Egypt acknowledges Cuba’s role during its presidency of the NAM
Kwame Nkrumah with other co-founders of the Non-Aligned Movement: Nehru of India, Nassar of Egypt, Sukharno of Indonesia and Tito of Yugoslavia in late 1960
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File
Kwame Nkrumah with other co-founders of the Non-Aligned Movement: Nehru of India, Nassar of Egypt, Sukharno of Indonesia and Tito of Yugoslavia in late 1960
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File
SARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, July 13-—Egypt expressed here today its gratitude to and recognition of Cuba for its excellent efforts during the island’s presidency of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), from 2006 to date.
In his speech during the opening session of the ministerial segment of the 15th NAM Summit, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the Egyptian foreign minister, commended the island’s dedication to the defense of the movement’s principles and the interests of its members.
That posture, the foreign minister affirmed, addressing his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodríguez, has prompted a positive reaction in a number of forums.
"Our aspiration is that Cuba will continue with those efforts in the context of its role as a member of the NAM troika," Aboul Gheit added, addressing the plenary of foreign ministers and other figures from the 118 countries of this Third World organization.
The diplomat recalled that his country was the venue for the 2nd NAM Summit in 1964, and highlighted the movement’s actions in pursuit of peace, security, stability and well-being for the peoples.
Aboul Gheit, who received the presidency of the meeting from Rodríguez, agreed with the latter that, in spite of the current situation, the concert of nations in development has a real impact and utility.
He added that the Bandung postulates (1955) still stand, given that the NAM defends the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, independently of their power and capacity to defend themselves, and the non-use of force, among others.
The movement’s success in defense of its interests can only be attained via greater efforts and sustained diplomatic action, Aboul Gheit concluded, calling for the defense of unity.
Translated by Granma International
We are calling for the urgent construction of a new international financial architecture
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt. — Cuban President Raúl Castro affirmed here today that unity and solidarity among the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement are indispensable requirements for increasing the impact of our positions.
In opening remarks to the 15th Summit, at the Maritim Jolie Ville Convention Center in this Egyptian resort town, Raúl Castro affirmed that success is based on consolidation of the unity emanating from the diversity that characterizes us.
SPEECH BY THE GENERAL OF THE ARMY AT THE 15TH NAM SUMMIT, EGYPT, 7-15-2009
Most Excellent Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt:
Distinguished heads of state and government:
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like to express, on behalf of my delegation, gratitude to the Egyptian government and people for the excellent welcome they have given us. We are convinced that the Non-Aligned Movement will emerge from this 15th summit conference even stronger, and Cuba will fully support the work of Egypt at the head of it.
It is an honor for our country to hand over the leadership of the Movement to Egypt, one of its founder members. From the very first moment, the Cuban Revolution has found friendship and support in this Arab nation, with which this year we are celebrating six decades of uninterrupted and fraternal relations.
We have not forgotten the noble gesture of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, one of the founding fathers of non-alignment, in visiting compañero Fidel Castro Ruz, then prime minister of the revolutionary government, when they were both in New York in 1960 to participate in the 15th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, and where the Cuban leader was subjected to discriminatory and insulting treatment by the U.S. authorities.
The Ministerial Meeting of the Coordination Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement, which took place in Havana from April 27-30 this year, met its principal objective of preparing this 15th summit conference. The ministers and heads of delegations meeting there reached consensus on positions regarding the most urgent issues for humanity and particularly for developing countries.
The Special Declaration on the Economic and Financial World Crisis, adopted at that meeting, is testimony to the transcendence of the debates and of our decision to participate in a coordinated way in order to solve international problems. The Movement has confirmed its conviction that all countries in the world should take part in the search for effective and just solutions to the current crisis.
As we said in Havana, the developing countries are the most affected by the global economic crisis. Hundreds of millions of people in the world, particularly in our nations, are victims of illiteracy, unemployment, hunger, poverty and curable diseases, which causes human beings resident in the South of the planet to be condemned at birth to live shorter, worse lives that those who inhabit the industrialized North.
Ironically, as is almost always the case, it was in the rich countries that the current crisis originated, a consequence of the structural imbalances and irrationality of an international economic system based on the blind laws of the market, egotism, consumerism and the wastefulness of a few at the cost of our peoples’ suffering.
We are calling for the urgent construction of a new international financial architecture, based on the real participation of all countries, especially developing countries. The current crisis cannot be solved with cosmetic measures which, at bottom, are an attempt to preserve the current economic system, plagued with serious shortcomings, unjust, lacking in fairness and ineffective. The solution to the global economic crisis must necessarily involve the re-foundation of the international monetary system.
A pattern of monetary reference must be achieved that is not dependent on the economic stability, legislation or political decisions of a single state, no matter how powerful or influential.
