Iranian President asks UN, FAO to speed up efforts for poverty elimination


Rome : President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said here that the FAO and the UN should play a more active role in the elimination of poverty.

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“All plans offered by FAO for poverty eradication only serve as a `tranquilizer.’ We believe the UN and FAO should play a more active role in tackling the crises, otherwise the domineering powers will take the role and turn global conditions in their own favour to the extent that the `tranquilizers’ too will have no effect,” he said in a meeting with UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon on the sidelines of the UN food summit here.

Ahmadinejad, noting that Iran carefully studies the FAO plan of action for food security, hoped for narrowing down and uprooting poverty.

He also asked the UN to actively deal with the Iraq problem. “The country has been occupied for years and hundreds of its defenceless citizens are killed daily. Under such conditions, the UN should play an active role,” he said.

Ahmadinejad said Iran suffers the most from insecurity in Iraq and “that’s why we support peace and stability there.”

He said that today, the Iraqi people are not happy with the presence of the occupiers in their land, so a timetable should be set for foreign troop pullout from the country.

He also proposed lifting the UN Charter’s seventh chapter sanctions to help the legal and popular government of Iraq and help economic development of the country.

The Iranian president also said Iran is ready to help restore peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The Iranian chief executive then pointed to Lebanon and said the the Lebanese should decide their fate. “All should help restore stability in the country.”

Ahmadinejad also described the US political pressures on Iran over the nuclear issue as “illegal and unjustified” and said Iran will never accept any illegal demand.

Also referring to Iran’s packages of proposal to certain countries as well as the UN, Ahmadinejad said Iran does not fear the least from certain powers’ threats, while not trusting the function of international organisations either because the powers have always exploited the organisations in their own favour.

He said Iran has asked for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council some time ago after 50 years and the request is scheduled to be studied in November. “The way it (the membership bid) will be treated is a test for the UN.”

Ahmadinejad voiced support for the UN Chief’s measures and said all the people in the world are entitled to peace and stability.

The UN Chief for his part thanked Ahmadinejad for his proposals to the FAO meeting and hoped that the world leaders will be able to address the short- and long-term objectives in food security worldwide because “we need practical measures.”

He said countries can draw up strategies within the framework of the action plan to meet their objectives in terms of food security.

He also thanked Iran for its help with regards to the Iraqi issue.

He hoped that stability will be restored in Lebanon through contribution of all countries, including Iran.

He then urged continued cooperation between Iran and the IAEA and said: “While welcoming Iran’s proposed package, we consider peaceful use of nuclear energy as the country’s legal right.”