'Safeguarding multilateralism Iran's top priority'

TEHRAN, Jun. 01 (MNA) – Addressing the 2nd PAECO conference, the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly named opposition to unilateralism and safeguarding multilateralism as the top priorities of Iran.

The Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf addressed at the opening of the second conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO).

The second general conference of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Economic Cooperation Organization (PAECO) has just begun in Pakistan with the speech of Asad Qaiser, the speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly of Pakistan, and Imran Khan, the Prime Minister of the country.

Parliamentary Committees of the member states will discuss issues such as the coronavirus pandemic, the facilitation of transit trade and tourism in the ECO region.

The two-day conference is attended by the parliamentary heads from Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan Republic, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

Hadi Soleimanpour, the Iranian Secretary General of ECO, will also speak at the opening and closing sessions of the program.

Here is the full text of Ghalibaf's speech:

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

As-Salam Alaykum

His ExcellencyAsad Qaiser, Honorable Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan

First of all, I would like to appreciate Your Excellency and your esteemed colleagues in the Parliament of Pakistan for hosting as an also decent organization of this summit. I would also like to thank His Excellency for extending me an invitation to participate in this important meeting.

As you have already learned, I had made arrangements for a trip to Pakistan to physically attend the important PAECO Summit, as well as for official bilateral meetings with high-ranking officials of the friendly and brotherly country of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. However, due to the health considerations and restrictions imposed by the National Covid-19 Taskforce, I have now attended this meeting in a virtual manner and I hope that the world will be relieved of this sinister virus as soon as possible. God willing, I will be traveling to Islamabad at the earliest opportunity.
 

Honorable Speakers of the Assemblies of the ECO Member States,

Distinguished MPs,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Eco-region, with an area of ​​8 million square kilometers and a population of nearly half a billion people, is rich in divine blessings and bounties. This important region boasts massive natural and human resources and unique geographical location, connecting Europe to China and the Far East while linking Russia and Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, the Sea of ​​Oman, and the Indian Ocean. 
In addition, we should note the deep cultural and historical ties between the nations of the ECO region, which have provided unparalleled capacity and capital for economic development and the promotion of the welfare of the people of the region and their spiritual growth and excellence.

Today, the ECO Parliamentary Assembly has given us, as representatives of the people of the Member States, the opportunity to assist our governments in achieving the ECO's lofty goals with effective legal and regulatory support. The smart choice of the theme of this meeting, that is, "promoting parliamentary participation with the aim of regional integration", is a valuable opportunity to take great steps in this direction, God willing.

It is gratifying that in recent years appropriate measures have been adopted to develop economic cooperation within the framework of ECO. However, despite the valuable efforts taken to build the necessary infrastructure and diversify institutionalization in ECO, the achievements are not commensurate with the potentials and things are sluggish. Undoubtedly, this summit will provide an important opportunity for consultation, exchange of views, and remedial of shortcomings and triggering a dynamic and forward-looking movement.

Mr. Chairman,

Dear colleagues,

I would like to point out that the current century belongs to Asia and the Islamic Republic of Iran while maintaining balance and keeping proportion in its foreign relations with different parts of the world, maintains a special view of its neighbors and the historical, civilizational, and religious continent of Asia, where we all live.

With a proper understanding of the role of parliaments and the position of parliamentary diplomacy in strengthening relations between countries and deepening international cooperation in the field of Asia and ECO, I emphasize that the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, from the very beginning, warmly welcomed and supported the proposal of Pakistan National Assembly to establish ECO and immediately kick-started the internal process of approving its statute.

Today, the ECO Parliamentary Assembly is not only a platform for regional parliamentary diplomacy through dialogue, consensus, synergy, and alignment of the national parliaments of the member states, but it will also be able to create a new space for parliamentarians at the level of our important area.

We believe that PAECO, while building a parliamentary network, can consult and interact with its counterparts in other ECO member countries and provide the necessary parliamentary support for regional cooperation, especially in the harsh economic context of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Undoubtedly, the development of such a mechanism will not only benefit the governments of the member states in accepting commitments within the framework of parliamentary support but also will further encourage the private sector of the countries in terms of participation in projects and cooperation in the region.

