On November 28 2021, the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement was inaugurated. This Parliamentary Network of NAM was established during the 143rd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Madrid, Spain on the initiative of President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in his capacity as the Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement. The 2019 NAM Baku Summit had decided to expand and deepen its interaction and cooperation with parliamentarians.
The inaugural meeting was chaired by Speaker of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sahiba Gafarova. Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the NAM Parliamentary Network, Speaker of the Azerbaijani Parliament Sahiba Gafarova noted that the Parliamentary Network of the NAM can play the role of a platform for the development of cooperation between the parliaments of the member countries of the organization. According to Gafarova, the Parliamentary Network of the NAM will allow exchanging experience. It was also emphasized that the next meeting of the Parliamentary Network will be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
This Network, which will enable parliaments to promote the fundamental values and principles of the NAM, provide parliamentary support for decisions taken by the Member States of the Movement, and contribute to the resolution of issues of common interest to the Member States of the NAM, will play the role of a new multilateral cooperation platform in combating emerging global risks and threats. The Parliamentary Network of NAM will work towards effective partnership & cooperation with the IPU for the purpose of advancing the common agenda of development.
The inaugural meeting of the NAM Parliamentary Network concluded with the adoption of the Madrid Declaration. The Declaration undertook a review of the global situation and highlighted NAM’s understanding of the issues related to contemporary peace, security and sustainable development. The Madrid Declaration reiterated the commitment of NAM to the principles and objectives established at Bandung (1955) and Belgrade (1961). The Madrid Declaration also reiterated NAM’s strict adherence to the purpose, principles and provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and affirmed that the United Nations, its Charter, and the international law remain indispensable tools and central in the preservation and maintenance of international peace and security and the strengthening of international cooperation. The UN, through its multilateralism, remains the central multilateral forum for addressing the pressing global issues and challenges presently being confronted by all States.
The Declaration recalled the “noble aim of the founding fathers of the Non-Aligned Movement who gathered 60 years ago to promote the peaceful coexistence and sustainable development of all nations in full compliance with the Bandung Principles and commended their far-reaching wisdom and determination that resulted in establishing the second-largest international platform uniting like-minded members of the international community”. The Madrid Declaration acknowledged that inter-connectedness caused by globalisation has also multiplied the challenges faced by the contemporary world and this requires increasing cooperation and coordinated response from the NAM Member States.
The Madrid Declaration expressed serious concerns at the spread of the COVID-19 health problem and stated that this pandemic could only be countered through a global response based on unity, solidarity and multilateral cooperation. In this respect, the Madrid Declaration appreciated the efforts by the NAM in mobilizing efforts to address the consequence of the pandemic through several initiatives that have received broad international support. It may be highlighted here that it was on the initiative of Ecuador and Azerbaijan on behalf of NAM countries that a resolution on “Ensuring equitable, affordable, timely and universal access for all countries to vaccines in response to the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic” was adopted by United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) during its 46th session.
The NAM Parliamentary Network will provide a framework for cooperation and coordination among the parliaments of NAM Member States and for the exchange of parliamentary experience in the field of peace, security, human rights and development.
By Dr. Pawan Mathur
Photo Credit : https://twitter.com/LAbdullayevaMFA/status/1465270916800303105/photo/2