Islamabad, October 17, 2014 (PPI-OT):
“Europe-Asia Partnership in Addressing Global Matters in an Inter-Connected World”
While thanking our host Italy for the excellent arrangements for the conference, and welcoming Kazakhstan and Croatia in our midst, I wish to point out that remarkable transformations have taken place the world over, during the span of a few decades. Some of these have promoted regional and global connectivity, breaking down barriers to movement of persons, resources and information.
Others have erected new walls of suspicion and misgivings, adding to the challenges that we are facing in our individual and collective capacity. The Asia Europe Meeting undoubtedly has an ambitious aim to bridge differences and to promote harmonization between our two great continents. Notwithstanding differences of opinion, we have no doubt about the scope of cooperation made possible, because of ASEM.
I will present a brief snapshot of Pakistan’s policy on important regional and global issues. Our growth rate shows a marked upward trend which has been appreciated by international financial institutions. Investors are offered a business friendly environment and connectivity into a much larger region.
Extreme weather patterns are disrupting societies and economies. In Pakistan, we continue to be confronted with natural calamities. The recent monsoon floods have killed hundreds of people, dislocated millions, destroyed and damaged homes, livelihoods, infrastructure, cattle and crops. We are mobilizing all our resources to provide relief and to ensure recovery.
We are convinced that it is also our collective obligation to intensify efforts to move from mere commitment to action on climate change. This is why Pakistan proposes tangible ASEM activity on the theme of “The Impact of Climate Change on River flows and Melting Glaciers.”
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the United Nations, we are setting ourselves the target of eradicating poverty by 2030. This calls for a fresh approach to eliminate conflict and violence, curtail inequality and instability, minimize poverty and deprivation, eradicate terrorism, and bridge the vast gap between the haves and have nots.
These would enable us to ensure healthy lives, empower women and girls, improve quality of education, create jobs, and guarantee supply of affordable energy. The Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Malala Yousafzai would surely serve as an inspiration to the youth of Pakistan, and the world.
Pakistan stands in solidarity with the fraternal Afghan people, especially as they go through momentous security, political and economic transitions. We reiterate our earnest hope that these landmark processes would culminate in the emergence of a stronger, more stable, and unified Afghanistan.
Pakistan maintains its policy of good neighborly relations with all its neighbors. To this end, the Prime Minister of Pakistan reached out to the new Indian leadership. Unfortunately, the abrupt cancellation of Foreign Secretary – level talks by our Eastern neighbour, followed by escalation of ceasefire violations are a setback to the peace prospect. It is our earnest hope that they would respond to our calls for establishing peace and tranquility and engaging in a constructive and result-oriented dialogue process.
The emergence of new militant entities in the Middle East, once again, illustrates that terrorism is a global threat. Its root causes must be addressed.
Achieving energy security is a priority objective for all developing countries. A significant approach towards achieving energy security is through peaceful nuclear cooperation. Pakistan maintains a principled stance on the transfer of civil nuclear technology that should be inclusive, non-discriminatory and based on criteria and parity.
We need to build upon the intersection of European capital, technology and expertise on the one hand, and Asian growth and resources, including human resources, and markets on the other. Areas of joint cooperation should evolve into active collaboration in the fields of technology, education, climate change, trade and commerce. However, to benefit from these complementarities, we need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this ASEM set up, to enhance its relevance.
For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan