Special Declaration of 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on the Commemoration of the Centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela
1. The Ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), meeting during the 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting, held in Baku, Republic of Azerbaijan, from 5-6 April 2018, noted that 2018 marks the Centenary of the birth of the former President of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
2. The Ministers recalled that Nelson Mandela fought for the liberation of the Republic of South Africa and dedicated his entire life for the freedom and emancipation of the oppressed majority of its population. As the leader of the African National Congress he was inspired by the principles, values and objectives of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
3. The Ministers reaffirmed that the lessons of Nelson Mandela’s life resonate with the core principles of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which are the principles of mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s affairs, equality and mutual benefit, peaceful coexistence and settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.
4. The Ministers recalled with a profound sense of pride the central role the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) played in the struggle against colonialism, racial discrimination and Apartheid, particularly in South Africa.
5. The release of President Mandela from prison in 1990 after spending 27 years was in no small measure a major breakthrough for our Movement. The liberation of South Africa under the leadership of President Mandela marked a major turning point in the life of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). During his time in office as head of state, President Mandela faithfully committed himself to the Principles and values of the Movement.
6. The Ministers recalled with profound admiration the leadership played by Nelson Mandela in leading the Movement following the 12th Conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), held in Durban, South Africa, in 1998. They recalled his acknowledgement of the “critical role of the Movement and its members in the liberation of all the people of [South Africa] from the system of apartheid”. The Ministers drew inspiration from his words in which he challenged the Movement to be “informed by the obstacles and opportunities that arise from the realities of the world and driven by the cries of the orphans of an alterable fate, let us dare to take up the challenge of creating our world anew”.
7. The Ministers reaffirmed their support for the Mandela International Day as declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2009 and committed to use the day to honor his legacy of selfless service to humanity.
8. The Ministers further reaffirmed their commitment to draw inspiration from the life and legacy of President Mandela in pursuing the objectives and aims of the movement, particularly for freedom, justice and equality. They commended the Government of South Africa, members of African Union (AU) and members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) for keeping the legacy of President Mandela alive. They encouraged all the members of the international community to utilize President Mandela centenary year of birth to intensify their efforts aimed at addressing challenges of poverty, underdevelopment and promoting the peaceful resolution of conflicts.
9. The Ministers further welcomed with appreciation the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to convene a Peace Summit in honor of the Centenary of Nelson Mandela on 24 September 2018 in New York. In this regard, the Ministers encouraged Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to participate actively in the preparatory process of the Peace Summit, including in the negotiation of the Political Declaration that will be adopted as an outcome of the Summit, and to be represented at the Summit itself at the highest possible level.
Baku, 06 April 2018