During the 15th NAM ministerial meeting in Tehran in 2008, the NAM member states agreed that a center for human rights and cultural diversity would be opened in Iran.
A number of NAM members’ representatives and foreign ambassadors to Tehran attended the opening ceremony.
The Iranian deputy foreign minister for international and legal affairs, Mohammad Mahdi Akhoundzadeh, gave a short speech during the ceremony.
“We believe that all countries with diverse cultures should work together for the cause of peace and justice,” the deputy foreign minister said.
“This local center is a place for bringing various cultures and religions closer to each other and aims to promote peace and justice in the world,” he stated.
He went on to say that many countries including Iran have been the victim of the politicization of human rights, emphasizing that Iran has always played a leading role in promoting human values.
He added that hopefully the well-wishers and scholars will come together at the center to exchange views and formulate the universal principles of human rights.
Akhoundzadeh also attended a press conference after the opening ceremony and commented on the ongoing developments in the Middle East and North Africa.
“These developments revealed (certain countries’) contradictory approach toward human rights while people expect the governments to adopt an unbiased approach toward this issue,” he told reporters.
Elsewhere in his remarks, the deputy foreign minister said that the NAMCHRCD’s plans will be announced during the meeting of Non-Aligned Movement foreign ministers, which will be held in Bali next month.
NAMCHRCD director Kamran Hashemi also announced on the sidelines of the ceremony that the center plans to hold a conference on human rights in 2011.