UN official calls for enhanced environmental cooperation with Iran

TEHRAN – The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Iran, Stefan Brezner, called for strengthening cooperation with Iran in the field of the environment.

Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that in a meeting held on Sunday with the head of the Iranian Ministry of Environment, Ali Selagheh, the two sides stressed the need to expand cooperation in order to solve environmental problems in the region and around the world.

For his part, Salagheh noted the valuable and unique environmental capabilities of Iran, and urged the United Nations to play an effective and professional role in dealing with unilateral and unfair sanctions against the country.

On September 30, 2021, Pressner presented his credentials to Foreign Minister Hossein Amirbad Lahian.

“I am fully committed to building stronger cooperation for sustainable development between the United Nations and the Islamic Republic of Iran,” said Presner.

“My first priority is to increase supplies of the Covid vaccine to help Iran overcome the pandemic that has devastated the lives of so many people around the world. I also encourage the international community to support the Afghan population in Iran in the spirit of global burden-sharing.”

The United Nations presence in Iran consists of 20 specialized agencies, funds and programmes.

Saber Masoumi, Director of Environment and Social Development at the United Nations Development Program in Iran, said in December 2021 that Iran and the United Nations have successful environmental cooperation that should be shared internationally.

The United Nations has two successful experiences, including sustainable development and expansion of environmental management of Lake Urmia and the wetlands of Iran.

He stressed that Iran’s development capabilities are enormous, however, using the experiences of successful countries can facilitate movement.

He considered climate change a serious threat to the world’s future, and stated that combating climate change is a priority for the United Nations and according to expectations, the future will not be satisfactory.

He explained that one of the successful plans that have been implemented in Iran for more than 20 years in cooperation with the United Nations, is the carbon reduction plan, which has achieved important achievements, which were included in the Sixth Development Plan of Iran.

He emphasized that in 2009, a comprehensive management plan for the watersheds of Lake Urmia was signed, and this document was a reference and base for future plans to rehabilitate the water body.

According to the cooperation document signed between the Ministry of the Environment and the United Nations Development Program with financial support from Japan, in order to consolidate the measures taken and popularize the successful achievements and experiences of previous years in reviving Lake Urmia, “the environmental and sustainable livelihoods management development plan in Lake Urmia, Pakhtgan and Shadgan is scheduled to be implemented in the years the next three.

Achim Steiner, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), said the UNDP strongly supports Iran’s environmental and development programs, considering the country’s past remarkable actions.

He made the remarks in a meeting with Director of Iran’s Ministry of Environment Ali Selagheh on the sidelines of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Glasgow, Scotland in November 2021.

We are fully aware of the environmental issues raised in Iran. Given the country’s impressive record in dealing with environmental issues, the United Nations Development Program will certainly support helping to make the world cleaner.

Regarding the lifting of sanctions, Steiner added: “We will do our best to solve the problems that have arisen on the international arena due to US sanctions in order to accelerate development and progress in environmental projects.”

For his part, Salajeh expressed his hope that cooperation will develop, especially in cases where we have not been able to use international facilities in the field of environment due to sanctions.



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