APA Secretary General Addresses the Meeting of Helsinki Policy Forum

APA News Desk
11 November 2017

APA Secretary General, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Reza Majidi, attended the meeting of Helsinki Policy Forum in Van, Turkey on Saturday, 11 November 2017, on the invitation of Honorable Burhan Kayaturk, the distinguished Member of Parliament from Van and Head of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly delegation in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Helsinki Policy Forum is a process founded in February 2014 to facilitate a peaceful dialogue and understanding between the secular and religious worlds focused on the most pressing challenges in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It has establiished its position and expanded its network to high-level participants at the dialogue meetings from governments, parliaments, business world, science and civil society from European countries and MENA region.
Dr. Majidi also delivered a speech in the meeting.
See the text of Secretary General's speech here.

Statement of His Excellency
Dr. Mohammad Reza Majidi
Secretary-General of the
Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA)
at the Meeting of
Helsinki Policy Forum
Van, Turkey
11 November 2017

بِسْم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honor to participate in this august meeting and I would like to thank Honorable Burhan Kayaturk, the distinguished Member of Parliament from Van and Head of Asian Parliamentary Assembly delegation in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for inviting me to this beautiful city. At the outset, as the Secretary-General of Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) which deals with almost all political, economic and cultural challenges in Asia and the Middle East, I should express my sincere hope for the success of this Forum. There is no doubt that the creation of a peaceful atmosphere in this region will enhance the global security and assist conflicting parties to resolve their disputes through constructive dialogues.
There exist a number of important principles concerning conflict prevention and resolution across the globe which all states should, and most probably do, adhere to them in order to promote and safeguard peace and security in the region. Of course, avoiding resort to military force in the regions which have potentials for becoming hotbeds of tensions is the most fundamental rule at the top of the list of dispute settlement guidelines.
Given the fact that states are fully aware of the aforementioned instruments for resolution of any potential military engagements, parliaments and parliamentary diplomacy are certainly effective tools for defusion of such destabilizing tensions, whether they are disputes over internationally recognized borders separating two states or conflicts of interests which two states might face in their region or far beyond it.
Parliaments alongside their governments would certainly spare no efforts in bringing back the peace and security to a volatile situation which exposes danger to their national interests as well as the wellbeing of their own people. Parliament members, however, should be cognizant and vigilant of the diplomatic power which is built in their status and should, thus, be aware of the role that they can play in conflict resolution instances.
As a matter of fact, the Asian Parliamentary Assembly has attached a great importance to the peaceful settlement of political disputes in the Middle East as well as the unpleasant developments which has seriously involved the Rohingya people in Myanmar. Living in peace is a fundamental human right and those who are affected by war and terrorism and are displaced by force should receive political and economic supports from international and regional peace loving organizations.
Long-standing political conflicts in the Middle East and formation of terrorist groups have created a crucial situation which is threatening the global peace and security. People in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Yemen are facing war and human tragedy as a consequence of these unfortunate developments. Millions of people have been killed or wounded and paralized. Hundreds of cities and thousands of homes have been destroyed and need billions of dollars and decades of time for reconstructions. Without positive political support of the United Nations and other International Organizations and the economic and humanitarian aids by all peace loving nations, wars will continue and innocent people will fall as the defenseless victims of these wars.
We believe that today all developed countries, regional and international organizations, especially the inter-parliamentary ones, are responsible to do their best to stop these bloodsheds. Parliamentarians, as the representatives of civil society who are familiar with the pains and life scarcities of the nations, must step forward to find solutions for disputes.
That is why I consider parliamentary diplomacy as a strong means which has to be employed throughout Asia to settle political arguments because it provides a good opportunity to reestablish an environment of confidence among the quarreling parties. Meanwhile, I sincerely welcome any initiative by the Helsinki Policy Forum which brings together senior parliamentarians, political leaders, government officials, and financial experts from the region.
I would like also to briefly inform this esteemed Forum about APA's background and activities. The APA has 42 full-fledged Member Parliaments and 14 Observers and is the biggest parliamentary organization in Asia. We have four Standing Committees, namely the political, economic, social and cultural, and financial regulations committees. In our first three Standing Committee meetings tremendous efforts have been made to promote peace, security, poverty eradication, good parliamentary practices, friendship and cooperation, health equity, rights of migrant workers, combating against corruption, women parliamentarians, inter-faith dialogue and harmony among world religions, combating illicit drug trafficking, and humanitarian aids.
The APA has proved to be a reliable forum for all peace loving persons and organizations and we would welcome any initiative which promotes peace and stability in Asia.
Thank you

  • 12 November 2017
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