Zarif: If we fail to secure multilateralism the ‘rule of jungle’ will prevail

May 1, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Wednesday that if the international community fails to “secure multilateralism” the entire world will degenerate into “the rule of jungle”.

“Unless we align our capabilities to secure multilateralism, a rising and aggressive unilateralist wave can cover the entire world, quickly replacing the rule of law with the rule of the jungle,” Zarif told the Asian Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) summit hosted by Qatar.    

Following is the text of his speech to the ACD forum:

Since 2002, we have worked together as the community of Asian Cooperation Dialogue and have exhibited the spirit of amity in pursuit of a prosperous, functional and inclusive multilateral framework. The Islamic Republic of Iran views the Dialogue as a significant achievement of our continent, and is determined to promote its lofty values and develop its practical agendas envisioned in the ACD Vision for Asian Cooperation 2030, the ACD Blueprint for 2017 -2021, and the ACD Summit Declarations. 
Embracing the aspirations of our peoples for a peaceful and prosperous region, my country has utilized all its capacities and advantages in national, regional and international arenas to move towards Pan-Asian Cooperation 2030 and building the Asian Community. In this regard and as the “Prime Mover of Culture and Tourism”, we have initiated and implemented various programs, events and projects to foster mutual understanding among our nations and to make Asia a prime, sustainable tourist destination: They include organizing a grand festival celebrating Hamadan as Asian Capital of Tourism (ACT), and conducting various cultural activities through the ACD Cultural Center in Tehran. 
The position of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the North-South and East-West transit corridors—along with a well-developed transportation infrastructure—plays a crucial role in connecting members of our community to other regions and contributing to the “Pillar of Connectivity” of our forum. Conclusion of various transit agreements, including the Agreement on International North- South Transit Corridor, Ashkhabad International Transit Agreement and Chabahar Trilateral Agreement, along with bilateral arrangements, are all among the instruments that are promoting our shared target of connectivity. 
Moreover, building upon our experience of hosting the Asian Clearing Union, a similar financial mechanism will become operational within the D-8 Organization to facilitate financial transactions between member states utilizing national currencies. We believe that the same arrangement can be adopted by the ACD in order to create institutional connectivity for an enabling business environment and to reduce administrative and regulatory business roadblocks.  
Asian culture is imbued with noble values such as moderation, wisdom, inclusiveness, and peaceful co-existence. Our cooperation for the promotion of human prosperity and dignity a…

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