08 July 2023
NAM remains relevant in addressing challenges and opportunities for developing countries, says Deputy Minister Botes
The Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Alvin Botes, led the South African delegation to the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Coordinating Bureau (CoB) in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 05 and 06 July 2023. The meeting was held under the theme: “NAM, United and steadfast in confronting emerging challenges”.
Azerbaijan has been the Chair of the NAM since 2019 and its three-year chairship will conclude in January 2024 when the 19th NAM Summit takes place in Kampala and Uganda assumes the Chairship until 2026.
The meeting in Baku reviewed 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.
The Ministerial Meeting concluded with the adoption of the outcome documents of the meeting, including the “Baku Political Declaration” and the “Political Declaration of the NAM Ministerial Committee on Palestine”.
Deputy Minister Botes recalled that the NAM was formed at the height of the Cold War and adopted the important principle of non-alignment based on the Bandung Principles. It is the NAM that brought the concept of non-alignment closer to the concept of the centrality of multilateralism and collective action to address global challenges.
Deputy Minister Botes emphasised that, as a country that benefitted from the solidarity of the NAM in the global fight against Apartheid and oppression, South Africa remains committed to ensuring that the Movement remains relevant in addressing the common challenges and opportunities for developing countries. Furthermore, the principles that brought members together at the formation of the movement remain applicable today.
In a statement delivered at the Ministerial Meeting of the NAM Committee on Palestine, Deputy Minister Botes reiterated South Africa’s solidarity with the people of Palestine and reflected on the tragic and shocking events in Jenin over the last few days where civilians have been killed and injured and civilian infrastructure damaged in contravention of international humanitarian law. The Deputy Minister stressed that members of the NAM have a responsibility to call for a just solution based on international law to end the on-going occupation.
The Deputy Minister held bilateral talks with counterparts from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Europe. During these discussions, Deputy Minister Botes and his counterparts discussed bilateral and multilateral issues, as well as the revitalisation of the work of the movement and enhancing intra-trade relations between NAM Member States.
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