Qalibaf urges interactions among Asian states to raise continent to real status

Tehran, IRNA – Iranian Parliament speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf on Wednesday called for fostering expanded interactions among Asian states to “reach a New Asia and raise the Asian continent to its real and befitting status in global equations”.

Qalibaf made the remarks in a message to the Virtual Meeting of the Standing Committee on Cultural and Social Affairs of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA).
A parliamentary delegation headed by Masoumeh Pashaei represented Iran in the meeting.
Member of Parliament Fatemeh Qasempour read out Qalibaf’s message to the meeting.
The full text of Iran’s Parliament speaker to the meeting reads:
In the Name of God
the Beneficent, the Merciful
Distinguished Parliamentarians of Asian countries;
Ladies and gentlemen;
Allow me first to extend my warm and sincere greetings from Tehran, the capital of the Islamic Republic of Iran, to the distinguished heads of delegation and parliamentarians attending this Meeting of the APA Committee on Cultural and Social Affairs.
It is with pleasure that the Islamic Parliament of Iran has had the privilege of hosting this august assembly today. I hope that the COVID situation will soon ease up and allow us to receive Your Excellencies in person here in Tehran.
It goes beyond doubt that positive and constructive co-operation and interaction between APA Member Parliaments and dialogue and consultation among parliamentarians at all levels will bolster the achievements of this important parliamentary institution as APA is, beget consolidated collaboration, and foster increased convergence across this ancient continent of Asia.
I hope that your active participation and constructive contribution as representatives of the ancient, historical, and civilizational continent of Asia can produce valuable fruit in line with the lofty objectives of the Assembly.
I would like to underscore that while we embrace ethnic, religious, and national diversity across the Asian continent, we believe that God-centrism is the fundamental basis and core axis of human individual and social life. Man has been bestowed this gift of voluntary perfection and prosperity. If he but only chose the right choices and make recourse to divine guidance, then he shall attain the ultimate perfection.
We are convinced that in the context of social and cultural interactions, the most fundamental unit of society is the ‘family’, with an irreplaceable role in producing, preserving, and promoting culture within communities. Despite certain differences, societies are all under the same umbrella of influence by divine traditions and common, universal evolutionary laws.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Common knowledge as it is, the crucial issue of culture, per se and irrespective of the pervasive ideologies and attitudes in a given society, overshadows other aspects of any nation’s life. As such, development on all economic, political, educational, and social fronts requires a rich culture that is founded on local and national values. The outcome of such an outlook in society will be economic growth and sustainable and balanced development.
I am of the conviction that given the cultural diversity and plurality in Asia, it can promote its status only if it preserves its continental and collective identity. Asian nations have surely paid a high price for the preservation of their national and collective identity. Thus, it is incumbent on parliamentarians, as the voice of the people, to preserve and strengthen that identity.
Dear colleagues;
In order to cushion the adverse ramifications of social-cultural harms, We, as members of the parliaments of Asian countries, must lay focus on such issues as ‘cultural diversity and cultural heritage, ‘women’, ‘humanitarian aid’, ‘interfaith dialogue’, ‘fight against corruption', ‘fight against trafficking of cultural property and goods’, ‘fight against drug trafficking, "information and communications technology" and "health equity in Asia’. We need to adopt more effective measures to establish our religious, national, and collective Asian identity in the face of the wrong Western approach to culture. To this end, we need to pay special attention to the capacities and priorities of our societies by expanding international and executive cooperation.
Honorable participants,
It can be said that the predecessors have laid out the basic principles and goals of this Committee so as to achieve sustainable and balanced development in Asia in light of promoting the Asian approach to culture and serve as a blueprint for the Members of the Assembly.
I would like to stress that by following these principles and goals, many of the fundamental challenges and crises can be addressed in the best possible manner. Accordingly, the approach of the Islamic Parliament of Iran is premised upon the moderation, constructive interaction, and strive for giving priority to co-operation with the ancient continent of Asia in order to find operational solutions to the expansion of economic cooperation.
In this regard, resolving disputes and removing barriers to cooperation through dialogue and consultation is one of the main priorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
In today's world, there is this multidimensional link between culture, economy, politics, and security. Concentrating on increasing trade and economic co-operation is one of the pillars that can, on the bedrock of Asia’s cultural diversity, pave the way for the further development and growth of the continent.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that the current challenges at the transnational level are such that no country can single-handedly tackle them. Therefore, achieving sustainable and balanced development in various areas, including cultural and social spheres, is merely possible through co-operation among and collective participation of the Asian countries.
The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that by fostering expanded interactions between and among Asian states, it is possible to enjoy new intellectual advances and take operational measures to reach a New Asia and raise the Asian continent to its real and befitting status in global equations.
I am confident that through greater cooperation between the parliaments of Asian countries and as a result of your intellectual support in this meeting, the ancient continent of Asia shall await a lustrous future ahead. Once again, I would like to thank you for your attendance at this meeting. I wish you every success in your endeavors.
Thank you for your attention
Peace be upon you, and God’s blessings and mercy.


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