We believe it is important and timely for the international community to consider and address situations involving refugees, and to do whatever in its power to minimize their plight and suffering.
I would like to raise two basic points which I believe are crucial in how the international community and the UN in particular, should approach the case at hand, and similar ones.
Firstly, refugees are subjects of international shared responsibility and protection. Burden-sharing and collaborative responses are highly required in protecting refugees in a systematic manner. The international community and the UN should do their utmost to help and support refugees and their host countries with impartiality and under humanitarian principles. In reality, however, it has not been the case. During recent decades, few developing countries have hosted almost all world refugees by means of their scarce resources and mostly un-noticed. In our case, Iran has hosted millions of refugees from Afghanistan and Iraq for decades. We still continue to do so with minimal to no international support, attention or assistance.
However, in the case of migrants in the Mediterranean basin, a good amount of attention has been paid on how to deal with this problem. While we welcome the seriousness of international community to deal with this specific situation, we remain of the view that all refugees and all countries hosting them deserve similar attention, and all refugees’ crises should be dealt with by the international community on an equal footing.
Secondly, it is crucial to recognize that the refugees and asylum seekers are symptoms of deeper problems. The phenomenon of refugees in our region is neither new nor unknown. It is about seven decades that millions of Palestinians have taken refuge in their neighboring countries, as a result of the Israeli occupation. And todays wave of refugees in the Mediterranean basin, fleeing horrors of war, conflict and violence at home, is the result of foreign intervention and pre-emptive wars ensued by the outbursts of terrorism and extremism.
If the international community wants to take a responsible approach to this issue, it needs to deal with its root causes and to wage a global concerted fight against intervention, occupation as well as terrorism and violent extremism.
The illegal missile strikes which happened just last night, is a clear instance of such irresponsible and dangerous acts that not only embolden terrorists but force more people to displacement.
Such unilateral acts of aggression, which is a grave violation of the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the underlying norms of the international law, would also undermine the international initiatives, including those by the UN, to end terrorism and violent extremism in Syria.
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the biggest victim of chemical weapons in the contemporary history and severely condemns any use of chemical weapons, regardless of the perpetrators and victims.
However, we strongly condemn the last night missile attack by the United States on a Syrian air base in response to the alleged use of chemical weapons.
We consider this excuse for unilateral action as dangerous, destructive and a violation of fundamental principles of international law.
Iran believes that such act of aggression, in response to an alleged use of chemical weapons, which its timing, perpetrators and beneficiaries are all suspected, would not only complicate the situation in Syria but in the entire region.
Mr. President, the Islamic Republic of Iran remains steadfast in its determination to work with the international community to genuinely tackle the plight caused by violent extremism and terrorism for the innocent children and. [sic]