Interviews with the Presidents of the PUIC Conferences ( Iran )

The following is responses of the former Speaker of Counsultative Assembly of Islamic Republic of Iran to the " PUIC " H.E. Sheikh  Ali Akbar Nategh Nouri
* PUIC can fill gap in the Islamic World
* Parliamentary diplomacy is useful tool for dialogue
*Tarnishing Islamic image is a big challenge


  
  Following are his responses to questions  addressed to His Eminence by the “ PUIC “ covering several important issues:

To be  able to evaluate the activity of the PUIC during the past ten years, first of all it  should be noted that the this  Union  as a young organization, has important potential to undertake matters regarding the Islamic Ummah. Over the last decade, this organization has made great efforts to stabilize its position. In this respect, in order to reach its goals, the PUIC has issued several  statements and resolutions on the Islamic issues, particularly regarding the oppressed people of Palestine and the occupation of their land by the Zionist entity, for which we should also appreciate the Union. I believe that to achieve the goals of the Union , its member  states can exert further efforts  by supporting and cooperating  with the Union to promote its place in the international arena.
Certainly, the Union can fill the existing gap in the Islamic World, through continuous  action, especially in the field of interactive relationships.
As mentioned in the Statute of the Union, the  PUIC was founded according to the noble Islamic principles and teachings: calling on Muslims to close their ranks and promote their unity ,and  also with inspiration from   noble teachings of  the Quran which invites Muslim to cooperate, exchange  ideas and mutual perception and resist crime and violence .
Taking into consideration the role of  Parliaments in the political, economic, cultural and social fields of peoples’ lives and the formidable challenges  facing the Islamic World, the PUIC has a great responsibility on its shoulder. Considering the role and place of the PUIC in Islamic Parliaments, this organization should follow up the developments and issues relating to the Islamic Ummah. And by studying and evaluating its function, it should perform its duties in the best way possible, in order to be able to provide a suitable base for fruitful cooperation among Islamic Parliaments.
In this regard the publication of the quarterly” The  PUIC” is a positive step for bringing Parliaments together and enabling  them to be aware of the  each other’s opinions and also  (to be aware of) the possible solutions to challenges confronting the Islamic Ummah and also to their internal problems.
One of the reasons for the existence of the PUIC is the cause of the oppressed Palestinian people  in which the Union can play an important role. It must be recognized that first, the oppressed Palestinian nation, itself has a pivoting role in the restoration of its rights. The Palestinian people have to tighten their ranks and insist on national unity among all national Palestinian factions to achieve this goal. However we can not ignore the remarkable role that can be played by the international institutions, especially the United Nations, the Inter-Parliamentary Union , the Organization of Islamic Conference as well as the Parliamentary Union of the OIC Member States(PUIC). The PUIC has to overcome the big challenges of the Islamic Ummah, through coordination and close cooperation with other  international  political institutions.
Fortunately, in this context, we notice useful measures taken by the Union, such as the Extra-ordinary Meeting of the PUIC held in January 2009 in Istanbul,Turkey, in which more than 31 delegations, including 14 at the Speakers level ( including Iran),  and 9 at the Vice-Speakers and a number of observers participated.
As we see the Union is producing a quarterly report on the activities of its members and itself which will certainly contribute towards the achievement of the Islamic world’s goals especially those of the oppressed Palestinian people to return to their territory and obtain their independence and the liberation of prisoners detained in the Zionist entity’s prisons.
 Another means to contribute towards the goals of  Muslim peoples, is that of Parliamentary diplomacy as the most useful means of dialogue and exchange of views between countries and peoples. Cooperation and interaction of Islamic Parliaments can contribute to the promotion and development of relations between them and that could  only be  accomplished through the formation of  Parliamentary friendship groups.
These groups can encourage the achievement of Islamic people’s goals by holding separate meetings to exchange views  and experiences.
     Another challenge facing the Islamic Ummah is the tarnishing  of the image of Islam by the West by falsely linking Islam with terrorism.
Participation of the PUIC  in international conferences  and meetings and expressing common  views among Islamic Parliaments play an important role in promoting the position of  Islam in the contemporary world. One of the positive moves in this regard is holding  consultative meetings of the Islamic Parliaments on the side-lines of IPU assemblies in order to help the unification of  Islamic countries parliamentary  policies. The PUIC should employ Muslim scholars and intellectuals to find practical solutions for  the promotion of parliamentary cooperation. The PUIC also can play an important role in promoting cooperation  between Members of  the Union and other international  bodies . The PUIC has a reciprocal observer status with 11 international  organizations and active participation in their meetings can play an effective role in the international arena.
One of the issues that we should undertake is studying and reaching ways to activate the economic and commercial relations among member countries.
No doubt, that the PUIC can play an important role in codifying economic  policies , social laws and  in their effects on crystallization of the Islamic Nations’ approaches.
Parliaments of the Islamic countries should require from their governments to strengthen  economic, social and cultural relations among themselves. This can  be done only by choosing economic partners among members and assigning  the huge economic and social projects to the experts in the Islamic countries.
As it was mentioned before, Parliaments as cornerstones of democratic institutions, can use parliamentary diplomacy as a means of communication for dialogue and exchange of views between states and nations. Indeed parliamentary diplomacy whether bilateral (through friendship groups or multilateral ( through international parliamentary institutions) can undertake the challenge of cross-border issues and study international issues.
With globalization, democracy has become an economic requirement for the countries. Parliamentary diplomacy is one of the distinctive means of exchanging views and unifying public opinion in the world.
The war in Iraq, the conflict in the Middle East and the war in Afghanistan are attracting the attention of the peoples in the world. All that proves that human communities are no longer closed and limited, and also disputes in every corner of this wide world, by different ways , have effects on other parts of the world. As a result, the representatives of the people(Parliamentarians) in a close relation with each other should play an important role in the world arena. Therefore, Parliamentary diplomacy should conclude  in its agenda : reaching peace,  world security and propagating democracy.
It should be noted that with the help of God , the Parliamentary Union of OIC Member States has gained more higher stand than ever and has more opportunity to promote. Evidently, increasing the capacity and expanding the activities of the PUIC in different fields require more assistance from the other affiliated organs of the PUIC.
With the  hope of  witnessing continuous resurgence  of  this   valuable organ ( PUIC ) by the help of Allah, the Almighty.

  Sheikh Ali Akbar Nategh Nuri is  the Supreme Leader’s  adviser and former Speaker of the Iranian Parliament.