SCO can be turned into driving force for multilateralism

TEHRAN, Sep. 17 (MNA) – Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi said that Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) can be turned into a driving force for global unilateralism.

Speaking on Friday at the 21st Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi said, "Strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially in the field of economy is an important factor in improving the strategic role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in global economy".

President's speech is as follows:

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

His Excellency Mr. Emomali Rahmon, Honorable President of the Republic of Tajikistan,

Distinguished Presidents and Prime Ministers,

Mr. Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,

Distinguished heads of high-level delegations,

Dear guests,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Emomali Rahmon, President of the beautiful and cultural country of Tajikistan and the people of Tajikistan for the warm hospitality and hosting of this summit and the very good planning done during his tenure in the organization.

I take this opportunity to congratulate all the honorable members on the occasion of the twentieth anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and I hope that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will continue its proud path, which has made it a distinguished regional and international organization in a short time.

Let me express my satisfaction for attending this important and influential meeting, which is one of the few opportunities for dialogue to ensure real peace and cooperation at the regional level, and I sincerely thank all the esteemed members for the permanent membership of Islamic Iran.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Cultural development is the first agenda of cooperation between civilized countries. Most of the world's cultural and spiritual treasury is located in Asia. Asia is the cradle of human civilization and its beating heart has been in China, India, Tajikistan and Iran. Asian culture and civilization have always been associated with harmony, patience, politeness, mutual respect and benevolence, and in a nutshell, wisdom and justice. The greatest Abrahamic religions have arisen in Asia.

Spirituality is the eternal need of humanity and what today's man has lost. The crisis of spirituality is the foundation of all crises in the world. Monopolies, violence and human rights abuses are manifestations of the consequences of staying away from spirituality; Iran can play an important role in the development of cultural regionalism.

Excellencies,

When I took over the presidency of the Islamic Republic, I introduced my foreign policy orientation as focusing on "economic multilateralism" and strengthening "neighborhood policy" in its broadest sense, and strengthening its presence in regional organizations.

The combination of the Eurasia and One Road-One Belt initiatives can be an objective realization of this approach, and the vast potential of the Islamic Republic of Iran in terms of geopolitics, population, energy, transportation, human resources, and most importantly spirituality, culture and civilization can cause a significant stimulus to this outlook. This region has had a great cohesion throughout history, and the restoration of this cohesion is one of the features of the Shanghai Pact and emphasized by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Asia is a land rich in civilizations and values. Asia's role in the international stage requires maintaining harmony between its nations and civilizations. Iran strengthens the harmony among Asian nations and civilizations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The world has entered a new era. Hegemony and unilateralism are declining. The international system is changing towards the polarization and redistribution of power in favor of independent states. At present, world peace and security are threatened by hegemony and challenges such as terrorism, extremism and separatism; threats targeting a wide range of countries around the world, especially members and partners of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

As in the not-so-distant past, Asia is at the center of global change. Maintaining and strengthening peace in this vast area is not a choice but a necessity. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its "governing spirit" - mutual trust, common interests, equality, mutual consultation, respect for cultural diversity and common development - are key tools for maintaining peace in the 21st century.

Peace and development are achieved through the cooperation and coordination of key countries in the region. In this direction, the formation and strengthening of infrastructure bonds between different countries is important and necessary. The One Belt-One Road Initiative, the Eurasian Economic Union and the North-South Corridor, as key projects in the field of infrastructural links, can play a role in strengthening the common interests of developing countries and strengthening peace in the region. These projects are not competitors, but complement each other.

Iran is the link between the above three infrastructure projects. Iran could be the connecting link between South and North Eurasia through the North-South Corridor, connecting Central Asia and Russia to India. The north-south corridor can strengthen the convergence infrastructure in the form of the "Great Eurasia". Iran is on the route of One Belt-One Road Initiative corridors, the China-Central Asia-West Asia Corridor, and could connect East and West Eurasia. Also, Iran's large port of Chabahar has the capacity to become an exchange center for several member and neighboring countries in a special way, which with the efforts of members can be a symbol of cooperation of all members of the Shanghai Organization.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran has always been based on active participation in international organizations, multilateralism and opposition to unilateralism based on justice, cooperation, mutual respect and the need to play a constructive role in facing international and regional challenges.

Today, the international system faces many challenges and problems that cannot be solved by one government alone. The first challenge is the corona pandemic, which not only targets the health of the nations of the world but also has significant social, economic, political and security consequences. We appreciate the efforts of the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, especially China, Russia and India, for assisting in the global vaccination, and we appreciate it in contributing to the spirit of international cooperation. Any disruption to the process of helping human health through global vaccination under the pretext of sanctions is against human rights and is in fact crimes against humanity. Solving this problem strongly requires international cooperation, and the members of the Shanghai Pact have great potential in this field, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to actively cooperate in this field.

