President Rouhani made the remarks in an address to the opening session of the two-day CICA summit which started here Wednesday morning.
President stressed that cementing economic ties among members of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and making joint investments were most effective ways to promote regional convergence.
He said: “The first step on the road to convergence is to choose issues and actions that can readily be agreed upon, that are, expansion of transit and transport corridors, energy cooperation, direct banking cooperation, water resource management and other economic collaborations.
President Rouhani expressing gratitude to leaders in Turkey for their invaluable efforts during their presidency, he also congratulates China assuming the presidency of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building in Asia, expressed confident that under Presidency of China, CICA will take major steps to promote dialogue and cooperation among member states and will strengthen the deserved role that member states play in reinforcing peace and stability — both regionally and globally.
President also pointed that structural transform of this Conference into an effective organization is a path filled with ups and downs. Nevertheless, it is vital to take initial steps to strengthen interactions with other regional and trans-regional organizations and arrangement in Asia. We in CICA need to promote greater cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ECO, and with other organizations and regional arrangements.
President further pointing out that in pursuit of common human aspirations, Asia’s ancient human, religious and moral achievements should never be ignored or under estimated ,stated: ‘None of these achievements, I suggest, are permanently immune from the onslaught of self-interest, avarice and immorality pursued by those who seek their self-interests at the expense of others, those whose interest lie in unilateralism, violence and extremism; targeting people’s livelihood by resorting to economic restrictions and unilateral sanctions. Such illegitimate policies seek no goal other than preserving the hegemony of domineering powers.
President stressed: ‘Such approach, if not controlled, would lead to gross violation of human rights, violence, extremism, blind terrorism and destructive confrontation of extremist religious, ethnic and racial identities; creating room for resorting to domination and threats as means of advancing foreign policy.’
Dr.Rouhani said: ‘This notion and the need to protect these achievements, compelled me to table the idea of “World Against Violence and Extremism” in the 68th UNGA to help reach an age in which words have replaced weapons, wisdom has replaced intimidation and security and stability sit in place of destruction and corruption. I am pleased that as cosponsors of the resolution, a large number of CICA members are working to keep Asia – as the cradle of the world’s largest religions and schools of thought – a land in which violence and extremism are abhorred.’
President expressed hope this resolution, which was adopted by consensus, alongside other valued CICA documents, will come to serve as a basis for our future efforts.
In another part of his speech, the president said: ‘Durable peace and security can only be achieved through the promotion of a culture of prudent moderation, tolerance and dialogue. As statesmen and representatives of our nations if we abide by these requirements we can then hope for others to choose this method and set foot on this path. To enhance this culture, the political, religious and social elites — unencumbered by color or allegiance — must be better educated about the rights and dignity of human beings. In this context, CICA can help organize meetings to promote confidence and dialogue on various issues of significance, in its agenda.
Dr. Rouhani outlined bolstering economic ties and joint investment schemes between CICA members can effectively help with regional convergence in a globalized economy, added that Joint economic projects and investment schemes can bolster greater Asian integration.
President then pointing to the need for cooperation and joint action by members of this honorable forum to eradicate the horrendous danger posed by WMDs to peace and human security, stated: ‘As I stated in my statement, delivered on behalf of NAM to the 1st UN High Level Meeting on Nuclear Disarmament, the only way to stop the threat posed by such weapons is their complete destruction. Subsequently, the UNGA adopted a resolution that serves as a roadmap to achieve this goal. It is necessary for member states of this august forum to work closer together and help realize the goals of that resolution and by doing so cement Asia’s role in creating a world free from nuclear weapons.
President reiterated: ‘In this context, based on its defense doctrine and its ethical and religious convictions, the Islamic Republic of Iran opposes nuclear weapons. However, it believes Iran and other countries are entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear technology and by choosing a win-win approach, which is free of excessive demands and threats, ongoing negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program can reach a final agreement that guarantees Iran’s nuclear rights and at the same time allays the legitimate concerns of parties to the negotiation.’
President also considering the declaration on the objectives and principles of CICA in mind, pointed to the human tragedy that has unfolded in Syria, said: “The crisis whose flames are stoked by certain regional and international actors who funnel weapons and intelligence to and embolden the extremist groups.
President stressed: ‘Undoubtedly, continued insecurity and instability in that country can spill over the borders and adversely affect CICA members with its terrorist extremism. Establishment of peace and calm in Syria is dependent on creation of the necessary conditions for a national dialogue and understanding between the government of Syria and all relevant groups in the country who are committed to nonviolent methods and seek security and stability for their country.’
In another part of his speech on the Palestine issue, president said: ‘Palestine is another close security concern. To raise the international community’s awareness about the deplorable condition of the Palestinian people, UNGA has named 2014 as the “Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People”. In light of this and in the current year, it behooves this august forum to be more attentive to the plight of Palestinians and the pain and suffering the occupation of their motherland has inflicted on them. The international community must fulfill its responsibility and help restore the rights of Palestinians so that this structural violence is rectified as soon as possible.