Islamic Republic of Iran


Tehran Meeting on Sustainable Development and Job Creation, 26-27 September 2017, Tehran


Tehran, 26-27 July - UNODC Iran and UNODC Vienna in close cooperation with the Drug Control Headquarters of Islamic Republic of Iran held a two day meeting on sustainable development livelihood and job creation in Tehran thanks to the generous funding from the  Government of Federal Republic of Germany. The meeting was opened by high level Iranian officials, including, among others, Dr. Shahindokht Molaverdi, Special Assistant to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran for Citizens Rights.

Thanking the Government of (I.R. of) Iran and the Government of Germany for supporting the initiative, Mr. Alexandre Schmidt, Chief, Regional Section for Europe, West and Central Asia, and UNODC Country Representative in (I.R. of) Iran (a.i.) underlined that "UNODC has been supporting Afghanistan and the wider region in implementing alternative development programmes for decades. Despite security challenges, UNODC continues to work closely with relevant Governmental institutions to support small-scale land stabilization and irrigation projects, as well as agricultural projects and programmes geared towards empowering women." He stressed that, as confirmed by Member States in the outcome document of the UN General Assembly on the World Drug Programme (UNGASS) 2016 alternative development is an essential component of balanced drug control strategies and is an important element of a development-oriented drug control approach closely linked to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The eighty attendees to the meeting included inter alia senior members and experts of the Drug Control Headquarters of Iran; members of academia and research groups commissioned by UNODC Iran for conducting field feasibility research studies in Iran and Afghanistan border provinces from 2016 - 2017; Iranian officials and senior experts from three provinces of Khorasan Razavi, South Khorasan, and Sistan-Baluchestan provinces; Afghan community leaders, non-governmental organizations, research and start-up groups of Iran and Afghanistan; Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) Berlin,  KfW Development Bank of Germany; and members of the Mini-Dublin Group and United Nations in Iran.

The two-day sessions included: (1) presentation of UNODC Iran commissioned "feasibility study for proposed alternative development of sustainable livelihood model: gap analysis, needs & capacity assessment, and road mapping with a glimpse towards future; (2) UNODC Iran commissioned feasibility study "the transformation from an illicit drug-based livelihood to sustainable alternative development". This was followed by Afghan members of research team providing views on Afghan community and farmers requirements in Farah and Herat provinces;  (3) UNODC Iran commissioned feasibility study "overview of small and medium entrepreneurship and enterprise development; prospects for micro-credit projects and women empowerment; (4) "female head of households and women empowerment in Zahedan, Sistan and Baluchistan Province; (5) South Khorasan province border markets and prospects of border zones cooperation and trade between Iran and Afghanistan; (6) Afghan community and business people from border communities of Herat, Ferah, and Nimrouz views on advancement of job creation and trade cooperation with Iran; (7) "GIZ and the German approach to alternative development"; (8) KfW Development Bank, Germany on "Securing Life and Livelihoods in Rural Afghanistan and role of social relationships"; (9) UNODC Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries projects on alternative development and sustainable livelihood activities in Afghanistan and in the Region; (10) Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) alternative livelihood projects in Afghanistan; (11) Afghan women business federation projects for promotion of women welfare and integration of women in the market economy; (12) role of people centered organizations of Iran in achieving inclusive growth and sustainable livelihood; (13) "female head of households and women empowerment in Sistan-Baluchestan; (14) "opportunities and challenges of sustainable development  in Hirmand Region of Sistan"; (15) "potentials for family and women empowerment and job creation for  Iranian and Afghan residents in Khorasan Razavi province"; and (16) "young afghans entrepreneurship and start-ups. 

The participants were divided into a number of working groups during afternoon sessions for in-depth discussions and brainstorming. Group A discussedsmall and medium size entrepreneurship and enterprise; start-ups; and project formulation with a trans-border element promoting sustainable livelihood and job creation in selected border areas; while Group B in day two discussed international cooperation and local community involvement for funding prospects of small and medium size, and micro credit; women empowerment, banks, private sector, international organizations, and aid agencies, financial institutions and governments' cooperation mechanisms.

As a follow-up to the outcomes of Tehran meeting, a number of pilot projects will be developed by UNODC Iran, academia, and border area experts and community leaders for cross-border cooperation on sustainable livelihood and job creation between Iranian and Afghan border communities. The pilot projects will be presented to the international donors, private sector, and international financial institutions and banks for fund raising initiatives under the UNODC Iran Country Partnership Programme.