Pres­i­dent off to Venezuela for NAM sum­mit The 10 Prin­ci­ples of Ban­dung

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mabasa Sasa Harare Bureau

PRES­I­DENT Mu­gabe left Harare for Islha Mar­garita, Venezuela yes­ter­day for the 17th Non-Aligned Move­ment Sum­mit, where he will join 120 Heads of State and Govern­ment and/or their rep­re­sen­ta­tives for cru­cial meet­ings that seek to give a greater voice to the world’s emerg­ing economies.

The Pres­i­dent and First Lady Dr Grace Mu­gabe are ac­com­pa­nied by se­nior Govern­ment of­fi­cials.

The Sum­mit venue could not be more apt: Venezuela is a coun­try in the throes of a cri­sis oc­ca­sioned by an Amer­i­can eco­nomic on­slaught de­signed to un­seat the so­cial­ist govern­ment; while the tourist is­land of Mar­garita rep­re­sents the kind of in­her­ent eco­nomic po­ten­tial devel­op­ing na­tions pos­sess.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe has on sev­eral oc­ca­sions chal­lenged NAM to eval­u­ate its rel­e­vance and lead the process of re­form­ing mul­ti­lat­eral fi­nan­cial lend­ing in­sti­tu­tions and the United Na­tions in pur­suit of a more eq­ui­table global or­der.

It is a mes­sage Venezuela’s Pres­i­dent Nicolas Maduro Moros also be­lieves in, say­ing ahead of the Sum­mit “we have a plan to jointly drive ... this great his­toric move­ment and con­vert it into a spear head to re­form the sys­tem of the UN, so that it serves the peo­ple and not the elites of the world”.

NAM has 120 mem­bers and is fo­cused on self-de­ter­mi­na­tion, in­de­pen­dence, and sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity in the face of in­creas­ing uni­lat­er­al­ism in global af­fairs led by the United States and abet­ted by the Euro­pean Union.

Es­tab­lished in 1961 as a bold state­ment to the then ex­ist­ing at­tempt to cre­ate a bipo­lar world di­vided be­tween the US and the now de­funct USSR, NAM es­poused the es­tab­lish­ment of a new in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic or­der in which all na­tions were equal.

It is the largest in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion af­ter the United Na­tions, and its Sum­mit this year takes place on the eve of the 71st ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly in the US. Venezuela’s For­eign Min­is­ter Delcy Ro­driguez has said, “The Sum­mit will of­fer a broad plat­form for a fun­da­men­tal change in in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic re­la­tions and the com­plete eco­nomic eman­ci­pa­tion of South­ern coun­tries.”

Pres­i­dent Maduro as­sumes NAM’s ro­tat­ing pres­i­dency from Iran’s Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani.

The host na­tion has been wracked by pro-US op­po­si­tion protests, and the govern­ment has de­ployed 14 000 se­cu­rity per­son­nel on Mar­garita, which lies about 23km north of the main­land, to pro­tect NAM del­e­gates.

At the end of the 2012 Sum­mit, lead­ers is­sued the Tehran Dec­la­ra­tion which em­pha­sised the right of all coun­tries to de­velop and use nu­clear en­ergy for peace­ful pur­poses while ad­vo­cat­ing nu­clear dis­ar­ma­ment, con­demned uni­lat­eral im­po­si­tion of sanc­tions, sup­ported cre­ation of a Pales­tinian state, and sup­ported hu­man rights free from po­lit­i­cal agen­das and op­po­si­tion to racism and Is­lam­o­pho­bia.

NAM has con­sis­tently crit­i­cised il­le­gal West­ern sanc­tions uni­lat­er­ally im­posed on Zim­babwe.

There have been con­cerns, though, about NAM’s con­tin­ued rel­e­vance since the 1989 fall of the Berlin wall, with an­a­lysts say­ing the bloc should find ways of ad­vanc­ing the agenda of de­vel­op­ment when con­fronted with neo-colo­nial­ism and a de­struc­tive brand of ne­olib­er­al­ism.

Deputy Chief Jus­tice Luke Mal­aba

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe

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