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Statement by Minister of State for External Affairs in the NAM Ministerial Meeting on the sidelines of 74th UNGA

September 27, 2019

Thank you Mr. Chairman,

1. I would like to begin by congratulating the Government and people of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for their successful coordination and stewardship of the activities of this Movement over the last three years. We also look forward to working with the incoming Chair, Azerbaijan, to ensure that the Movement remains effective and true to its guiding principles.

2. The theme out meeting today to emphasize on, "Upholding the Principles of Sovereignty and Political Independence as a Means to Maintain International Peace and Security and Foster Friendly Relations and Cooperation Among States”, speaks to the very essence of the NAM philosophy as envisioned by its founding fathers.

3. Throughout its history, the Movement has played a fundamental role in the preservation of world peace and security. Indeed, during the early days of this Movement, its actions provided both political impetus and moral direction for the decolonization process, which eventually led to independence for many of the countries and peoples represented in this room today.

4. Many of the struggles that brought us together in those early days have, happily, come to a close. But some continue unresolved. Our support for the cause of Palestine remains steadfast.

Excellencies,

5. Even as the process of globalization has opened up immense opportunities for the growth of our people, it has also brought to the fore challenges. These new threats are multidimensional, complex, and transnational in nature. The myriad problems that confront us today and threaten our future generations respect neither physical nor political boundaries. What is worse, they have a disproportionately adverse impact on developing countries. Climate change, terrorism, endemic poverty, under development, pandemics, etc. can only be defeated together, not alone.

6. We need approaches which are inclusive, transparent and firmly anchored in multilateralism to navigate these challenges.

7. Amid rising concern about the threats to multilateralism from unilateral, isolationist and inward looking impulses, it is even more important that our Movement continues to work together. This is the time to reaffirm our adherence to the core NAM principles of sovereign equality, mutual respect, peaceful settlement of disputes, solidarity and mutual cooperation. These principles find equally eloquent expression in the Charter of the United Nations, under whose auspices we gather today.

Excellencies,

8. Terrorism is among the most flagrant threats not only to international peace and security but to the very principles we are discussing today. Terrorists continue to disrupt our societies and undermine our developmental endeavors. The only way to fight this scourge is to strengthen and implement, without exceptions or double standards, all existing international laws and mechanisms to combat terrorists and their enablers.

Excellencies,

9. We cannot speak of maintaining international peace and security without addressing the issue of long overdue reforms of the global governance structures to correct historical injustices that can no longer be justified in the 21st century.

10. Earlier this year in Caracas, for the first time, NAM came together to express support for the Common African Position on UN Security Council reform, calling for expansion in both categories of membership of the Council. We are convinced that until early and comprehensive reform of the UN Security Council is achieved, the overall reform of the UN can only be regarded as incomplete.

Excellencies,

11. This Movement’s biggest strength lies in its diversity – we respect each other’s developmental journeys, distinct traditions and heritage, and have abiding faith in peaceful co-existence.

12. The Non-Aligned Movement represents a valuable platform for us, as developing countries that speak for two-thirds of humanity, to maintain space for autonomy in our policy making. It allows us to collectively pursue our contemporary goals and aspirations while being rooted in timeless and universal principles. India will therefore remain unwavering in its support for this Movement and its ideals.

New York
September 26, 2019

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