Deputy Foreign Minister to attend NAM Committee on Palestine

Putrajaya - Deputy Foreign Minister Aziz Pahad who is leading a senior South African government delegation to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Co-Ordinating Bureau (CoB) in Putrajaya, Malaysia will today Sunday 28 May 2006 attend the NAM Committee on Palestine.

The mandate of the NAM Committee meeting, inter alia, is to work with the various forces influential in the Middle East conflict for the achievement of a full, durable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

Deputy Minister Pahad also said it is the responsibility of the committee to add their collective voice to finding a political solution to the ongoing instability in the region.

Deputy Minister Pahad will also today Sunday 28 May 2006 hold bilateral discussions with the Foreign Minister of Malaysia Syed Hamid Albar and Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Moreno and attend a meeting of the NAM Troika and Former Chairs. Discussions will focus on the challenges facing the NAM in a rapidly changing global environment in preparation for the Ministerial meeting on Monday, 29 May 2006.

In this regard, on Monday, 29 May 2006, Deputy Minister Pahad will lead his delegation to the Opening Plenary of the NAM Ministerial meeting entitled, "Towards a more dynamic and cohesive NAM: Challenges of the 21st Century."

The Ministerial Meeting of the CoB will primarily prepare for the forthcoming NAM Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Havana, Cuba in September 2006.

Deputy Minister Pahad said, "In this regard, the NAM is currently faced with 3 principle challenges:

  • Poverty and underdevelopment - this impacts negatively on thousands of people worldwide and while the benefits of globalization are being acknowledged, it is also increasingly apparent that these benefits are spread evenly. Indeed, many of the sub-Saharan African countries will not meet the Millennium Development Goals unless the international community adds its political will to assisting Africa address its developmental challenges.

  • Peace and Stability - this refers to conflicts in Africa and beyond. The deteriorating situation in the Middle East is now widely cited as one of the contributing factors to international insecurity. In addition, the NAM is fully committed to the total eradication of weapons of mass destruction. As a body we support the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test-Ban Treaty and must also address the growing threat of terrorism.

  • Restructuring of the global exercise of economic and political power - as the United Nations Secretary-General has said, "We will not enjoy development without security, we will not enjoy security without development and we will not enjoy either without respect for human rights." In this regard, the NAM has a very important role to play in discussions regarding the restructuring of the United Nations and all its bodies including the Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organisation.

Deputy Minister Pahad will also lead his delegation to a Special Group of 77 (G-77) Ministerial meeting on Monday, 29 May 2006.

Issued by Ronnie Mamoepa on 082 990 4853

Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria
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28 May 2006

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