Topic: Environment, Education, Health, and Refugees
The environment in Iran is varied since the climate is so diverse being that “Iran is mountainous, the Zagros Mountains bisect the country from north-west to south-east...Rimming the Caspian Sea are the Alborz Mountains”. The northern environment is susceptible to heavy snowfall and subfreezing. Iran environment also consists of tropical areas as well as arid regions with plateaus spanning across central Iran. “The eastern part of the plateau is covered by two salt deserts, the Dasht-e Kavir (Great Desert) and the Dasht-e Lut (Barren Desert).” Iran’s environmental resources are “extensive and include petroleum and natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, and sulphur… such as limited natural freshwater resources, soil erosion, deforestation, and overgrazing..Air pollution in Tehran poses a major urban environmental threat and far exceeds the standards set by the World Health Organization”. The issues that are brought up are both artificially created and also occur organically and thus must be addressed as such.
The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the education of its citizens to be of the utmost priority. It acknowledges the importance of completing years spent in both primary and high school education, as well as at a university following the completion of these (Hazari). Iran prides itself on producing a learning environment centered around Islam and its text, the Quran. “As of September 2015, 93% of the Iranian adult population are literate. In 2008, 85% of the Iranian adult population were literate, well ahead of the regional average of 62%. This rate increases to 97% among young adults (aged between 15 and 24) without any gender discrepancy” (“Education in Iran”). Iran recognises the need for this extensive form of education in order to benefit the population and all citizens to properly contribute to the economy. Over half of the Iranian population ages 18-24 is enrolled in some form of higher education (Malekzadeh). The Islamic Republic of Iran has made great advancements in terms of the education of women, for it recognises the need for equal opportunities among both genders (“The Iranian Educational System”). Also, it has recently made impressive expansions in its available spots for new students, growing it from just over 383,000 in 2005 to 1.1 million in 2011 to account for the increase in graduating students (Malekzadeh). The Islamic Republic of Iran hopes that it can discuss the issues centred around education with the fellow delegates present.
The Islamic Republic of Iran has both struggles and great achievements in the health system. Among these notable aspects, the government of Iran provides a governmentally funded health system in even the rural parts of the community, thus contributing to the 90 percent of the population covered under some form of health plan or insurance. Although about fifty to fifty five per cent of health costs under insurance are not covered.All students and military personnel are provided with health care from The Social Security Organization, one of the largest health care providers. One struggle with the Islamic Republic of Iran is inattention to malnutrition especially in the community level and disparity provinces. According to Iran’s Ministry of Health and Medical Education “11 per cent of children below the age of five from Kerman province are underweight. In Sistan and Baluchestan, the figure increases to 16 per cent” (UNICEF). However, the general health status of Iran has been recognized for its immense improvement over the previous years.
The Islamic Republic of Iran remains the host for one of the greatest refugee populations in not only the Middle East but the world. As of December of 2014, Iran held 982,085 refugees on their land; 117,101 of which originated from the Islamic Republic of Iran. While this refugee population is still among the greatest in regional and global standards, this number has decreased immensely since 2002. Between 2002 and 2014, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees aided 918,263 refugees return to their country of origin, Afghanistan and 30,349 refugees have been assisted in returning home since 2003. Despite great efforts to reduce refugee populations in Iran since 2002 and 2003, this population had nearly rebuilt itself in 2013 and 2014. This population increase is largely due to economic downfalls and internal sanctions disabling or hindering the assistance of the UNHCR. Many other refugee programs are funded and provided by the Iranian government and semi-governmental organizations partially due to the lack in funds from the UNHCR (in comparison to those in other countries)in supporting refugees in Iran. Although the Iranian government has provided a place of refuge for many Afghan refugees, it has provided no such asylum for victims of the Syrian Civil War, despite Iran’s involvement in this crisis in Syria and support of the Assad government whose actions in Syria have lead to the displacement of many. In addition to this, Iran has recently been denying refuge to many Afghan refugees in addition to assisting them in their return to their home country. Where the Iranian government faces a challenge is in the diversity of the refugee population. In sustaining a refugee population with many spans of diversity such as “ethnicity, religion, social status, language, gender, political affiliation, education, legal status, and timing and motivation for departure (ranging from political to sociocultural to economic)” (Hakimzadeh). there is great difficulty in accommodating so many unique peoples. Hence the development of injustices and opposition with some neighboring states such as Afghanistan. This is one of the main elements The Islamic Republic of Iran would like to address within this conference.
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