Esteemed Audience,

Opposition to unilateralism and safeguarding multilateralism are important priorities of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran. Also, the collective efforts of aligned countries to achieve a just and non-discriminatory international economic system and through it, to achieve economic growth, balanced development, welfare and well-being of the people, preservation of national and religious values ​​and cultures, and securing appropriate positions in international relations have always been supported by the representatives of the people in the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran. From this perspective, the ECO and its activities are supported by us.

Esteemed Colleagues,

The Islamic Consultative Assembly has used and will utilize all its legislative capacities to assist the private and public sectors of Iran to play a more active and effective role in the framework of ECO cooperation; And is fully prepared to actively participate in the implementation of the agreements reached to make the ECO Parliamentary Assembly as effective as possible.

In this regard, I would like to make a few suggestions using the opportunity of this summit:

First, In addition to its periodic meetings, PAECO should take advantage of the opportunity to hold other parliamentary sessions at the regional and global levels to further promote ECO cooperation. Certainly, this will be important in the flourishing of the Assembly as much as possible. My colleagues are ready to actively assist and cooperate in the formulation of instructions for this purpose.

Second, ECO member parliaments, and in particular the ECO Parliamentary Assembly, can respond to organized Islamophobia acts that, in addition to targeting the transcendent values ​​and dignity of Islam, have prompted widespread negative economic and developmental implications for Islamic countries and ECO member countries, show collective reactions and provide the necessary legislative support to the victims of such evil conspiracies.

Third, We believe that serious cooperation and participation should be organized in the development of intra-regional trade and development of cooperation in areas such as transportation and transit, energy, agriculture, important issues of environment, science and technology, and tourism to achieve the goals of the organization.

Fourth, We all believe that the development of trade and the deepening of cooperation in the region requires the establishment of mechanisms to facilitate trade between members by facilitating customs, financial, and banking regulations, as well as paying serious attention to the high capacity of the private sector. It is therefore important to find a mechanism to further facilitate the private sector activity of ECO member countries.

Fourth, We all believe that the development of trade and the deepening of cooperation in the region requires the establishment of mechanisms to facilitate trade between members by facilitating customs, financial, and banking regulations, as well as paying serious attention to the high capacity of the private sector. It is therefore important to find a mechanism to further facilitate the private sector activity of ECO member countries.

Fifth, The active participation of member countries in the efficiency of existing ECO institutions such as the Development and Trade Bank, reinsurance, chamber of commerce, and the ECO Standards Institute, can play an important role in achieving the goals of this organization.

Sixth, Non-economic mechanisms should also be incorporated in the context of ECO. Such mechanisms can play an important role in establishing and strengthening economic relations and cooperation between member countries. Noteworthy among these are the important mechanisms such as the ECO Parliamentary Assembly, the ECO Anti-Corruption Regional Center, ECOPOL (ECO Police) which is under development, the forthcoming ECO Judicial Cooperation mechanism, and the Regional Anti-Drug Trafficking Cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In recent days, the world has witnessed a repeat of the widespread crimes of the fake Israeli regime against the Palestinian people, especially the killing of women and children. Fortunately, in the last 12 days of resistance of the Palestinian people, nations, countries and even many Islamic states stepped in and supported the oppressed and Mujahid people of Palestine in every possible way. This resistance to the Zionist attempts to seize Al-Aqsa Mosque, the first Qibla of the Muslims, and to counter the Judaization of Al-Quds ended with the defeat of Tel Aviv and the Zionists' demand for a ceasefire.

Last week, we held a parliamentary session of the Palestinian Special Committee of Islamic Countries in Tehran, attended by representatives of the parliaments of Islamic member states. The participants stressed the need to support Palestine and bring to justice the perpetrators of genocide and Zionist apartheid-based behavior.

To conclude, I would like to emphasize that the Islamic Republic of Iran, as one of the founders of ECO, will spare no effort in strengthening the bond between its members and boost its capabilities. In this regard, the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran, as the Assembly of Representatives of the Iranian nation registers its readiness to remove legal barriers and facilitate the cooperation of members to achieve the goals of the ECO.

Mr. Chairman,

I avail this opportunity to express the readiness of the Islamic Consultative Assembly to host the next PAECO Summit in Tehran.

Thank you again to Your Excellency and colleagues in both the National Assembly and Senate of Pakistan for hosting and putting in excellent arrangements for this important meeting.

Thanks for your attention
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh

HJ/

News Code 174252

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