Several countries, including Cuba, supported this position at the recent United Nations high-level conference on the impact of the economic and financial crisis on development.
A new system should recognize the particular conditions of developing countries and grant them special and differentiated treatment, and it should promote a just and equitable international economic order based on sustainable development, whose institutions are subordinated to the United Nations system.
Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen:
I have the honor of presenting you with Cuba’s report on the activities of the Non-Aligned Movement in the last three years. The document, extensive and detailed, will be distributed to all delegations. The exercise of the presidency has confirmed to us, as the most important conclusion, that unity and solidarity among the countries that comprise the Movement are indispensable requirements for increasing the impact of our positions.
The Movement’s strength lies in its ability to reach consensus as a result of frank debate. All members have had the opportunity to participate in formulating and defending our agreements and lines of action. Success is based on consolidating the unity that emanates from the diversity that characterizes us.
In 1961 we numbered 25 countries in the Movement, and Cuba was the only Latin American one. Today we have 118 member states; therefore, we constitute a majority in the international community. But we have not just grown in number; in addition, history has demonstrated the justness of our aspirations and goals. Our demands cannot be ignored, nor can decisions on the principal problems facing humanity be adopted without the Movement’s active participation.
The common challenges for the non-aligned countries are serious and numerous. Never before has the world been so unequal and its inequities so profound. But, along with the challenges, our Movement’s capacity for resistance and its strength have also grown.
We have faced threats and aggression, condemned unjust treaties in international trade and finance, and demanded our full participation in the highest authorities of world governance. A decisive part of Cuba’s presidency coincided with one of the most aggressive and hegemonic governments, one of the greatest violators of international law, that has ever existed in the United States.
The conduct of the Movement, even in the most complex circumstances, has been guided by the founding principles of Bandung, and in a more recent period, by the "Declaration on Purposes and Principles and on the Role of the NAM at the Current International Juncture," adopted at the 14th Summit Conference in Havana. Both documents provide a programmatic basis for collectively facing the enormous challenges posed in order to fight for a better world, where the right of our peoples to peace, self-determination and development are respected.
It is important to continue systematically evaluating the mechanisms and methodology of the NAM in order to employ its potential to the maximum. The leadership of the presidency is crucial. Its authority is consolidating by facilitating consensus and firmness in defending the accords adopted and their implementation.
The agreements reached will be maintained as a legacy of the Non-Aligned Movement Plan of Action. The promotion of multilateralism and democratization of international relations, full respect for the United Nations Charter and international law are essential to the Movement’s very existence and effective work. We have rejected anti-democratic methods, a lack of transparency, obstacles to full participation and discrimination in multilateral deliberations and negotiations.
The NAM should be present in every multilateral setting relevant to defending the interests of developing countries. Its objective will never be competition, but complementation with other coordination mechanisms for the countries of the South.
In this context, substantial progress has been made in the labors of the NAM Joint Coordination Committee and the Group of 77, an instrument that is being consolidated and whose impact is growing, and which therefore we should continue supporting.
Preserving international peace and security should continue being a fundamental priority for the Movement. A pending and urgent goal continues to be the total elimination of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
We are far from reaching our objectives in this area and our work must continue until they are achieved. It is irrational that while annual military spending is increasing at a dizzying rate, and has now reached the chilling figure of $1.464 trillion, almost 60% of it concentrated in just one country, the total of hungry people in the world is close to one billion.
The resources currently allocated to the war industry should be used for education, health and culture, the economic and social well-being of our peoples. For that, political will and real commitment are needed. Hegemonic projects, the threat and use of force, egotism and the irrational wastefulness of a few must all be renounced. We must put an end to an international order based on the exercise of imperialist designs.
Another priority of the Non-Aligned Movement has been to ensure greater participation from the South in the work and decision-making process of the United Nations Security Council. Progress has been made in the work of the Non-Aligned Caucus in this body. However, we still have a long way to go. We are not taking advantage of all of our current potential and our actions still do not have decisive weight in agreements reached there. Of course, there are structural problems that can only be overcome with a profound democratization of the Security Council as part of the reforms required by the UN.
The stable and dynamic functioning of the Coordination Bureau and the consolidation of its eight working groups have made it possible to consolidate the positions of the non-aligned countries in key processes in the framework of the United Nations. The decisions of the Coordination Bureau in New York have increasingly greater scope and transcendence.
