Ambassador Rice on Elections for the Commission on Population and Development

The United States is deeply disappointed that the United Nations Economic and Social Council voted today to renew Iran’s longstanding membership on the Commission on Population and Development. We vigorously opposed Iran’s last-minute candidacy to extend its current membership, which dates back to 1996. From the very start of the International Conference of Population and Development, Iran has opposed fundamental principles supporting reproductive health, reproductive rights, and women’s empowerment. During negotiations at the April session of the Commission on Population and Development, Iran repeatedly tried to halt or slow progress. In this forum and elsewhere, Iran has made clear its opposition to women’s rights and the freedom for women to make basic choices for themselves. Iran continues to deprive women of basic human rights – including equality before the law and freedom of assembly – endorsed in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights. Iranian membership on the Commission on Population and Development hinders the Commission’s important work, undermines its credibility, and sets back the cause of human rights and development.

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