Since its inception, Non-Aligned Movement is committed to uphold and defend the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN). NAM firmly believes that it is imperative to continue to promote multilateralism, especially by strengthening the central role of the United Nations. At their Eighteenth Summit, held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 25-26 October 2019, under the theme “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of contemporary world”, the Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement reaffirmed the validity of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the principles and norms of international law, as indispensable in preserving and promoting peace and security, the rule of law, economic development and social progress, and all human rights for all.
NAM reiterated this principled position during the Ministerial-level Security Council Open Debate on the theme “Towards the 75th anniversary of the United Nations: Upholding the Charter of the United Nations to maintain international peace and security” held from 9-13 January 2020. Azerbaijan, speaking in its capacity as the present Chair of Non-Aligned Movement, stated that NAM was committed to support multilateralism with the United Nations at its core. Preserving and strengthening the values of multilateralism and international cooperation, which underpin the Charter of the United Nations and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is fundamental to promoting and supporting the three pillars of the United Nations – peace and security, development and human rights.
The delegate of Azerbaijan further stated that NAM reaffirmed and underscores its principled position and commitment with regard to the promotion of the pacific settlement of disputes in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions, including those adopted by the Security Council.
Several NAM Member States also put forward their principled position. Cambodia, associating itself with Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Non-Aligned Movement, stated that the collective whole must ensure that the United Nations is more responsive, transparent and accountable for the future, with the Council acting decisively in a cooperative manner. One way the Security Council could promote effective peace and security action is through strengthening its peacekeeping engagement, including through providing clear, focused mandates. Promoting socio-economic development must be a focus area, with purposeful cooperation among all the Member States.
Sri Lanka, associating itself with the statement of Non-Aligned Movement, stressed the need for increased and concerted efforts to reinvigorate collective measures to maintain international peace and security. Sri Lanka stated that the Preamble of the Charter remains etched in the collective memory. “It is a living document, containing many principles that form the bedrock of the United Nations. It is timely to rededicating to collective commitment to address numerous challenges of today, including the spread of terrorism, radicalization, environmental degradation, and mass migration, because no country is immune to those.”
Senegal, associating itself with the Non-Aligned Movement, stressed that Non-Aligned Movement and African Member States of the Council, warned against violations of the provisions enshrined in the Charter, as the foundational treaty is a “recipe” for peace. Stressing the need to respect the Charter, which is the fundamental law of the planet, he stressed that no State can meet the challenges of today in isolation.
Brunei Darussalam, associating itself with the Non-Aligned Movement and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), described the Charter as a meaningful compass that has seen the international community through both significant advancements and difficult times. “The Charter has also been a means of empowerment especially by ensuring the equal participation of small States such as Brunei Darussalam”, the delegate of Brunei Darussalam said.
Nepal, associating itself with the Non-Aligned Movement, said that the country’s Constitution recognizes the Charter as guiding principles of its foreign policy. Nepal mentioned that the role of the United Nations in the maintenance of international peace and security has been included in the school level curriculum to increase the awareness of Nepali citizen’s rights from a formative age.
By Dr. Ankit Srivastava, Editor