Saturday, 08 August, 2020

Iran elected to chair Executive Board of United Nations Human Settlements Program despite US obstruction

Iran has been elected to chair a council at the United Nations program for human settlements and sustainable urban development for one year despite opposition and obstruction from the United States.   

According to a statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Saturday, Iran was voted by consensus and without any opposition as the chair of the Executive Council of the United Nations Human Settlement Program (UN-Habitat) from 2020 to 2021.

The statement said US representatives tried to challenge the consensus among members of the council, and disrupted the election process to stonewall Iran’s presidency.

Washington even threatened to withdraw from UN-Habitat and cut all US funding for the United Nations program if Iran were elected to the council.

“Even though the United States used all available financial, political and organizational mechanisms, including pressure on the Secretariat and other countries, Iran pursued diplomatic and rational channels” to gather support for the chair, the statement said.

The US finally had no option but to retreat from its position and the Islamic Republic of Iran was selected as the chair of the Executive Council of UN-Habitat in a separate online meeting, it added.

UN-Habitat is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

The main documents outlining the mandate of the organization are the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, Habitat Agenda, Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements, the Declaration on Cities and Other Human Settlements in the New Millennium, and Resolution 56/206.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have been soaring after President Donald Trump on May 8, 2021 officially announced Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Following its withdrawal, the US unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign against Iran and targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” economic sanctions.

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