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Why NAM is Needed PDF Print E-mail

The 17th Non-Aligned Movement(NAM) summit in Venezuela’s Margarita Island proved to be a lacklustre affair which it had never witnessed in its so impactful history. About 12 heads of states attended from the 120-member group, which was quite less than the participation at the Iran summit, a signal that the movement is on the decline.

The Indian PM was requested by Venezuela to participate as India was a founder-member of the movement but India rejected the request and the Vice-President attended the meet. The Indian stand is clear—that the days of alliance system and power blocs are over, hence NAM carries not much importance. This viewpoint of the Indian Government can be contested. In fact the Indian Vice-President raised the issue of terrorism at the meet; if the issue would have been raised by the Indian PM then it would have had sharper meaning before the world audience but the opportunity was deliberately missed. The relevance of NAM is self-proven: when issues like terrorism are raised as major global problems, then the NAM platform automatically becomes highly relevant. When NAM deals with newly emerging problems from global warming, debt-affected low income countries to UN reforms, then it establishes itself as a deliberative and coordinating platform for the developing countries, even in the changed global milieu.

The world is more violent and big power rivalries from MENA to the South China Sea have increased in recent times. NAM provides an alternative medium to tackle these issues in fresh and innovative ways but this aspect was lost by several leaders. India too appeared to have shunned the Movement. US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and in recent times Condoleezza Rice always criticised NAM; now India has accepted their arguments and shifted towards the US and that is perceptible. In such a scenario the commitment to NAM was to be diluted and the dilution was made with no considerations for the countries from the South and the needs of the poor nations for whom the support of India was a policy-commitment. However, India deliberately overlooked these points.

The meet was important in the sense that the politically troubled Nicolas Maduro, the Socialist President of Venezuela, with support from Cuban President Castro said that the US onslaught was being experienced in the region. The onslaught was on different aspects of their existence which spanned from politics, economy, and culture to the life of their countries. The recognition of such an onslaught on the region is the need of the hour as global politics is not only the game of power but it has several intertwined dimensions including impacts on the culture, economy and independence of the foreign policy; these dimensions relate to the core pillars of the NAM. When the Venezuelan President feels that the US corporates with the local elements are trying to oust him, then the utility of NAM becomes all the more significant because the US involvement in local politics is a signal of interventionist power politics for the developing countries. Countries like the Philippines have now realised the adverse impact of the US influence in their lives.

The declaration of the 17th summit has highlighted certain relevant issues which cannot be ignored. The problem with analysts and policy-makers is that NAM is treated by them as an organisation of the Cold War age but its next generation evolution has taken place in the age of post-USSR dissolution; the new problems have been adequately addressed by it. Several members may not have placed adherence to the NAM philosophy and activism in their foreign policy as a top priority but it does not mean that the NAM meet was useless or it has no prospect for the future.

New problems are emerging and the new alliance systems are evolving. NAM recognised these and its declaration has several elements which developing nations need to take note of. These included—to decisively address the challenges posed in the areas of peace, economic and social development, human rights and international cooperation, to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes in accordance with Article 2 and Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as with the UN Resolution 26/25 of October 24, 1970 and international law, to emphasise the sovereign equality of states, the non-intervention in the internal affairs of states, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the abstention from the threat or use of force, adoption of a future Compre-hensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism, Israel’s withdrawal from territories occupied since June 1967, in accordance with Resolutions 242, and 338, to recover and strengthen the authority of the General Assembly as the most democratic, accountable, universal and representative body of the Organisation and the reform of the Security Council, in order to transform it into a more democratic, effective, efficient, transparent and representative body, and in line with contem-porary geo-political realities, to fulfil the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and its 169 targets for all nations and peoples, to strengthen the multilateral trading system so as to provide an enabling environment for development, by ensuring a level playing field for developing countries in international trade, and to allocate importance of increasing Aid for Trade and capacity building, in order to strengthen the participation of developing countries in the Global Value Chain and promote regional economic integration and interconnectivity, the transfer of technology from developed countries, on favourable terms, in climate change area the developed countries need to fulfill their commitments of providing finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries, the reform of the international financial architecture with democratisation of the decision-making institutions of Bretton Woods (IMF and World Bank), to emphasise the South-South Cooperation as an important element of international cooperation for the sustainable development of their peoples, as a complement and not as a substitute to the North-South Cooperation, which allows for the transfer of appropriate technologies, in favorable conditions and preferential terms, to highlight the efforts of the international community to counter and eradicate the spread of various pandemics, among them the Ebola, as well as for confronting the aftermath of natural disasters around the world, to focus global refugee problems and the problems of migrants which mainly affects the women and children and to emphasize the need for information and communication strategies to be deeply rooted in historical and cultural processes and to call on the media of the developed countries to respect the developing countries in the formulation of their opinions, models and perspectives with a view to enhancing the dialogue among civilisations.

These components of the declaration are important for global politics as these issues and problems may accentuate in the near future; hence need is to keep NAM alive and sustainable. India has a specific role in this process.

