After two decades of rigorous work, the Iranian Association for UN Studies (IAUNS) – a non-governmental organization and scientific association in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations- is now ready to take a further step in its contribution to international academic and policy debates about the doctrinal content and institutional infrastructure of our field. With the ambition to shape and sometimes challenge the current discourse on international law and politics about the United Nations and the UN System, the Iranian Review for UN Studies (IRUNS), as the journal of the IAUNS, seeks to provide a venue for both new and traditional voices that speak of the theory and practice of the United Nations, international law, and international relations.
The IRUNSopens its pages to all scholars around the world, in Iran and beyond, to share their thoughts and ideas on the mandate, work, achievements and shortcomings of the UN and its specialized agencies from the perceptive of international law and international relations. Naturally, it is not the purpose of the journal to revive a developing-world approach to international law or the work of the United Nations; however, specific issues or articles in the IRUNS may reflect the Iranian way of thinking to international law as well as international relations.
As an active participant at the San Francisco Conference and a founding Member State of the United Nations, Iran has always played an important role in the work of the UN. At the same time, the United Nations has profoundly affected the history of Iran and our region, by taking important decisions such as the UN Security Council Resolution no. 2 (1946) on “The Iranian Question”, Resolution no. 598 (1987) on Iran-Iraq war or the recent Resolution no. 2231 (2015) on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Iranian scholars and academic societies, while knowing that the initial idea of establishing the international organizations such as the UN is rooted in the West, believe that their participation in debates about the future of the UN is also necessary because it is the outcome of these debates that contributes to the further developments of international law. Thus, while International scholars, including Iranians, can make valuable contributions to areas where institutional norms, recognized doctrine and settled precedent are less evolved, the IRUNS would add an important voice to the ongoing discussions about the principles and values that ought to govern the Organization in the future.
For these reasons, the IAUNS is determined to participate in the articulation of future visions of our world by publishing this journal in English, which is among the first experiences of its kind in Iran. This is, of course, not a question of mere academic interest; rather it is our professional responsibility to promote the dialogue for the rule of law, sustainable peace, development and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.
We have included eight articles in this first issue which have been carefully selected through a double-blind peer review process. We invite our fellow researchers and scholars from around the world to engage with this issue of the IRUNS and also to join us in our efforts to enhance the possibilities of realizing peace and justice for all. Finally we extend our appreciation to the contributors of this issue.
Djamchid Momtaz Mohammad Reza Ziaii Bigdeli