NAM under Cuban leadership

During the days of the world’s division in military blocks and opposite ideologies –one side the United States and NATO allies and on the other side the former Soviet Union and the eastern European socialist community- leaders from several Third World nations including Cuba decided to create the Non Alignment in 1961. Cuba followed with serenity, enthusiasm and strengthened the program of the struggle and construction of a new and just world. Cuba has not only chaired in more than one occasion the Movement of Non Aligned Nations but has done so with precision and profound revolutionary ethics before the problems that it has had to assume in name of the institution.

Cuba’s role at the non aligned movement was important after the collapse of the former Soviet Union and the socialist community in Eastern Europe when progressive and left wing forces became confused, frustrated and discouraged.Programs destined in strengthening South-South cooperation thanks to Cuba’s initiative as well as intensive work in solidarity among its members, work in favor of the struggle for the liberation of many Third World nations.

It has twice hosted the organization’s triennial summit of heads of state or government and chaired the NAM for the following three year term. The 14th NAM summit in September 2006 was headed by Cuba, Raul Castro, Cuba’s first vice- president and defense minister officially chaired the summit. Abelardo Moreno, Cuban deputy foreign minister and spokesman for the summit. Ratification over the role of the Non-Aligned Movement as a forum of political coordination of underdeveloped nations to promote and defend their common rights and in favor of unity, solidarity and cooperation among member nations was the main agenda of the summit.

The summit considered the international situation and urged the member countries to continue universal and non discriminatory nuclear disarmament. The summit was aimed at reasserting the influence of developing countries in a world dominated by a single western superpower, rather than competing East-West political poles.The developing countries that make up the overwhelming majority of the NAM membership discussed the problems faced by landlocked nations, the plight of the Palestinian people and the defense of the territorial integrity of all countries. “Our small states now live in fear, as daily threats now emanate from the West to attack or undermine our systems in order to bring about regime change,” President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe told the assembly.

The Summit expressed concern over the strategic defense doctrines of NWS, including the NATO Alliance Strategic Concept, which depend on nuclear weapons for their security. The NWS were reminded that development of new types of nuclear weapons would violate their commitments undertaken during the conclusion of the CTBT. It is also noted that implementation of national missile defense systems could lead to an arms race.

 

The summit was to take a serious effort to find ways and means to strengthen unity and cohesion of the movement on the basis of common interests of the member states as well as revitalizing “NAM’s central role as the principal political platform for developing countries to air their views at the UN and other international for a,” according to the Herald News of Zimbabwe

The purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principles of international law are indispensable in preserving and promoting economic development and social progress, peace and security, and human rights for all and the rule of law. In this context, UN Member States should renew their commitment to defend, preserve and promote the UN Charter and international law, with the aim of making further progress to achieving full respect for international la. The smaller countries like Iran discussed the problems faced by them due the threat from larger countries which poses nuclear weapons. The speaker of Iran said it is highly difficult to sustain the pressure from the foreign countries.

There was support for the establishment of a WMD-free zone in the Middle East. It was noted that on the path towards such a zone, the first step should be placing all Israeli nuclear facilities under IAEA full-scope safeguards and Israel joining the NPT as a NNWS and then declaring Middle East as a NWFZ. The Summit expressed concern over the strategic defense doctrines of NWS, including the NATO Alliance Strategic Concept, which depend on nuclear weapons for their security. The NWS were reminded that development of new types of nuclear weapons would violate their commitments undertaken during the conclusion of the CTBT. It is also noted that implementation of national missile defense systems could lead to an arms race. The ministers also addressed the probability of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction, stressing that the most effective prevention tool was progress in disarmament and nonproliferation. Noting the adoption of resolutions 1540 and 1673 by the UN Security Council, the ministers recommended that the issue of non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction should be dealt with multilaterally at the General Assembly. The importance of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was reestablished and it was recognized that the convention should be strengthened through multilateral negotiations.

The Middle East attracted an inordinate amount of attention at the summit, since member-states criticized the Bush administration’s close relationship with Israel as their main source of anti-American ammunition. The importance of the Middle East to the NAM summit’s affairs was made evident by the fact that two of the five documents produced at the summit focus on the area. In stark contrast to the less assuming themes, as with the aforementioned “Plan of Action,” these documents, entitled “Statement on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Nuclear Issue” and “Declaration on Palestine,” eliminate any pretension of impartiality that the organization may hold. It is obvious that NAM member-states, unnerved by the current U.S. presence in the Middle East, have sought to use the summit to give voice to their outrage, although this has not necessarily brought a solution any closer.

The Final Document recommends that a universal legally binding instrument on security assurances should be concluded as an interim measure awaiting complete nuclear disarmament. The Final Declaration addresses not only closer bilateral and multilateral trade, economic development, educational, healthcare and social projects. The summit will make a serious effort to find ways and means to strengthen unity and cohesion of the movement on the basis of common interests of the member states as well as revitalizing “NAM’s central role as the principal political platform for developing countries to air their views at the UN and other international for a,” according to the Herald News of Zimbabwe.

The Havana Declaration defined that the NAM members “totally reject the use of the term ‘axis of evil’ by a certain state to target other states under the pretext of combating terrorism.” Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque urged the NAM members to unite and warned that threats against three and a half billion poor people of the planet are multiplying in the present one-sided world governed by an infinitesimally small group of owners of powerful corporations.

The ministers emphasized their belief that multilateralism was the only method of addressing disarmament and international security issues, reaffirming their support for the UN Disarmament Commission and the Conference on Disarmament as multilateral tools for disarmament negotiations. Furthermore, the ministers expressed concern over the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missiles defense systems that they warned could lead to an arms race and an increase in the number of nuclear weapons worldwide.

The importance of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was reestablished and it was recognized that the convention should be strengthened through multilateral negotiations. The ministers thus committed to work for a successful outcome of the Sixth Review Conference to be held in Geneva, 20 November — 8 December. Furthermore, the ministers invited states who had not yet signed or ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention to do so speedily.

Finally, the ministers also addressed the probability of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction, stressing that the most effective prevention tool was progress in disarmament and nonproliferation. Noting the adoption of resolutions 1540 and 1673 by the UN Security Council, the ministers recommended that the issue of non-state actors acquiring weapons of mass destruction should be dealt with multilaterally at the General Assembly.

Cuba’s ascension to leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at its 14th meeting held September 11-16 in Havana signaled a heightening of diplomatic tensions between a growing numbers of assertive developing nations. The summit was attended by more than 50 heads of states, as well as other foreign officials representing 118 nations, convened in the Cuban capital to discuss the methodology of power consolidation with the intent of counterbalancing the U.S. and the other rich nations on the world stage. With the delegates in attendance representing some 55 percent of the world’s population, and holding two-thirds of the total seats in the United Nations, NAM’s constituents mark a mounting international presence whose leverage is commensurately gaining ground. The Cuban summit maintained the aim of NAM’s formation, focusing on the need of the hour of prevention and non proliferation of nuclear weapons.

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