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16 Oct 2017 - “Iran an immense success story on TB suppression”: UN Resident Coordinator

  • Published in Health

“During the past 50 years, Iran has proven itself to be an immense success story in terms of TB suppression,” said UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. Gary Lewis, yesterday.

He delivered these remarks at the conclusion of a four-day event organized in Tehran by Iran’s Centre of Disease Control (CDC) at Shahid Beheshti University.

Flashback to the year 1964.  In Iran, the reported cases of TB then stood at 143 per 100,000 persons.  Today, this figure stands at 16 per 100,000 persons.  By comparison, the current global average stands at almost exactly the same figure for Iran back in 1964.

And yet, several challenges remain in eliminating the disease.  According to Mr. Lewis, “the last kilometer is always the hardest”.  These include the fact that the disease is evolving to counter effective medication, and also its continued entry into Iran by persons migrating from countries to the east and north-east.

However, the immense success of what Iran has managed to achieve in recent decades, was cause to celebrate at the event. 

The celebration coincided with the commemoration of National TB Day and among the attendees and speakers were Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, Head of CDC and Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative.

20171016 undp02Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Gouya, Head of CDC

Speaking at opening, Dr. Gouya said: “Globally, in 2015, there were an estimated 10.4 million new cases of TB with six countries accounting for 60% of the total with India leading the count followed by Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.”

He added: “Today, TB remains one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide.  New data from WHO reveals that the global TB burden is higher than previously estimated.  Countries – including Iran – need to move much faster to prevent, detect and treat TB if the “End TB Strategy” targets are to be achieved in the next 15 years.  The strategy – to which Iran has committed – aims to end the global TB epidemic, with targets to reduce TB deaths by 95% and to cut new cases by 90% between 2015 and 2035, and to ensure that no family is burdened with catastrophic expenses due to TB.”

Referring to the joint partnership between the Government of Iran, the Global Fund and UNDP Iran, Mr. Lewis said: “While our joint TB programme was successfully completed in the year 2015, together we achieved many goals.”  He pointed to the following:

  • Increasing national attention and sensitization of decision-makers, personnel and health care workers towards TB control programme in prisons.
  • Improved TB programme technical standards by upgrading the labs.
  • Establishing/upgrading 66 Direct Smear Microscopy (DSM) labs, 40 Culture Lab and 8 Drug Susceptibility Test labs.
  • Improvement in surveillance system (i.e., reporting, and recording system) in prisons.
  • Improvement in Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) coverage.
  • Contributing to a treatment success rate of 87% against the target of 84% per cent.
  • Procurement of 4 GeneXpert machines that greatly helped strengthen the capacities for detecting drug resistant TB cases.
  • Development, launch and implementation of Transition and Sustainability Plan of TB project to ensure that the investment and achievement of TB project is integrated into the national system and financial sustainability is guaranteed.

Mr. Lewis concludes with a reference to Iran’s need to embrace and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  “One of the targets of the United Nations is ending the TB epidemic by 2030.  This target is achievable.  TB is curable.  The United Nations – and UNDP in particular – stand ready to assist the Government of Iran to achieve this goal.”


23 Sep 2017 - Reversing deforestation and soil erosion in Golestan Province

Livelihoods and nature are turning a corner in Tilabad in Golestan Province in Iran, thanks to the efforts of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Iran through the so-called Carbon Sequestration Project (CSP).

Trees are being planted, deforested hills are being terraced to prevent soil erosion and manage irrigation sustainably, new crops such as saffron and medicinal herbs are generating new income and jobs, villagers are innovating to ensure healthy organic crops and handicrafts now contribute to household incomes. A new building is housing the cooperatively run micro-credit scheme that supports the villagers in this process of change.

On 20 and 21 September, officials from the Forest, Rangeland and Watershed Organization (FRWO), Golestan province and UNDP Iran visited the villages in Tilabad where the CSP has been active since 2013. They also learned about the plans for expanding into new project sites.  The purpose was to see firsthand how this project through strong community engagement is reversing deforestation and preventing soil erosion through measures that also increase yields and income, enhance livelihoods, protect human health and generate employment.

“Implementation of this project has been very successful in Iran, especially in Golestan province. I think CSP has been successful in creating sustainable jobs for local communities - jobs that the country can benefit from” Ms. Anne Marie Sloth Carlsen, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative said to the press.