The next meet will be organised in Baku, the Republic of Azerbaijan, in 2019 as it has been elected as the next President of the movement. Till then NAM as a supporting platform for the global betterment needs to be rediscovered by all its members, mainly its founding members.

Dr Vivek Kumar Srivastava is the Vice-Chairman, CSSP and Consultant, CRIEPS, Kanpur.\

‘NAM needed to maintain balance in world order’: Augusto Montiel PDF Print E-mail

Augusto Montiel, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, speaks to Simran Sodhi

As Venezuela gets ready to host the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit, Augusto Montiel, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, speaks about the relevance of NAM today in a changing world order. India will be represented at the Summit by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who is scheduled to depart later this week for Venezuela.

Do you think NAM still holds relevance in the world today?

A: The fact is that organising the 17th Summit of NAM is the most important event to us in the light of the need for balance and peace, and the need to end this status of domination around the world. There are still countries that feel that colonialism exists. We could ask ourselves was 1947 really the end of colonialism in this area, in this region? Has colonialism ended in Africa? It’s not just an academic question but people in their daily lives can also understand that colonialism exists. Just that now we call it neo-colonialism. But if civilisation is the art of living together, then all those who think that life needs to be treated fairly, and all states and nations need to be treated fairly and with respect, would understand that NAM is important.

Three weeks back, the foreign minister of Venezuela visited India and had discussions here. Can you share some details?

As you are aware, three weeks back our foreign and petroleum minister was here. An important component of the relationship between India and Venezuela is energy. One in every three drops of oil and gasoline in India comes from Venezuela. Indian state oil companies along with Venezuelan companies are producing oil in some of the largest oil reserves in the world, which is also the main reason for the US to target the Venezuelan government as a military objective.

Is oil the reason behind the animosity between the US and Venezuela?

That is the main reason for the fuss in the West as far as Venezuela is concerned. The control of this oil is the problem because we want the oil for solidarity, for development. There are countries in the world that want oil only for their own good and for controlling the world. That is not civilisation. That is madness, and criminal. Even the Prime Minister of India has called for a multi-polar world. The international institutions are not reflective of the existing world order today.

As many as 120 countries will be represented at the NAM Summit. What is the message that you want to send out to the world?

The more world leaders attend the NAM Summit, and give an orientation as to who wants a re-structuring of the United Nations system, the stronger will the message be. We want to convey this message to the countries that want to control the lives of other nations. Countries in Europe and the North American continent undoubtedly want to control international institutions like the UN. They want to control UNESCO, but don’t pay the dues.

Do you blame the US for many of the problems of the developing world?

History has very clear pages as to who are responsible for the world’s affairs. Today, we see the control of the UN is over only a few countries. How can we then not say that they [the US] are responsible? You have people like former US president George Bush and former UK prime minister Tony Blair today saying that they are sorry; that they now know that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq; and that they are very sorry but they were misinformed. This is absurd. Their propaganda machinery, with its structure of domination, convinced the world that they needed to invade a country with a lot of oil, all in the name of democracy and freedom. It is all just a sweet story; now they are apologising to the families of 2 million human beings who were massacred, a culture that was killed.

Did Venezuela change the schedule of the Summit twice just to make it convenient for Prime Minister Modi to attend?

No, that is not true at all. A lot of countries requested that the Summit be held near the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, which is held in September, as it would be convenient for the leaders to first come to Venezuela and then move to New York. It has nothing to do with any specific leader. We did send an invitation addressed to the Prime Minister and also to the President of India.

Are you disappointed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi chose to skip the Summit?

The world will thank the leaders who took chances and risks to produce a more balanced and multi-polar world. By not being present at the Summit, the message will not be heard directly. Many have asked us this question. It is for the Indian people to assess and reflect on this. Also, you should seek an answer to this from the Indian Prime Minister and the Government of India.

Venezuela in NAM PDF Print E-mail

Since its inception in 1961, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has been waging a relentless battle to ensure that the people who were oppressed by foreign occupation and domination can exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela joins such noble cause. Its history has proved it, through its libertarian and independence vocation since the nineteenth century.

Venezuela participated as an observer country at the 2nd NAM Summit held in Cairo, Egypt, in 1964. Since then, it regularly attended all conferences until it became a member at the 9th Summit held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in 1989.

Venezuela supports and actively promotes the principles of non-alignment, convinced on the need to reverse the negative trends affecting peace, security and the economic and social development of peoples. Venezuela believes that multilateralism, driven by NAM, is important to foster the international dialogue and cooperation, in line with the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, with a vision for the creation of a multipolar system, based on the unconditional respect for the rules and principles of international law.

International relations of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in accordance with its Constitution, serve the ends of the State upon the exercise of sovereignty and the interests of the people, governed by principles of independence, equality between States, self-determination and the non-intervention in the internal affairs, peaceful settlement of international disputes and international cooperation.

