Statement by H E Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of the Republic of South Africa, to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Ministerial Conference, Algiers, Algeria, 29 May 2014

Honorable Minister Lamamra,
Honorable Ministers and Heads of Delegation
Distinguished Guests and Delegates
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentleman

On behalf of the South African delegation and myself, let me take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to the government and people of Algeria for the warm hospitality extended to us since our arrival in your country.

As South Africa, we remain indebted to the role that members of this Movement collectively and individually played in our struggle against colonialism, oppression and apartheid. This year marked the twentieth anniversary since we attained our freedom and became a democracy. We continue to make great strides in moving South Africa forward. We have just inaugurated a Fifth democratic administration after a successful and smooth national election.

Chairperson,

The NAM has accomplished a lot in the past 50 years, especially with regard to the challenges of decolonization and the ending of apartheid. It is therefore vital for the Movement in the changing international environment to respond adequately to the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment, peace and security, democracy and good governance and the respect of human rights.

We, the members of the Movement, can only achieve this by strengthening our solidarity and South-South cooperation. Therefore the theme of the conference namely, Strengthened solidarity for peace and prosperity” could not be more appropriate and relevant.

We are mindful of the need to continuously update our strategies and tactics based on today’s realities. Now, it is important for us as a Movement to recommit ourselves to the principles of solidarity and non-alignment.

We have recently observed with serious concern, concerted efforts to undermine democratic governance and practice in most of the members of this Movement, by external forces through internal proxies that begin as genuine protests and rapidly degenerate into violent armed protests that seek to undermine constitutional order. We should therefore endeavor to stand together and condemn those extra constitutional activities, including regime change.

As a Movement, we should continue our unwavering commitment to the strengthening of systems of global governance and deepening of multilateralism.

It is almost 70 years now since the United Nations was formed. The majority of us here today were not participants at the conference where the charter of the United Nations was adopted, but we today constitute more than three quarters of the membership of the United Nations.

The United Nations is our organization and therefore should be realigned to serve our interests and needs. The 70th anniversary presents an opportunity for the strengthening of the organization. It is an important milestone that cannot be allowed to pass without a significant commitment to reform particularly of the Security Council.

The same applies to the Bretton Woods institutions.  The time for transformation and change is now!

Chairperson,

We are approaching a critical juncture of the 15-year target initially set for the achievement for the Millennium Development Goals. Moving forward, and given that the challenges which were meant to be addressed are still prevalent in many of our countries, we have to agree on a program to carry forward the unfinished business of the MDGs. We should continue to send a clear message to both our people and partners that the post 2015 dispensation is not an escape valve from the commitments made including by the developed countries.

Our South-South cooperation should be geared towards uplifting and assisting those of our friends classified as least developed and small island developing states. So as we craft a Post 2015 development architecture, we should take into account their concerns and rally behind them.

Chairperson,

Africa has made significant progress in addressing challenges of conflicts, strive and wars.

We remain committed to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination, freedom and justice; and note with appreciation the reconciliation and unity between Hamas and Fatah. We should utilize the International Year of Solidarity with the People of Palestine to initiate concrete programs and activities aimed at supporting the just and legitimate cause of the Palestinians.

We are witnessing in Syria destruction and devastation of one of the Members of our Movement. We should as a matter of principle call for peaceful resolution of the ongoing conflict in that country.

In conclusion, we reaffirm our commitment to the principles and objectives of the Non Aligned Movement and their relevance in addressing global challenges of the 21st century.

I thank you.

For enquiries please contact Mr Clayson Monyela, Spokesperson for the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, at 082 884 5974.

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