Nov 30, -0001

2009 Conference: Human Rights and the Question of Democratisation and Federalism in Iran

In conjunction with Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran (CNFI) UNPO organized a two day programme focusing on the possibility of federalism in Iran to act as a vehicle to combat human rights discrimination against ethnic minorities and populations in peripheral regions. Ahwaz, Southern Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, West Balochistan and Balochistan Members were all present throughout the two days and addressed an audience of academics, activists, specialists and MEPs. A conference declaration was written in the closing session. Speakers included Mr. Marco Cappato MEP; Senator Marco Perduca; Mr. Abdullah Mohtadi, General Secretary of the Komala Party; Mr. Nasser Boladai, spokesperson for CNFI and the BPP, Mr. Karim Abdian, Executive Director of the Ahwaz Human Rights Organization, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Executive Director of the Transatlantic Institute and UNPO Secretary General Mr. Marino Busdachin.


Declaration on Human Rights and the Question of Democratisation and
Federalism in Iran


Brussels, 2 April 2009

  • Delegates welcome the support that the conference, and by extension the campaign for democracy in Iran has received from Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and international civil society.
  • Delegates stress that despite efforts by the Iranian regime to exert pressure on MEPs to boycott the event, the conference marks a significant step forward towards engaging in a free exchange of viewpoints in an open forum.
  • Delegates publically reaffirm their commitment to the unity of Iran and impress upon the
    international community their desire for peaceful, inclusive and domestically driven
    democratisation, and emphatically reject any accusation of separatist intention.
  • Delegates call on Iranian authorities to respect the cultural, economic, linguistic and religious
    rights of all nationalities living within the borders of Iran today, in accordance with the state’s
    international obligations.
  • Delegates urge the international community to support existing and future efforts to establish
    independent mass media broadcasting in the different languages of Iran’s nationalities and to
    facilitate access to international media in support of inclusion, secularism and respect for human
  • Delegates call on the European Union to continue and further its assistance to Iranian civil society
    and commitment to the promotion of universal human rights but also to ensure that such assistance
    is extended to all ethnic and religious communities.
  • Delegates call on the international community to support and promote gender equality and
    collective rights in Iran in acknowledgement of their status as enshrined principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Delegates wish to stress their belief that democracy within Iran cannot be meaningfully exercised
    without considering a multinational, secular, federal solution that ensures adequate representation
    and protection of all Iran’s nationalities and allows for internal self-determination.


The conference declaration has already been signed and supported by the following organizations:

UNPO, Congress of Nationalities for a Federal Iran, Kurdish Bureau, United Bakhtiary & Lorestan Party, Cultural & Civil Society of Khorasani Kurds, Democratic Solidarity Party of Ahwaz, Kurdistan Freedom Party, Balochistan People's Front, Balochistan United Front Federal Republican, Baluchistan National Movement - Iran, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Balochistan Peoples Party, National Movement of Iranian Turkmenistan, Turkmen National Democratic Movement, Organization for Defense of the Rights of Turkmen People, Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, Iran Global, Azerbaijani Federal Democratic Movement


Click on the following links to open the conference documents: Conference Programme Conference Background Paper Biographies of Speakers Abstracts of Speeches Conference Declaration To add your organization's support to the declaration, email [email protected]

Media Coverage:

The Gulf & Middle East Association For Civil Society (English)

The Gulf & Middle East Association For Civil Society (English)


Click on the links below to read speeches, letters or presentations prepared for the conference by various participants. The UNPO is providing a platform for different individuals and groups to express themselves in an effort to create constructive dialogue, but does not neccessarily share the views below.