-Special Correspondent Manoj Karki The 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) begins here today. The two-day Summit kicks off with the official opening ceremony at the Baku Congress Centre at 10:00 am local time.
Delegates including Heads of State and Government as well as senior government officials from 120 member countries, and representatives of the 17 observer countries and 10 observer organisations are taking part in the Summit.
In the summit, Nepal is being led by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, who arrived here late night on Thursday, leading a 21-member Nepali delegation. Prime Minister Oli is being accompanied by his spouse Radhika Shakya.
The Nepali delegation includes Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Chief Adviser to the Prime Minister Bishnu Rimal, Foreign Affairs Adviser to the Prime Minister Dr Rajan Bhattarai, Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi, Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations Amrit Rai and senior officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Preceding to the 18th NAM Summit, the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting was held on 23-24 October and Senior Officials Meeting on 21-22 October 2019.The Summit will consider the report of the Preparatory Ministerial Meeting, review the progress achieved in the implementation of the outcomes of the 17thSummit held in 2016, and conclude tomorrow with the adoption of the Baku Declaration.
Earlier, talking to National News Agency and Nepal Television on the eve of the Summit here on Thursday, Foreign Minister Gyawali said the ministerial meeting of NAM has anlayzed the present world situation, which reaffirmed the significance of the NAM in the new world order. “Majority of the developing countries still face the same problems including of development and meaningful representation in the world system as it was when NAM was formally established in 1961,” he said.
The two-day ministerial meeting preceding the summit has also drafted the Baku Declaration, which is the major outcome document of the 18th NAM Summit. The essence of the Baku Declaration is that Bangdung Principles are still relevant today and that the members of NAM should strengthen their collaboration and unity further to play a greater role in the world order.
It may be noted that the General Debate of the 18th NAM Summit is being held on the theme of “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of contemporary world”. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli is scheduled to address the general debate of the Summit later today.
Furthermore, even though countries like China, India and Brazil have increased their contribution in the world economy standing in the 2nd, 6th and 9th position respectively in terms of economy, their share in the global balance of power has not increased accordingly, Gyawali said while referring to some developing countries that have raised economic their profile in the recent past years.
The Sustainable Development Goals is an epoch-making initiative that we have taken up but the developed countries have not taken up the share of responsibility accordingly. “Hence, the development aid structure needs to change to help the developing countries realize the SDGs,” he said.
Major objective of NAM is that the developing counties need to have an independent identity, independent existence and right to develop independently, with a just representation in the world system. As far as Nepal is concerned NAM is linked with our significance and development, which is why our foreign policy is based on the principles of the non-aligned movement and given our geo-political situation non-alignment, neutrality and non-intervention, sovereign equality are very important. “It’s an opportunity for Nepal’s to reaffirm its commitment to NAM principles”.