20170923 undp2Ms. Carlsen addressing the press

Ms. Carlsen added: “As a result of this project a lot of work has been done by local communities in many villages all around Iran which stopped the destruction of natural resources and forests. Involving communities is essential because it gives them a sense of ownership. I am extremely happy to see such a high level of engagement of the local community with this project. To overcome environmental challenges, each citizen should feel responsible and take action towards protecting and safeguarding the environment. This is something that we are witnessing in the villages I visited today.”

During this trip Ms. Carlsen also inaugurated a new office of the CSP project in Golestan province.

Back in 2003, the first phase of Carbon Sequestration Project (CSP) was initiated in South Khorasan Province with support from the Global Environment Facility.  The second phase starting in 2013, replicated and implemented across 18 provinces in Iran including in some pilot sites in Golestan Province.  In the third phase of the project which was signed recently, the project will expand in five new sites in four provinces: South Khorasan, North Khorasan, Yazd and Golestan. 



21 Sep 2017 - UNDP Iran and Ozone project office released a video clip

On the occasion of Ozone Day, UNDP Iran and Ozone Project office released a video clip on the importance of the Ozone layer.

This clip is a part of the famous animation series called Dirin Dirin.

Click here to watch this clip on Aparat.



شهریور 96 - حضور حصیر ایرانی در جشنواره روستای ایروان

بازنشر: خبرگزاری مهر

به گزارش خبرنگار مهر جشنواره روستا، شانزده سپتامبر ۲۰۱۷ مصادف با بیست و پنج شهریور ۱۳۹۶ در اینگلیش پارک ایروان ارمنستان با حضور کشاورزان محلی، تعاونی های زنان محلی، سازمانهای بین المللی و موسسات غیردولتی حفاظت از طبیعت برگزار شد.

در افتتاحیه این مراسم وزیر کشاورزی ارمنستان، سفیر آلمان، مدیر موسسه توسعه ای اتریش، شهردار ایروان، مدیر شبکه سمنهای محیط زیستی حوزه قفقاز و رییس هیات مدیره موسسه توسعه پایدار هرمد سخنرانی کردند.

موسسه توسعه پایدار هرمد به عنوان تنها نماینده جمهوری اسلامی ایران در جشنواره روستا با هدف معرفی توانمندی زنان روستایی به نمایش و عرضه دستبافت زنان روستایی پروژه های مورد حمایت برنامه کمکهای کوچک محیط زیست جهانی و نیز حصیرهای هنری بافته شده توسط زنان و مردان محلی استانهای سیستان و بلوچستان، هرمزگان، بوشهر، خوزستان، یزد و کرمان اقدام کرد.

این آثار هنری روستایی با توجه به نامگذاری امسال از سوی سازمان میراث فرهنگی به نام سال حصیر و نیز حضور برنامه کمکهای کوچک تسهیلات محیط زیست جهانی عمران ملل متحد قریب به پانزده سال در جزیره قشم با هدف ایجاد معیشت پایدار جوامع محلی انتخاب و در این رویداد برون مرزی به نمایش درآمده بود.

وزیر کشاورزی ارمنستان ضمن بازدید از غرفه موسسه توسعه پایدار هرمد، هنر بکار رفته در این آثار را ستود.

ارایه کمپوست تولید شده توسط زنان محلی روستای اسبوکلای مازندران و روستای کفشگیری گلستان نیز از دیگر محصولات عرضه شده در این رویداد بین المللی  روستایی بود.

زنان روستایی در پروژه مشترک موسسه توسعه پایدار هرمد و برنامه کمکهای کوچک تسهیلات محیط زیست جهانی عمران ملل متحد که با مشارکت تشکلهای محلی خانه جوان فرید و همیاران طبیعت اسبوکلا انجام شد با هدف کاهش حجم پسماند و کاهش انتشار متان اقدام به تبدیل تر زباله خانگی و کشاورزی به کمپوست و استفاده از آن در کشاورزی ارگانیک برای تولید محصول سالم کردند.

جشنواره روستا در بخش اختتامیه خود، با اهدا لوح تقدیری از حضور موثر موسسه توسعه پایدار هرمد در راستای معرفی توانمندی جوامع روستایی کشور ایران در این رویداد تقدیر به عمل آورد.


18 Sep 2017 - Iranian Mats find their way in Yerevan's Rural Festival

A Rural Festival that was focused on Sustainable Livelihoods was held in Yerevan (Armenia) with presence of local farmers, local women cooperatives, international agencies, and environmental NGOs.

According to the Mehr News Agency, the Rural Festival was held on September 16th 2017 in English Park of Yerevan, Armenia with presence of local farmers, local women cooperatives, international agencies, and environmental NGOs.

