I am pleased to send greetings to the International Conference of Asian Political Parties.
I thank the Yeni Azerbaijan Party for hosting this important meeting.
Since its inaugural meeting in 2000, ICAPP has grown to become an important forum
for dialogue and coordination, encompassing diverse government, opposition
and independent voices from across the region.
Your theme at this year’s gathering -- Security, Peace and Reconciliation -- is timely.
Throughout Asia, conflict and misunderstanding among faiths and cultures remain significant obstacles to progress.
This makes it harder to mobilize the global cooperation we need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, protect human rights and address common threats such as extremism and climate change.
This meeting is an opportunity to build bridges of mutual understanding that can lead you to a future of stability, prosperity, freedom and opportunity.
As you travel that road, I encourage you to empower women, youth and civil society, in keeping with the democratic tenor of our times.
The United Nations, for its part, is active across your membership and will continue to be your partner – from energy to education, from conflict prevention to disaster risk reduction.
I wish you a productive meeting and every success as you strive to build better lives for all the people of Asia.