Iran removed from Commission on the Status of Women

Prime Minister

New Zealand is welcoming the successful removal overnight of Iran from the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women, the first time a member state has been, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The United Nations Economic, Social and Cultural Council has overwhelmingly voted by 29 votes to 8 with 16 countries abstaining to remove Iran from the Commission on the Status of Women, following efforts from countries including New Zealand to take them off the Commission given the serious nature of Iran’s human rights violations, in particular their treatment of women and girls. 

“New Zealand is proud to have played a leading role in the efforts to remove Iran from the Commission,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“I want to acknowledge the work of the Vital Voices Global Partnership who initiated the call for Iran’s removal from the Commission through an open letter in the New York Times. As the only current head of Government to sign the letter, New Zealand then took up the challenge to see the call become reality.

“We reached out to the UN Secretariat to discuss the steps required for this unprecedented action to remove a country from the Commission. Once the wheels were set in motion, our embassy teams around the world lobbied other countries to support the removal of Iran. 

“In recent weeks our embassy teams around the world have lobbied others to support the removal of Iran and I personally raised the issue earlier this week with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

“Additionally the Ministry of Foreign Affairs met with the Iranian Ambassador yesterday to again register New Zealand’s condemnation of Iran’s use of the death penalty and execution of protesters.

“The removal of Iran from the Commission is the right outcome. It was no longer appropriate for them to remain a member, given the degradation of the human rights situation there in recent months and the ongoing violence against women and girls,” Jacinda Ardern said.