Info Service on WTO and Trade Issues (Aug09/02)
Sharm El Sheik, 20 Jul (Martin Khor*) -- The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) re-dedicated itself to promoting the interests of developing countries in international affairs when many of its political leaders gathered in the Egyptian town of Sharm El Sheik.
The Summit-level meeting was held on 15-16 July while the meeting of Foreign Ministers was on 13-14 July. A meeting of senior officials was on 11-12 July.
the leaders who participated were President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak of
present were the heads of state or government of
The presence of so many well-known and new leaders of the developing world was perhaps just as important, or even more, than the declarations and documents they adopted.
showed that they still consider the
The NAM Summit adopted the following: (1) a draft Final Document comprising 114 pages with three main chapters on global issues; regional and sub-regional political issues; and development, social and human rights issues; (2) a five-page Sharm El Sheik Summit Declaration; (3) Declaration on Palestine; (4) a declaration on the need to end the US embargo on Cuba; and (5) a declaration to support the observance of Nelson Mandela international day on 18 July.
the summit, several leaders stressed that the Cold War is over, but
need to avoid being victims or subjects of hegemony or domination by
a superpower or a group of developed-country powers seems to remain
most passionate single cause at the summit was the support for the rights
of Palestinians, shown in many speeches that condemned
Cuban President, reviewing his country's chairmanship of
The incoming Chairman, Egypt's President Mubarak, said international peace is threatened by terrorism, the retreat of the non-proliferation treaty and the many armed conflicts and issues whose resolution is long overdue, foremost of which is the Palestinian question and peace in the Middle East.
A favourite theme, stressed by many, was how the UN Security Council has been used by a few big powers to selectively pick on and act against some countries, while these same powers also use unilateral military actions or economic sanctions when these suit them.
President Gaddafi said
The UN Security Council does not represent the vast majority of countries, as it was under the authority of a few big powers, and it had threatened peace, he said, proposing that NAM set up its own council of peace and security which should deal with conflicts among the NAM's member states, instead of allowing the UN Security Council to deal with them.
leaders also condemned the injustice in the nuclear weapons issue, when
major nuclear powers like the
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also called for a nuclear weapons free world under the NPT.
President Fernandez Reyna of the Dominican Republic, speaking for the Latin American countries, said the US$20 billion that the G8 leaders recently pledged to fight hunger in developing countries is negligible compared to the US$18 trillion provided to their banks, which is more than the GNP of the African and Latin American countries combined.
"Injustice, insecurity and inequality does not have a better example than the greed of a few versus the unmet needs of the many," he said. He also expressed skepticism that the poor countries would get the $20 billion pledged, because so far, much of the aid promised had not been given.
Prime Minister Najib, speaking for Asian countries at the closing plenary,
"While the challenges of old remain unresolved, we are now saddled with new challenges, such as threats to peace and security of our nations and regions, external interference in the affairs of our States, global financial and economic crisis, climate change, food security, energy security -- just to name a few -- all of which have generated adverse impact on our ability and focus on ensuring political stability, achieving economic development and accomplishing social progress," he said.
added that the documents adopted by the
(* Martin Khor is the Executive Director of the South Centre and a former Editor of the SUNS.) +