Zarif to ACForum: Dialogue, Moderation Cure for Global Maladies

Zarif to ACForum: Dialogue, Moderation Cure for Global Maladies Zarif to ACForum: Dialogue, Moderation Cure for Global Maladies

Dialogue and moderation are the remedies for plenty of ongoing challenges in the international arena, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, noting that the nations which are descendants of the world's ancient civilizations have a duty to advance the two concepts across the world.  

Zarif made the statement in an address to the first Ancient Civilizations Forum in the Greek capital of Athens on Monday, IRNA reported. 

The two-day conference brought together diplomats representing ten nations as part of a new international club.

They include China, India, Italy, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Greece, Mexico, Bolivia, and Peru, who were represented by their foreign ministers or senior diplomats.

Zarif said history shows that mutual exchange and interaction among human communities, through the mediums of intellectual reflection, literature and art, have brought to bear on the formation of common human civilization, and these mediums continue to function as the means of ensuring "civilizational continuity". 

The top Iranian diplomat said the human society is facing various common challenges that need common solutions, ranging from "the elusive goals of sustainable development, protection of the environment and eradication of poverty for the larger part of the international community to effective combating of such rather new twin phenomena of extremism and terrorism as universal plagues." 

Need for Multilateralism 

Zarif said unilateral approaches have failed to tackle these challenges, and there is a strong need for multilateral solutions.

The foreign minister said ancient civilizations of the world can play a big role in developing these solutions, considering their "much more accumulated knowledge, intellectual depth, time-tested experience and the hard-won historical discretion." 

"The inheritors of ancient civilizations have a historic responsibility to be in the forefront of promoting dialogue and inclusion to usher in a new paradigm of global relations".

Athens Declaration on the establishment of the Ancient Civilizations Forum was issued at the end of the conference on Monday. 

It said attendants agreed to establish the ACF "as a platform for dialogue and cultural cooperation among the participating states."

The statement added members will work to help safeguard global historical and cultural heritage within the relevant international organizations such as UNESCO.

The forum will be open to future enlargement on a "consensual basis", the declaration said.

Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras told attendees on Monday that their cultures share a heritage of "positive power, the strength of knowledge, education [and] progress".

He voiced hope that the ten countries could benefit from cooperation in various areas, including economy and culture.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said the group would run joint projects to promote "dialogue in the face of fanaticism, and culture in the face of terrorism".

The participating states agreed that the ministerial meeting of the forum will be held annually, and its chairmanship will rotate among members.

The next meeting will be held in 2018 in Bolivia.

Zarif arrived in Athens on Sunday, and during the two-day stay, held meetings with Tsipras, Kotzias, and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, among others. 

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints