On February 16, 2016, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gholam Ali Khoshroo – on behalf of the NAM, whose rotating presidency is assumed by Iran – speaking at Security Council ministerial open debate on “the respect to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) as key element for the maintenance of international peace and security”, held in New York urged the international community to respect “the fundamental concepts of respect for the sovereignty, the equality of States, the non-interference, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and refraining from the use or threat of use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of all Member States.” Khusroo’s position was totally in accordance with the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement regarding peaceful settlement of global conflicts in accordance with UN Charter.
The guiding principles of the Non-Aligned Movement make it incumbent upon all States to defend, preserve and promote the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principles of international law, in particular non- antagonistic settlement of disputes and the non-use or refrain of a threat of use of force.
In this respect, the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement are influenced by the UN General Assembly resolutions 65/283 of 22 June 2011 and 66/291 of 13 September 2012 on strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, and all other relevant General Assembly resolutions and Security Council resolutions and presidential statements related to mediation and to regional and sub-regional organizations.
Resolution 65/283 states to uphold the sovereign equality of all States, respect for their territorial integrity and political independence and the duty of Member States to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the United Nations, and to uphold the resolution of disputes by peaceful means and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, the right to self-determination of peoples which remain under colonial domination or foreign occupation, non-interference in the internal affairs of States, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for the equal rights of all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character and the fulfilment in good faith of the obligations assumed in accordance with the UN Charter. In a similar vein, Resolution 66/291 calls on the international community to continue to promote and use mediation, as well as other means mentioned in Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations, for the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution, and further encourages the development of mediation capacities and cooperation, in particular in specific mediation contexts, by all relevant actors involved in mediation, in accordance with the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter.
In this regards, a mention may also be made of the efforts of the Non-Aligned Movement in the adoption of the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes. The Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes also known as UN Resolution 37/10 was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1982.
It is considered the first important instrument of the work of the Special Committee on the Charter of the UN and on the Strengthening of the Role of the Organization, and one of its significant achievements. The Declaration stated that “International disputes shall be settled on the basis of the sovereign equality of States and in accordance with the principle of free choice of means in conformity with obligations under the Charter of the United Nations and with the principles of justice and international law. States parties to an international dispute, as well as other States, shall refrain from any action whatsoever which may aggravate the situation so as to endanger the maintenance of international peace and security and make more difficult or impede the peaceful settlement of the dispute, and shall act in this respect in accordance with the purposes and principles of the United Nations. NAM has been very strong and consistent in its calls to the international community to uphold and defend the principles of the UN Charter and international law as well as the means envisaged in the UN Charter for the pacific settlement of dispute and non-resort to the threat or use of force. NAM staunchly believes purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principles of international law are essential in preserving and promoting peace and security, the rule of law, economic development and social progress, and human rights for all.