Iran will chair the UN’s US$9 billion plus ‘flagship’ agency working in the area of human rights and the empowerment of women.


JANUARY 17, 2009  –  Claudia Rosett is a journalist-in-residence with the  Foundation for Defense of Democracies. She also writes a weekly column on foreign affairs for Forbes.com. Last year she wrote about Iran.

As she put it:

With Iran racing down the homestretch toward a nuclear bomb, the United Nations Security Council has spent more than two years expressing ‘serious concern.’ By now, Iran is under U.N. sanctions, and in flagrant violation of five Security Council resolutions demanding that it stop enriching uranium. If anything, as a chronic abuser of the U.N. charter, Iran’s despotic, terrorist-backing, nuclear-wannabe regime ought to qualify for expulsion from the 192-member U.N. At the very least, one might suppose that on U.N. premises, Iran would be something of a pariah.

But at the U.N., that’s not how it works. Although Iran lost its bid this year for a seat on the 15-member Security Council, Iran’s government has the U.N. so well-wired, in so many ways, that it’s hard to find an angle Iran is not busy exploiting.

Rosett adds:

Iran, which pays a paltry 0.18% of the U.N.’s core budget, or less than 1/100th of the U.S. contribution, has wangled itself an astounding array of influential U.N. slots, which by next year will include seats on the governing bodies of at least eight prominent U.N. agencies.

As pointed out by UN Watch,  a non-governmental organization based in Geneva whose mandate is to monitor the performance of the United Nations, “the UN General Assembly condemned Iran in December 2007 for its violations against Arabs, Azeris, Baluchis, Kurds, Christians, Jews, Sufis, Sunni Muslims and Baha’is.” Nevertheless, some months later, Iran was given a seat on the UN Durban Preparatory Committee (Prep Com) planning the 2009 UN anti-racism conference.

But it doesn’t end there.

In addition, as incredible as it may seem, it was recently announced that in 2009 Iran will chair the UN’s US$9 billion plus ‘flagship’ agency, The United Nations Development Program, (UNDP), a ‘gem’ of a position, which will substantially increase Iran’s influence, especially in the developing world’s craving for a piece of the nuclear pie.

This is all the more fascinating especially when one reads that the UNDP is the “UN’s global development network, an organization advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help people build a better life and help developing countries attract and use aid effectively.”

UNDP state, “In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women.

“Key features of the work of UNDP in the area of human rights and human security include: support to the development of national human rights action plans; application of the rights-based approach to programming; assistance for human rights initiatives involving civic education, awareness-raising campaigns, strengthening or creation of ombudsman offices and extension of human rights institutions to the sub-national level.”

This Saturday, Associated Press reported that a high-level Iranian cleric, who is head of the Iranian Council of Guardians, “has called for the shooting of Israel’s Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in a speech before worshippers. Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said during Friday prayers that he wanted someone to shoot Livni. ‘Every time the picture of this woman is shown, I really wish that somebody would expend a bullet on her.'”

To repeat: In 2009, Iran will chair the UNs flagship agency dealing with human rights and the empowerment of women.

On January 8, 2009, the Administrator of UNDP, Kemal Derviş, conveyed to the UN Secretary General “his decision not to seek a second term and his wish to leave the position of Administrator on March 1, 2009.”

Claudia Rosett’s article can be read at:



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