Zarif urges NAM to resist unilateralism that threatens global peace

July 14, 2021 - 16:49

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday urged the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to establish a “united front” to counter unilateralism that “continues to undermine the rule of law” and “threatens peace and stability throughout the world.”

Zarif made the remarks in an online speech to the NAM mid-term ministerial meeting through a videoconference.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif said Iran continues “to advocate the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in West Asia.”

He cited Iran’s efforts to put an end to the crises in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan as examples.

Following is the text of Zarif’s speech:

The surging global challenges we face today have reinforced the need for greater collective action at the international level. In fact, multilateralism is no longer the prudent alternative. Rather, it is the only viable response to the world’s pressing crises. There can be no doubt that the Non-Aligned Movement—as a prominent intergovernmental platform—can provide a good opportunity to enhance and strengthen global partnerships at a time of rising unilateralism and protectionism in the international arena.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the greatest test of worldwide solidarity in generations. It has reminded us of how interdependent we actually are, and how crucial international cooperation is to our collective health, prosperity and security. This pandemic—as any other—calls for a strong coordinated international response that can rapidly expand access to tests, treatments and vaccines while recognizing extensive immunization as a public good that must be available and affordable for all, including—and perhaps especially— developing countries.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has consistently and continuously demonstrated its commitment to multilateralism as the tenet of a robust foreign policy. As such, we continue to advocate the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security in West Asia. In this context, we are engaged in active cooperation with the UN in peace efforts in Yemen, Syria and Afghanistan. We proposed the “Hormuz Peace Endeavor—HOPE” as well as a “Regional Dialogue Forum” in the Persian Gulf, as inclusive approaches to cooperation and dispute settlement.

And globally, we have demonstrated our resolute commitment to dialogue and diplomacy by actively participating in different international fora to tackle a multitude of international challenges, including in recent months the negotiations to revive and resuscitate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. This, in spite of abject failure of Europe to provide the promised economic dividends to our people following the unlawful U.S. withdrawal from JCPOA, and the reluctance of the new U.S. administration to abandon Trump’s failed “maximum pressure” policy.

Multilateralism has been undermined and its practice threatened by unilateralism and bullying practices of certain powers. The extreme unilateral adventurism of the U.S. is the most important challenge that almost all of us have been facing—one way or another. It continues to undermine the rule of law at the international level and threatens peace and stability throughout the world. While some nations are threatened by economic terrorism and military aggressions, others bear the brunt of a crude American protectionist impulse.

The blind and unbridled support for apartheid in Palestine, and the denial of the basic rights of the Palestinian people, further exacerbate the unstable situation in the entire Middle East region. The very few Arab countries who have aligned themselves with these and other U.S. schemes not only betray the Palestinian people, but further jeopardize peace and security in the whole region.

To defend multilateralism, it is imperative to reject and prevent any perceived benefit and advantage drawn from unlawful unilateral actions and to reject any pressure in contravention of international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

And, today it is more incumbent upon NAM than ever to form a united front to reject unilateralism and promote multilateralism in order to collectively tackle all the complex challenges facing our movement today.

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