Zarif urges renewed focus on peacebuilding and sustaining peace

IRNA – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that a renewed focus on peacebuilding and sustaining peace is of singular importance in light of the tensions that “we currently face, particularly in our region, which has suffered the most from lingering conflicts.”

Addressing the High-Level Meeting on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace in the United Nations General Assembly, New York, Zarif added that conflict prevention requires focusing on the root causes, including the mutually reinforcing afflictions of occupation, foreign intervention and extremism.

The full text of Zarif speech reads as follows:
“Mr. President,

Maintaining international peace and security, and preventing and removing threats to peace constitute the very raison d’être of our organization. Thus, a renewed focus on peacebuilding and sustaining peace is of singular importance in light of the tensions that we currently face, particularly in our region, which has suffered the most from lingering conflicts.

Conflict prevention requires focusing on the root causes, including the mutually reinforcing afflictions of occupation, foreign intervention and extremism. Additionally, advancing hegemonic illusions or attempting to achieve security at the expense of others through exclusion and block formations, have invariably caused tension and conflict, and led to destructive arms races.

It is crucial to now shift to a new paradigm based on joining forces to create strong regions, instead of anyone seeking to be the strongest in our region. And shifting from forming security blocks to accepting security networking. Both are predicated on respect for the interest of all stakeholders–large and small–coupled with a win-win philosophy. In the current inter-connected world, no country’s security can be assured at the expense of others’.

Iran believes that it is imperative to move away from the current Zero-Sum paradigm of seeking regional hegemony and exclusion in our immediate neighborhood, which has witnessed devastating direct and indirect wars in the past 4 decades. And we ask all to join our efforts to advance the goals of strong region and security networking. Such a transformational agenda requires acceptance of and respect for a set of common principles, coupled with confidence building measures. To advance this, we have proposed creating a “Regional Dialogue Forum” in the Persian Gulf to overcome the challenge of building and sustaining peace in our region. We invite our neighbors in this volatile strategic waterway–which has seen too many wars–to join us in this endeavor. And we expect the United Nations to assist in the process through the arrangements envisaged some 30 years ago but never implemented in paragraph 8 of Security Council Resolution 598.