Friday, November 11, 2011

Peace for the Environment

The civil society is not very active and outspoken these days but the occasion of November 6 , the day designated by the UN as the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict was an important event that could not be missed. The Center for Peace and Environment convened an international seminar on this occasion last Wednesday.
The diplomatic community in Tehran, academia , NGOs and members of the press attended this event. Dr. Babran welcomed the invitees and I made an opening address, this was followed by the message of Seyed Mohammad Khatami the former President  and the speech of  Salah Zawawi the Ambassador of Palestine  and Mohammad Reza Tabesh the Head of the Environment faction of the Parliament . After the opening,  a panel session with Ambassadors of Afghanistan, Croatia, Japan, International Red Cross  and an Iranian academic was moderated by  Dr. Kahrom, the renown Iranian environmentalist. The Japanese Ambassador made a very interesting comparison between the  nuclear disaster in Nakasaki and Hiroshima and the recent Tsunami and nuclear fallout. The resilience and hard work of the people of Japan was noteworthy, while the natural environment will take a much longer time for restoration.
In the opening, I stressed upon the importance of resolving international conflicts by dialogue and  refraining from any act that would aggravate the very volatile conditions in this part of the world . The Persian Gulf has suffered excessively from war and environmental degradation during the past decade and it would be a disaster if any new military venture would occur.

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