Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is the second largest multilateral organisation and the largest voice of the developing nations of the world. NAM is guided by the principles of respect of fundamental human rights and of the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, recognition of equality among all, non-intervention, peaceful co-existence and respect for international obligations and disarmament as outlined at the 1955 NAM Bandung Conference.
These principles were reiterated at the 18th NAM Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting held in Baku, Azerbaijan on April 6-7, 2018. The Baku Declaration took cognizance of the current problems and challenges faced by the developing world and expressed the support of Member States for the consolidation, strengthening and revitalization of the NAM. The Baku Declaration called for preserving NAM’s legacy and historical validity and promoting its strength, cohesion and resilience on the basis of unity in diversity and solidarity of its Member States.
The Baku Declaration reaffirms the support of NAM to the principles of multilateralism and recognised the role played by the United Nations in global governance through institutional and legal frameworks and states that Charter of the United Nations, is of the greatest importance for the maintenance of international peace and security. The Baku Declaration reiterates NAM’s longstanding call of revitalizing and strengthening the role of Un General Assembly to make it the most democratic, accountable, universal and representative UN body. Baku Declaration also calls for a reform of the UN Security Council to make it more representative, democratic and efficient and make it function in line with the current geo-political realities.
Since its inception, NAM has strived for disarmament and has raised calls for the creation of a world free of nuclear weapons. Baku Declaration calls for the urgent commencement of negotiations in the Conference on Disarmament on further effective nuclear disarmament measures to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons, including in particular on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons.
Baku Declaration takes cognizance of the looming threat of terrorism to world peace and security and destruction of human rights. The Declaration emphasises the need to strengthen NAM solidarity in combating terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the relevant international convention. In this context, Baku Declaration welcomes the Fifth Review of the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy (UNGCTS) and the establishment of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism in 2017.
NAM also takes cognizance of the socio-economic challenges faced by the developing world. Thus, Baku Declaration recognises the challenges of development faced by the Global South and recognises the significance of the Right to Development, which was promoted by NAM three decades ago. The Declaration mentions that Right to Development is an inalienable, fundamental and universal right, and essential to build collective and sustainable peace and prosperity across the world. The Declaration reiterates the need for achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions — economic, social and environmental — in a balanced and integrated manner.
NAM Member States have stressed the need to protect the environment and combat the adverse effect of climate change. In recognition of this, Baku Declaration reiterates the concerns and particularities of all developing countries, based on the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), particularly in relation to the implementation of the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, and in light of the historic responsibilities of developed countries. The Declaration urges the developed countries to fulfil their commitments of providing finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries.
With respect to promotion of racial equality and elimination of all forms of discrimination, Baku Declaration calls for more interreligious and intercultural dialogue to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and respect. The Declaration strongly condemns the incitement of religious hatred through any means. NAM has also been concerned at the instances of discrimination faced by migrants and this echoes in the Baku Declaration.
The Declaration calls on governments to establish effective mechanisms to check incitement to ethnic, racial, sexual and religious discrimination, as well as crimes perpetrated with racist or xenophobic motivation by individuals or groups against migrants.
Thus, Baku Declaration reiterates the commitment of the Member States to the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and addresses a wide range of challenges faced by the developing world.
By Dr. Pawan Mathur