Media Statement

21 October 2019

Minister Naledi Pandor leads South Africa’s delegation to the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Dr Naledi Pandor, will lead South Africa’s delegation at the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 25-26 October 2019.

Held under the theme: “NAM Baku Summit – Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world,” the Summit of Heads of State and Government (25 – 26 October 2019) will be preceded by the Meeting of Senior Officials (21 – 22 October 2019) and the Ministerial Meeting (23 – 24 October 2019).

The NAM Summit of Heads of State and Government is the highest decision-making authority of the Movement. The existing practice is to hold a NAM Summit every three years. Venezuela has been the Chair of NAM since 2016 and its three-year chairship will conclude when the 18th NAM Summit takes place in Baku and accordingly, Azerbaijan will assume the chairship until 2022.

It is expected that the NAM Summit will review the Movement’s principled positions on global issues pertaining to development, human rights, peace and security, and the promotion and preservation of multilateralism, in line with the Charter of the United Nations and the Bandung Founding Principles of the NAM.

A meeting of the Ministerial Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement on Palestine is also expected to be convened during the Summit. South Africa is a member of the NAM Committee on Palestine, which has the mandate to coordinate the NAM's activities in support of the Palestinian struggle for self-determination.

Minister Pandor said: “South Africa will utilise the meeting to engage the NAM Member States on issues that include the strengthening of the principles of multilateralism and consolidating the rule of law, as well as finding sustainable solutions to bring lasting peace to current situations around the world.”

The Summit will conclude with the adoption of the final NAM Baku Outcome Document, the Baku Declaration and the NAM Ministerial Declaration on Palestine.

With its 120 Member States, the NAM is the largest grouping of countries outside of the UN, making it an important role-player in global and multilateral affairs. Since its inception in 1961, the Movement has played a crucial and highly visible political role in representing the interests of developing countries, particularly in the eradication of colonialism, supporting struggles for liberation and self-determination, the pursuit of world peace and the search for a more equitable and just global order. NAM remains an important role-player in the multilateral system and continues to play an active role on issues pertaining to development, UN reform, disarmament, human rights, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, amongst others.

Minister Pandor will be accompanied by Deputy Minister Alvin Botes.

Enquiries: Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for DIRCO, 082 884 5974

ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

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