Speaker Conference agrees on partnership for peace, connectivity

Pic24-008 ISLAMABAD: Dec 24 – President Mamnoon Hussain in a group photo with the Heads of delegation during the 1st Speakers' Conference. Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani and Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq are also present. ONLINE PHOTO

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

Besides Pakistan, the speakers of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Russian Federation and Turkey are participating in the conference along with their respective parliamentary delegations.

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

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 globalisation 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.

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 fora.

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

The conference endorsed that connective 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 mobilising resources and expertise, information sharing and identifying specific cooperation projects for improving connectivity.

The speakers said, “We welcome and support the Belt and Road Initiative, highly commend the success of the Belt and Road Forum for International Corporation held in May, 2017 by China. We are committed to strengthening dialogue and consultation in order to build synergies in development strategies and deepening practical cooperation in various areas.”

Recognising that terrorism was a common threat to the entire world, including our countries, the participants condemned this phenomenon in all its forms and manifestations. “We recommend that our governments shall take further strong measures and practical steps through devising joint concrete and comprehensive strategies to combat terrorism.”

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 an implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions and Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

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

The speakers condemned the decisions and actions, which purported to have altered the character, the status of the demographic composition of the holy city of Jerusalem, declaring them null and void and illegal.  “We reaffirm our commitment to the Middle East settlement based on international law.”

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.

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 speakers and heads of the delegations of the National Parliaments of Afghanistan, China, Iran, Russia and Turkey thanked the host speaker Sardar Ayaz Sadiq for his warm and generous hospitality extended to them and their delegations during the visit.

The conference agreed to hold the next meeting in Tehran, Capital of Iran, next year.





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