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Six-nation Speakers Conference held in Islamabad

25 December, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: The six-nation Speakers Conference Sunday adopted a 29-point ‘Islamabad Declaration’ of partnership for regional peace, development and connectivity.

The moo, convened on the initiative of Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, was also attended by Speaker of Wolisi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Rauf Ibraheemi, Speaker of Shoora-e-Islami of Iran Dr Ali Larejani, Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia Volodin Vyacheslav Viktorovich, Speaker of Grand Turkish Assembly Ismail Kehrman and Vice Chairman of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Ping along with their respective parliamentary delegations.

They discussed the significance of peace, development and connectivity among the participating states and held in-depth and useful discussions to explore ways for forging a partnership in mutually reinforcing areas.

The conference recognized that peace was a prerequisite for achieving development and promoting connectivity among the countries and respective regions, agreeing on the need for more engagement and dialogue among the parliaments, government and the people.

The speakers also deliberated on the diversity and interconnectedness of challenges and opportunities at the regional and global levels, besides discussing the transformation of the world into a pluralistic multi-polar world where Asia was leading the march towards globalization through inclusive cooperation with the rejection of hegemonic approach or use of force, promoting equality of opportunities for all nations and peoples.

Speakers of the international conference acknowledged the shared bonds of history, culture and values between the peoples of the participating countries, reiterating common resolve to comprehensively the relations across all security, economy and trade.

They noted with concern the increasing links between drug trafficking and other forms of transnational organized crime and terrorism.

The moot desired to maintain the momentum of high level exchanges and consultations, providing impetus for deepening of ties among the countries.

The speakers stressed that cooperation among the states contributed to the strengthening of peace, prosperity and stability for the peoples living in the region, expressing satisfaction on multilateral cordial and close cooperation at regional and multilateral forums.

They agreed to further strengthen collaboration within the framework of the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other regional and international organizations, reaffirming the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity among the participating states.

The conference endorsed that connectivity was a key priority area of cooperation, together with other agreed priority areas.

It reaffirmed support for the effective and timely implementation of all the regional connectivity initiatives including infrastructure development, institutional linkages and people-to-people connectivity.

The speakers said they would ensure support and facilitation to further relevant cooperation among the participant countries in mobilizing resources and expertise, information sharing and identifying specific cooperation projects for improving connectivity.

Recognizing that terrorism was a common threat to the entire world, the participants condemned this phenomenon in all its forms and manifestations.

The conference reaffirmed that terrorism could not and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization, culture or ethnic group, underscoring the central role of the United Nations in the field of counter-terrorism and calling for full and effective implementation of relevant, United Nations Security Council resolutions and global counter-terrorism strategy.

The moot condemned the acts of terrorism targeted towards the parliaments and expressed solidarity with the victims as well as the governments and people of the countries attacked.

The conference agreed that for ensuring global and regional peace and stability, the issue of Jammu and Kashmir needed peaceful resolution in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.

The speakers condemned the decisions and actions, which purported to have altered the character, the status of demographic composition of the holy city of Al-Quds, declaring them null and void having no legal effect.

They welcomed the recent significant achievements in defeating Daesh in Iraq and Syria, and recognized that Daesh had continued to pose a serious threat to the security and stability of countries of the region and urged for concerted joint efforts to counter this threat. The speakers acknowledged the valuable achievement in the framework of Astana process to reduce violence, facilitate humanitarian delivery and provide conditions to find a political solution for Syrian crisis through an inclusive, free, fair and transparent Syrian-led and Syrian-owned process as envisaged by the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2254 (2015), which preserved political unity and territorial integrity of this country.

They expressed willingness to help promote dialogue, trust and confidence with a view to addressing the common challenge of terrorism in a unified, coordinated and comprehensive manner.

The speakers reiterated commitment to open, inclusive and transparent international security architecture, based on the principles of international law, indivisibility of security, peaceful settlements of disputes, non-use of force or threat of force, for the benefit of strengthening peace, stability and sustainable development in Asia and beyond.

They encouraged further development of multilateral diplomacy including parliamentary diplomacy and supported efforts aimed at establishing mutually beneficial and mutually enhancing relations among parliamentary organizations in Asia and beyond.

Noting the economic complementarities among the countries and respective regions, they agreed to support the efforts aimed at enhancing connectivity to foster economic growth and bring countries, societies and people closer together. The conference agreed to hold the next meeting in Tehran next year.

Earlier, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China Zhang Ping while addressing the conference said, “No country alone can address the challenges being faced by the mankind and therefore, we will have to work together to tackle them.”

He said the six countries of the region have gathered here to discuss the important challenges of the humanity.

“We should commit to secure peace and stability through collective efforts,” he said, adding that China was working with the international community to combat terrorism. He stressed the need for joint efforts to defeat the menace.

“China wants peaceful settlement of issues confronting the international community,” he said. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to connect the whole world will be beneficial for all, he added.

Speaker of Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran Dr Ali Ardeshir Larijani said Islam is the religion of peace and those misusing the name of religion for terrorist activities are doing no service to Islam.

He said occupation of other countries, poverty and under-development are some of the causes of extremism and terrorism and these must be addressed to overcome the problem. “We have to see the root causes of the terrorism while fighting with it,” he said.

Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Volodin Vyacheslav Viktorovich said, “We can defeat terrorism through collective efforts.” He called for choking funding for terrorism and strengthening legislative measures in this regard. “We can only effectively fight against terrorism jointly,” he added.

President of the Wolesi Jirga of Afghanistan Abdul Raouf Ibrahimi said addressing the challenge of terrorism should be our priority as our progress, peace and prosperity are deeply linked to it. He said the problem was assuming new dimensions as terrorist groups have modern weapons and ammunition.

He said the terrorists were targeting the civilians, women and children in the name of religion. He said, “Islam does not allow anyone to kill people as it is against the humanity … killing one man means killing of whole humanity.”

He said Afghanistan was fighting against terrorism as a front line state. He said without joint efforts, fight against terrorism cannot be won.

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