Mushelenga wants unity in Non-Aligned Movement

17 Sep 2016 13:20pm
KEETMANSHOOP, 17 SEP (NAMPA) - Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Peya Mushelenga on Thursday underscored the importance of renewed unity in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) during the group’s ministerial meeting in Margarita Island, Venezuela.
The 17th NAM Summit began on Tuesday and ends Sunday. Namibia is one of 120 member nations of over 3 000 delegates attending the meeting chaired by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Mushelenga said growing global turbulence was testimony for the movement to reaffirm its founding principles of international solidarity and South-South cooperation.
“There are those voices who question the relevance of the NAM, but never before has the urgency for solidarity within the movement been so vital.”
The movement was established during the Cold War as a vehicle for developing countries to assert their independence from competing claims of the two superpowers, the United States of America (for the Western Bloc) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (for the Eastern Bloc). Critics question the continued existence of the NAM, arguing that since the Cold War has ended, the need for non-alignment to rival blocs has become redundant.
Venezuelan media also reports that opposition parties rejected President Nicolás Maduro’s initiative to host the international dignitaries in a country plagued by medicine and food shortages.
“A united NAM can eradicate poverty, address climate change and ensure a peaceful and harmonious world for our succeeding generations,” Mushelenga said in his speech availed to Nampa on Friday.
The summit is set to adopt 21 declarations on issues such as sustainable development, transnational organised crime and finance, human rights and the right of countries to development.
Mushelenga further expressed Namibia’s commitment to the Paris Agreement – which calls for reduction of emissions – explaining Namibia’s battle with recurrent drought.
“Namibia has been particularly affected by climate change and we are experiencing the worst drought in 30 years.”
He mentioned Namibian president Hage Geingob’s declaration of war against poverty and urged developing countries to work together in this regard.
He also said NAM nations should stand together on the principle of international justice – through continued advocacy for the sufficient inclusion of developing nations on the United Nations (UN) Security Council.
“Only a reformed and democratised UN Security Council can effectively maintain global peace and security.”
Mushelenga asked NAM member states to ensure the full implementation of the UN Resolutions on Western Sahara (a disputed territory), while also reiterating Namibia’s support “for the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and independence”.
The Non-Aligned Movement, established in 1961, is the second largest international body after the United Nations. It aims to represent the interests and priorities of developing nations.