Hormod Sustainable Development Institute was the only representative from I.R. Iran in the Rural Festival aiming to introduce the capacities of the rural women, by exhibiting some of the handicrafts and products developed by projects supported through GEF SGP at UNDP Iran, along with other rural products from Sistan-Baluchestan, Hormozgan, Bushehr, Khuzestan, Yazd and Kerman provinces of Iran.

It is worth mentioning that this year has been announced as the "Year of the Mat" by the Deputy for Handicrafts of the Cultural Heritage Organization, so part of the rural products presented from Iran were related to this art, but also some of the handicrafts presented were produced with support of GEF SGP-UNDP projects in Qeshm Island, as a result of capacity building and sustainable rural livelihood projects.

While visiting the Iranian booth, the Minister of Agriculture of Armenia praised the art in these rural handicrafts. Also compost produced by rural women of Esbukola in Mazandaran and Kafshgiri village in Golestan province were presented. In fact, Hormod Institute and GEF SGP-UNDP already implemented a joint project in collaboration with Farid Youth House and Nature Supporters of Esbukola, where rural women helped reduce waste and methane emissions by converting household waste and agricultural waste to compost, and using it further for organic agriculture and production of healthier crops.

In the closing ceremony, the Rural Festival organizers officially acknowledged Hormod Sustainable Development Institute for giving a speech in the inauguration ceremony, for active participation in the event and for introducing the capacities of the rural communities of Iran in this event.


17 Sep 2017 - The Montreal Protocol: Closing the Hole in the Ozone Layer

The 16th of September 2017 heralds the 30th Anniversary of the Montreal Protocol – an international treaty which aims to repair and protect the Earth’s ozone layer.  To celebrate this special occasion and the immense significance of this Protocol, Iran today – one day later – hosted an event at the Department of Environment focusing on this year’s theme of “caring for all life under the sun.”

Addressing guests at today’s event, Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, spoke about the Montreal Protocol’s success.  He referred in particular to the fact that there has been an almost 100% phasing-out of ODSs.  Consequently, after years of depletion, the ozone layer is beginning to thicken.

Mr. Lewis described the significant role Iran has played in countering ozone depletion.  Iran established an office for the protection of the ozone layer in 1994, after joining the Vienna Convention and the Montreal Protocol.  Iran has, according to Mr. Lewis, demonstrated regional best practices through the successful programmes carried out by its National Ozone Unit.  The success of this unit has been enhanced by strong and willing collaboration between the unit, the Department of Environment, international agencies such as UNDP, UNIDO and UN Environment and the support from the Government of Germany. 

This cooperation would be extended under a new project due to start at the end of 2017.  Mr. Lewis also called upon Iran to join the Kigali Protocol. This is the latest effort of the global community to counter ODSs.

20170917 undp02From left: Dr. Ali Nazaridoust, UNDP Head of Programme, Mr. Gary Lewis, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative

Also speaking at the ceremony, the newly appointed Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Head of the Department of Environment, Dr. Isa Kalantari, complimented the success of Iran’s Ozone Project.  Mr. Kalantari stated, “We hope that the success of this project will be a milestone in the implementation of national programmes so that we can deal with many environmental problems such as waste, soil degradation, waste water and the protection of wildlife.”

The ozone layer is crucial to the survival of planet Earth.  Why?  Because it is a layer in the Earth’s stratosphere which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching Earth from the sun.  In the 1980s, scientists discovered that a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica was widening.  International alarm bells began to ring.  Immediate efforts began by the international community to set about repairing the hole and preserving the ozone layer. 

On 16 September 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was unanimously ratified by 197 countries.  The treaty’s objective was to cut the production and consumption of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances (ODSs).  CFCs are known to most of us as coolants in refrigerants and aerosol cans.  Climate scientists discovered that the use of these substances were in large part to blame for the worsening of the hole in the ozone layer.  

Referring to the latest revision of the Montreal Protocol which was agreed to in Kigali, Rwanda on 15 October 2016, Mr. Lewis stated that it offers many opportunities to protect the environment by improving refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.  “All of this,” Lewis said,  “improves energy efficiency, which corresponds to our SDG 7.”

The latest effort to deal with dangerous ODS focuses on hydrofluorocarbons (or HFCs).  “Phasing-out hydrofluorocarbons,” Mr. Lewis said, “was agreed to in the Kigali Amendment which took place in Rwanda on 15 October 2016.”  Mr. Lewis encouraged the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran to take the important step of reviewing and then approving this Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  He stated that it was crucial not just for Iran, but all countries, to collaborate with industry, governmental bodies and civil society to adopt greener technologies.

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