Sanctions or economic terrorism is another challenge that has become the most important tool of the hegemons to impose their will on others. Sanctions or economic terrorism are key obstacles to promoting regional harmony. The SCO needs to design structures and mechanisms for a collective response to sanctions. Unilateral sanctions are not limited to one country but, as it has become clear in recent years, include more independent countries, especially members of the Organization. It is important and necessary to design mechanisms for collective confrontation with unilateral sanctions in the framework of this organization.

On the other hand, insecurity hinders development and terrorism hinders sustainable economic growth. With a history of more than 40 years of relentless confrontation and fight against terrorism and extremism, the Islamic Republic of Iran has rendered worthy services for the realization of peace and justice in the West Asian region. We have been allies of Iraq and Syria in fighting ISIL and other terrorist movements. The strategic partnership between Iran and Russia in the fight against terrorism and extremism in Syria is a valuable experience and a successful model for future cooperation with other regional and supra-regional partners. I extend my hand of cooperation to all countries participating in this Summit for the realization of peace and alliance in the fight against terrorism and extremism. We need collective action to ensure security and justice as key infrastructures for development and progress. Unfortunately, more than two decades of US show-fighting terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq have resulted in the loss of many opportunities for the two countries to provide security and prosperity for their people. The United States has been exporting this unsuccessful model to Syria for several years. The centers for US' military presence in Syria are the most insecure and unstable parts in the country.

The Islamic Republic of Iran believes in common security and does not consider security to be segregated.

The way to ensure common security is an indigenous way, which is possible only with the participation of regional powers and without foreign intervention.

Dear colleagues

The responsibility for the situation in Afghanistan lies entirely with the United States and its allies during this period. But we, the countries of the region, must create the conditions for the people of Afghanistan to overcome their problems and chart a path to a secure future. The Islamic Republic believes that this will be achieved only through the assistance of the countries of the region to the effective participation of all ethnic groups in the future governance of Afghanistan. Naturally, the countries of the region have only a facilitating role. Foreign intervention in Afghanistan adds to the problems and, ultimately, leads to instability in that country.

Accordingly, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to devote all its efforts to the establishment of an inclusive, comprehensive and independent government in Afghanistan, and rush to their aid like all these difficult years that we have been with our Afghan brothers and sisters. However, I would like to emphasize that the realization of such a goal cannot be achieved by any country alone and requires joint and organized work in the form of regional mechanisms.

Ensuring the rights of the Iranian people in the area of ​​a peaceful nuclear program is a guarantee of the common interests of developing countries. Nothing can stop Iranian's peaceful nuclear activities, which are carried out within the framework of international regulations. Diplomacy is one of the means of securing the national interests of countries, but diplomacy is effective when all parties adhere to it in practice. Threats and pressure weaken diplomacy and tie its hands. Unfortunately, some parties think that they can use diplomacy as a tool to threaten and pressure diplomacy in their own favor, while with this trick, they practically remove diplomacy from the table and make it ineffective.

The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the lifting of sanctions to be the inalienable right of the Iranian people and does not consider any process that violates this right to be in the interests of the Iranian people. The Islamic Republic of Iran, while respecting the independent actions of the SCO member states and the non-recognition of US' unilateral sanctions and non-compliance with its illegal sanctions policies, considers strengthening bilateral cooperation, especially in the economic field, as an important factor in promoting the SCO strategic role in the global economy.

Excellencies;

Finally, I would like to express the attention of the members of the organization to the need to cooperate on environmental issues in issues such as technology development, post-corona cooperation, cyber security, public diplomacy and strong communication with the people and dealing with organized crime, drugs and terrorism.

I believe that the members of the Shanghai Organization, relying on their deep-rooted history of civilization, can establish existing methods for achieving and promoting peace and security based on diplomacy and comprehensive interaction based on justice and spirituality.

I once again thank and appreciate the esteemed President of Tajikistan. I wish happiness and prosperity to the government and people of this country and congratulate Uzbekistan on its presidency of the organization, and at the end I once again sincerely thank all the honorable members for supporting the permanent membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran and appreciate the honorable Presidents of Tajikistan, the President of Russia Mr Putin and the President of China.

Peace be upon you and God's mercy and blessings

Thank you

MA/President.IR

News Code 178754

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