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Letter dated 9 April 2007 from the Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General
I have the honour to enclose herewith a letter addressed to you by Gholam Ali Haddad Adel, Speaker of the Consultative Assembly (Parliament) of the Islamic Republic of Iran, who is also the President of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, together with the Tehran Declaration of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (see annex).
I should be grateful if you would have the present letter and its annex circulated as a document of the General Assembly, under agenda items 13, 14, 32, 44, 53, 55, 57, 67 and 80, and of the Security Council.
In my capacity as the Speaker of the Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the President of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, I wish to congratulate you most warmly on your election as the Secretary-General and for assuming the leadership of the United Nations since 1 January 2007. I also pray that you are showered with Divine guidance in leading this Organization at this difficult time to establish conditions under which justice could prevail, tolerance and good neighbourly relations could be practiced, international peace and security could be maintained and the international machinery could be employed for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all people, as the principles and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations envision.
I have the honour to inform you that the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, composed of parliaments of 40 Asian States, was established at the Seventh Conference of the General Assembly of the Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace, held in November 2006 in Tehran. The Association of Asian Parliaments for Peace evolved into the Asian Parliamentary Assembly. This transformation is surely a major step towards greater integration and cooperation in Asia in all possible domains and that much closer to achieving the vision of an Asian Parliament. This vision is no longer a distant dream.
The Asian Parliamentary Assembly intends to play a proactive role in promoting international peace and security, respect for the rule of law across the world, justice and a better standard of life for all, and to reject double standards and discrimination.
In this spirit, I look forward to a close working relationship in this challenging time between the United Nations and the Asian Parliamentary Assembly. Allow me to assure you of my support as well as the support of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly as you begin your arduous journey in this territory, which cannot but be chartered with our common humanity.
Attached please find a copy of the Tehran Declaration, which was adopted at the first session of the General Assembly of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, held in Tehran from 11 to 14 November 2006 (see enclosure).
Role of Asian Parliaments in advancing Democracy, Combating terrorism, Situation in
the Middle East, Multilateralism
12. We also express the concern over the misuse of veto power by certain permanent members of the UN Security Council which undermine the primary responsibility of the Council in maintaining international peace and security.
13. We urge more cooperation and exchange of information in the field of citizenship and human rights among the Asian countries in order to facilitate the promotion and protection of all human rights, fundamental freedoms of all people and democratic institutions.
14. We urge all Governments to take appropriate measures to protect the rights of vulnerable groups, such as ethnic and religious minorities and oppose and condemn all attempts to violate the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Asian Countries and the interference in their internal affairs under the pretext of protection of human rights and the spread of freedom and democracy.
15. We reiterate that greater efforts should be made to preserve and promote the establishment of stable democratic institutions for the full and effective participation of the peoples in the decision making process.
16. We reject any attempt to use double standards and to politicize the issue of human rights aimed at exerting pressure on certain countries.
17. We firmly reject the application of coercive economic measures and unilateral sanctions. The imposition of these measures under whatever pretexts not only impacts adversely on the well-being and daily lives of ordinary people, but which also contradicts with the principles of multilateral free trade.
18. We reiterate that terrorism in Afghanistan is a threat to peace and security in and outsides the country and stress the need to render assistance to the Afghan government in fighting against terrorism and violence.
19. We urge all governments to do their best for the withdrawal of the occupying powers from Iraq, and support all Iraqi people in rebuilding their country.
20. We urge the Asian parliaments to play an active role on the situation in Palestine and Lebanon, which has continuously deteriorated in recent months in breach of the principles of the United Nations Charter, international law and international humanitarian law adversely effecting in achieving a fair and just settlement in the Middle East.
21. We condemn the atrocities perpetrated by Israeli regime during its invasion of Lebanon in June 2006. We also condemn the massacre of civilians particularly women and children by Israeli regime, especially the use by the Israeli army of weapons banned by all international agreements.
22. We note with serious concern the current developments in the Middle East and particularly the Israeli efforts to renew its arsenals and stockpile large amounts of modern weapons and armaments with the support of the United States.
23. We condemn the continued occupation of parts of the Lebanese territory, the continued infringement of the Lebanese sovereignty and also the violation of the UN Security Council resolution 1701 by Israeli regime. We also condemn the Israeli act of dropping millions of cluster bombs over southern Lebanon and hold the Israeli regime responsible for the legal consequences of all its crimes.
24. We reaffirm the right of the Lebanese people to resist the Israeli occupation until the liberations of Shaba farms region and Kafarshuba hills in Lebanon.
25. We urge the Asian parliaments to make every effort through their respective governments to stop aggression and the use of force by Israeli regime against the Palestinian and Lebanese people.
26. We strongly condemn Israeli regime for abducting and detaining the Speaker and members of the Palestine Parliament and call for their immediate and unconditional release.
27. We reiterate the need for cooperation among the Asian States in combating human trafficking; drug trafficking and other transnational organized crimes.