In the verge of UN septuagenarian, Iranian Association for United Nation Studies with cooperation of the Association’s Student Committee and the UN Information Center in Tehran held a discussion session with the presence of Mr. Gary Lewis- UNDP Resident Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran- and a number of students and scholars to evaluate the performance of the so-called organization, on Sunday, October 26, 2014 from 16 to 18 in the United Nation Information Center.
At the beginning of the meeting, Dr. Nasrin Mosaffa –the president of the Iranian Association for United Nation Studies- by mentioning the close and continuous relations between the Association and the UN Information Center in Tehran, stated that holding this meeting as an opportunity for the direct question and answer with the UNDP Resident Representative in Iran is a novel innovation in the Association's activities.
The participants asked their questions regarding the UN issues both in Iran and in International level, as follow:
A. Domestic Issues in Iran
To answer a question concerning the UN measures in order to save the Urmia Lake, Mr. Gary Lewis illustrated the details of the matter and current environmental challenges in Iran and mentioned the UNDP's endeavors, his appointments with Iranian authorities, including the president of the Iranian Department of Environment, and visiting Urmia Lake. He declared that UN will do all possible effort to protect the Urmia lake as well as to avoid the escalation of its situation.
Regarding a question on activities of the UN Information Center in Tehran, he clarified the very momentous role of this center, its undertaken activities and especially its cooperation with NGOs in Iran.
Mr. Lewis also replied to the questions on the correlation between the UN Resident Centers in Tehran with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its effect on performance of these centers as well as the Iran’s relationships with the UN Secretary-General.
By mentioning the positive role of Iran, as well as its cooperation with UN bodies in Tehran, he indicated the widespread activities of this organization in Iran, especially in last recent years. He also evaluated the mutual relations between the UN-dependent bodies and the Islamic Republic of Iran positive and constructive. In this regard, the resident representative of the UNDP in Tehran by expressing his uncertainty in decrease of the activities of the UN institutions and programs in Tehran, which had been declared by one of the participants, emphasized on the increasing growth of these programs in previous years.
B. International Issues
Another part of the participant's questions allocated to the UN function in International arena. The UN role in promoting international law, Middle East crises and the activities of the terrorist groups, recognition of States, and amendment of the UN Charter were some of the questions proposed in this part.
Mr. Lewis acknowledged the role and importance of holding the sessions, conferences, and different academic and practical programs by UN-dependent bodies in order to enhance the accurate understanding and comprehension of International law.
Regarding the amendment of the UN Charter, he also stated different dimensions of the charter and accentuated on necessity of this issue in the context of this Charter.
As to recognition of States and the role of United Nations in this regard, the UNDP Resident Representative in Tehran concentrated on recognition of States in the UN procedure according to the maximal membership of States in UN as well as the status of the UN charter in international arena.