BRUSSELS, Nov 12 (KUNA) -- Martti Ahtissari, ex-President of Finland, Monday called for the building of a security organization in Southwest Asia to resolve the conflicts of the region.
"This is the only region of the world without an effective collective security organization... The nations of Southwest Asia need to work to build a security organization that bridges major divides. The catastrophe of Syria demonstrates this need," he told an international security conference in Brussels.
"The failure to bridge the Palestine-Israel divide has had the hidden cost of perpetuating a backward and divided regional order. It is clear to me that peace will never come to Middle East if the Palestine question as long as the Israel-Palestine conflict remains unresolved," said the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
He was speaking at the EastWest Institute's 9th Annual Worldwide Security Conference in Brussels which is focused on the topic 'Reshaping Economic Security in Southwest Asia and the Middle East.' Ahtissari said the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states "have enormous wealth that can be put into play between new diplomatic and development agendas developed by the people of the region themselves." "The geopolitical and business linkage between the wealthy countries of the Arabian peninsula and their poorer neighbours, particularly in the Horn of Africa, will be increasingly decisive on how well and how peacefully the water and food security needs of all communities and countries in this critical region can be met," he said.
Ahtissari added that The East West Institute's security conference "is a laboratory to test new ideas for preventing new conflicts and helping to end existing conflicts." About 300 high-level policy makers, business and investment executives and public opinion leaders from around the globe are attending the 2-day conference. (end) KUNA 121437 Nov 12NNNN