Ideologically, NAM has demonstrated its ability to adapt to changes in the international environment, adapting the principles of Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War for poverty alleviation, economic development and nuclear disarmament in the twenty-first century. However, some initiatives, such as the reform of the UN Security Council and the fight against the counterfeiting of neoliberal policies, have been unsuccessful since they have not achieved the necessary changes so far.

The Bolivarian Revolution, initiated and led by Commander Hugo Chavez Frias and, currently, with the continuity of President Nicolas Maduro Moros, is an important component of social development through government policies of attention and inclusion, and that aspect, among others, has been defended within the meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement and also in other international bodies.

With the basis of guaranteeing the economic, social and cultural rights in our country, guaranteed in Venezuela’s Constitution, policies targeted against the most vulnerable groups in all major documents about social policy are rejected, on the contrary, we postulate the need for social and universal policies which tend to work on behalf of social equity in order to overcome political inequalities and cultural exclusions. This has been one of the great contributions of the Bolivarian government in international and multilateral fora and agencies.

Additionally, Venezuela currently represents the Troika of the Non-Aligned Movement, together with Iran and Egypt, when at the 16th Summit of Heads of State and Government (Tehran), 30 and August 31, 2013, Venezuelan accepted to welcome the offer of holding the 17th Summit of NAM heads of state. This instance (Troika) has a consultative status, since the core of the decision-making of the Movement lies within the Member States.

Speech by President Hugo Chavez in the 14th NAM Summit in Havana, Cuba, September 15, 2006

 Venezuela held the Seventh Conference of Ministers of Information of Non-Aligned Movement (Cominac)The Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela was the organizer and host of the 7th Conference of Ministers of Information of the Non-Aligned Movement (Cominac) held in Margarita Island, Nueva Esparta state, from the 2nd to the 4th of July, 2008.This meeting had as its central subject of debate, the theme “Challenges and Proposals for the Objective Dissemination of the voice of the South to the current trends in the field of information and communications.”Due to existing imbalances and exclusions generated by the so-called neoliberal globalization process intended to be imposed from the great centers of political and global financial power, the theme of objective dissemination of the voice of the South is a high priority for developing countries; hence its importance in the discussion of this 7th Conference held in Venezuelan territory.

This Conference gave an opportunity to bolster initiatives promoted by countries of the South (including the Network of News Agencies of the Non-Aligned Movement, based in Kuala Lumpur, and Telesur, whose headquarter is in Caracas), seeking greater democratization in information and communications management.

In 1976, the Ministers of Information of Non-Aligned Movement met for the first time in New Delhi and developed a draft Charter of Pool with a view to achieving the full and free news and reports circulation including the dissemination of real and objective information on non-aligned countries to the rest of world.

One of its key objectives was promoting the New International Order of Information and Communications, supported at that time by Unesco, the United Nations and other international organizations, in order to break the siege and the hegemony of big media corporations serving world powers.

Until the VII Cominac held on the island of Margarita, seven (7) Conferences of Ministers of Information of Non-Aligned Countries had been previously held, namely:

        Cominac New Delhi, India (1976)

        I Cominac Jakarta, Indonesia (1984)

        II Cominac Harare, Zimbabwe (1987)

        III Cominac Havana, Cuba (1990)

        IV Cominac Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (1993)

        V Cominac Abuja, Nigeria (1996)

        VI Cominac Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2005)

    COMINAC Nueva Delhi, India (1976)

    Me Cominac Jakarta, Indonesia (1984)

    II Cominac Harare, Zimbabwe (1987)

    III Cominac La Habana, Cuba (1990)

    IV Cominac Pyongyang, República Popular Democrática de Corea (1993)

    V Cominac Abuja, Nigeria (1996)

    VI Cominac Kuala Lumpur, Malasia (2005)

Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (1999)

Article 152: The international relations of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela serve the ends of the State upon the exercise of sovereignty and the interests of the people, these are governed by principles of independence, equality between States, self-determination and nonintervention in the internal affairs, peaceful settlement of international disputes and international cooperation, respect for human rights, solidarity between peoples in the battle for emancipation and the welfare of humanity. The Republic will firmly and decidedly defend these principles and democratic practice in all international bodies and agencies.

88 countries reject US interventionist statement against Venezuela in the Human Rights Council of the UN PDF Print E-mail

Geneva, 29 September 2016

The statement of support for the Bolivarian Government, read by the Ambassador of Cuba, Anayansi Rodriguez was signed by all the African Group (54 countries); by all members of the Arab League (21 countries), by the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-ALBA, and nations like Russia, China, India, Iran, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Haiti, between many others.


Massive Turnout in Defense of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution PDF Print E-mail

As opposition supporters protested in the streets of Caracas, pro-government Chavistas came out to show their support for President Maduro and to defend the Bolivarian Revolution.

Thousands of pro-government supporters staged a counter rally to defend President Nicolas Maduro after the right-wing opposition called for a "taking of Caracas" march to demand Maduro's ouster.

The Chavistas gathered in front of the presidential palace Miraflores in Caracas Wednesday where President Maduro gave a speech on the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution and the importance of defending it.

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