Letter from the Permanent Representative of Iran to the UN on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, 30 October 2002
Economic and Social Council
6 December 2002
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS
Item 17 of the provisional agenda
Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
Letter dated 30 October 2002 from the Permanent Representative of the
Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations Office at Geneva addressed
to the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights
I have the pleasure to report to you on the following decisions and measures taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran following the fifty-eighth session of the Commission on Human Rights to enhance cooperation with the Commission and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and to promote human rights in Iran.
1. On 24 July the Iranian Government extended an open invitation to all of the thematic procedures of the Commission on Human Rights, and in this connection has welcomed the United Nations human rights mandate holders' visits to Iran at their earliest convenience.
2. In order to expand technical cooperation with OHCHR, the United Nations technical cooperation mission to Iran on human rights will take place in the near future to formulate OHCHR human rights programmes in Iran, and to finalize the memorandum of understanding, as a basis for a process of long-term cooperation between Iran and the United Nations.
3. In addition to some bilateral structured dialogue with several countries, a framework of dialogue with the European Union (EU) has been agreed upon, which in our view would not only help the two sides to understand each other more profoundly and to exchange views, but also promote a culture of respect for human rights and social commitment for concrete progress. In this regard, an exploratory experts meeting has recently been held in Tehran and the first meeting in the framework of dialogue between EU and the Islamic Republic of Iran will take place in December 2002.
4. Arrangements have been made for a dialogue between the judiciary of the Islamic Republic of Iran and OHCHR. In this respect, a high-level Iranian delegation will visit Geneva soon to meet the High Commissioner and other officials from OHCHR to discuss ways and means of expanding cooperation on human rights issues.
5. The Iranian Parliament has taken significant initiatives to review the old legislation and introduce new ones, where appropriate, with a view to promoting and protecting human rights in all sectors. The recent developments such as adopting a bill on women's rights in divorce and the bill on the improvement in the equal status of religious minorities are also worthy of mention in this regard.
I would like to assure Your Excellency that Iran is determined to pursue the path it has chosen to take and to strive for enhanced cooperation with the Commission on Human Rights and its mechanisms, on the understanding that the promotion of human rights at national and international levels requires concrete and sincere efforts, far from short-sighted political motives.
(Signed): Mohammad Reza ALBORZI