organization. I am totally committed to zero tolerance of sexual harassment and have set out plans to improve reporting and accountability. We are working closely with countries around the world to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse by staff in peacekeeping missions, and to support victims.
We at the United Nations stand with women around the world as they fight to overcome the injustices they face – whether they are rural women dealing with wage discrimination, urban women organizing for change, women refugees at risk of exploitation and abuse, or women who experience intersecting forms of discrimination: widows, indigenous women, women with disabilities and women who do not conform to gender norms.
Women’s empowerment is at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Progress on the Sustainable Development Goals means progress for all women, everywhere. The Spotlight initiative launched jointly with the European Union will focus resources on eliminating violence against women and girls, a prerequisite for equality and empowerment.
Let me be clear: this is not a favour to women. Gender equality is a human rights issue, but it is also in all our interests: men and boys, women and girls. Gender inequality and discrimination against women harms us all.
There is ample evidence that investing in women is the most effective way to lift communities, companies, and even countries. Women’s participation makes peace agreements stronger, societies more resilient and economies more vigorous. Where women face discrimination, we often find practices and beliefs that are detrimental to all. Paternity leave, laws against domestic violence and equal pay legislation benefit everyone.
At this crucial moment for women’s rights, it is time for men to stand with women, listen to them and learn from them. Transparency and accountability are essential if women are to reach their full potential and lift all of us, in our communities, societies and economies.
I am proud to be part of this movement, and I hope it continues to resonate within the United Nations and around the world.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Iran’s Representative, Dr. Leila Joudane, and the United Nations Human Settlement Programme, UN-Habitat’s Chief, Mr. Siamak Moghaddam, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today, Wednesday 7 March 2018.
The MoU announces the start of a joint cooperation between the two UN agencies in the field of internal mobility patterns in Iran in order to inform formulation of urban policies.
The cooperation will bring forth favorable grounds for advocacy dialogues between the University of Tehran and the Ministry of Roads and Urban Development.