Support for the just cause of Palestine and those of other occupied Arab peoples has been and will continue to be at the center of the Non-Aligned Movement’s actions. We have not hesitated to condemn the aggression and crimes of Israel, the occupying power. We will not rest until we see the implementation of the demands of our Palestinian and Arab brothers and sisters. There is no path other than dialogue and negotiation for achieving a just and lasting peace in the entire Middle East region, which inevitably involves the founding of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Non-Aligned Movement is committed to continue supporting one of its members, the sister people of the Republic of Honduras, in their struggle against the brutal coup d’état that usurped power from the constitutional government of that country. It also has the duty of demanding the implementation of the United Nations General Assembly agreement to restore President José Manuel Zelaya to his office, without the humiliating conditions they are attempting to impose on him, and to continue denouncing the repression and murder of our Honduran brothers and sisters.
The Movement has become reactivated within UNESCO. There is sufficient leeway to continue strengthening and consolidating its actions in that organization, where the efforts of the non-aligned countries are fundamental to making real such indispensable objectives as education for all, respect for cultural diversity, the preservation of humanity’s cultural heritage, and an end to the brain drain of our countries of the South, as well as to overcoming the vast gap between poor and rich nations in terms of information and communication.
The Non-Aligned Movement is an indispensable actor in the Human Rights Council, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. We should prepare for the Human Rights Council institutional review.
Our objective is to preserve the approach of cooperation, respect and dialogue in terms of promoting and protecting human rights for all. We cannot allow the Council to return to the practices that ended up miring the extinct Human Rights Commission in discredit.
Particularly important is the progress that has been made in coordinating our actions within the World Health Organization and the International Labor Organization. That is a necessity, given the transcendence for developing countries of issues discussed there. With the annual meetings of our ministers of health and labor, and the decisions they adopt, the Movement has given an essential boost to defending the interests of the South in those international organizations.
In the WHO, for example, we have pressing objectives ahead, such as stopping the deaths of 10 million children every year from preventable diseases; reverting the 40-year difference in life expectancy between the richest and poorest countries; expanding training for health personnel in developing countries; and demanding greater attention to the diseases that affect our peoples.
Cuba is a small developing country that does not have a surplus of resources and moreover has suffered the longest, all-embracing and cruelest system of unilateral sanctions on the part of a powerful state.
Despite the almost unanimous demands of the international community, opposition from its own people and promises of change by the new U.S. government, the reality today is that the illegal blockade imposed almost five decades ago against Cuba is still being implemented.
Once again, we express our gratitude for the solidarity of countries that maintain the firm position of demanding an immediate halt to that unjust policy, increasingly unsustainable in moral terms, and which is increasing the effects of the world financial and economic crisis on my country.
Even in these difficult circumstances, our people have modestly demonstrated how much can be done, when the political will exists, in terms of international solidarity and cooperation, particularly in the area of health.
Almost 15,000 Cuban medical collaborators are working in 98 countries to save lives and prevent disease. More than 32,000 young people from 118 states, principally in the Third World, are studying free of charge at our educational centers, 78% of them, in the specialty of medicine.
These figures represent just a negligible part of what could be achieved if egotism gave way to cooperation and solidarity, if we unit to fight against a system of exploitation and plunder that tends to reproduce underdevelopment and widen the distance between a small group of rich nations, where just 20% of the world population lives, and the vast periphery made up of our countries, inhabited by 80% of humanity.
We are convinced that a better world is possible. In the struggle to achieve it, the Non-Aligned Movement is called upon to play a fundamental role.
While everything we have achieved together is encouraging, it is more important for us to be aware of the enormous challenges ahead.
Six years ago, in thanking Kuala Lumpur for the decision adopted by the 13th Summit to designate Cuba as president of the Movement beginning in 2006, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro assured that from that position, Cuba was willing to "work to consolidate the actions of the Movement, inside and outside of the United Nations, in the fight for peace, justice, equality of opportunities, respect for the principles of international law that have always been the very basis of the Movement, and in the fight for development and against an international economic and financial order that marginalizes us and makes us increasingly poorer and more dependent."
With the healthy, humble pride of having done our duty, we hand over to Egypt the presidency of our Movement. Beyond dissatisfactions that we may have, above all regarding everything we could have done better, we can affirm that we have a revitalized Movement, which will continue playing the international role that belongs to it in today’s world.
I reiterate, in the name of the Cuban government and people, our gratitude to everyone for the support you have offered us during these three years. You may be sure that our commitment to the Non-Aligned Movement will remain unchanging.
I reaffirm our most sincere friendship with and recognition of every one of you, with whom we have shared the trenches in the combat against colonialism, apartheid, interventionism, the arms race, economic exploitation, disease and illiteracy, and from whom we have always received solidarity in the just struggle of my people to preserve their sovereignty and independence, and to overcome the illegal obstacles unilaterally imposed on their right to development.
All that remains for me, and I am honored to do so, is to propose to this plenary to elect by acclamation the new president of the Non-Aligned Movement, his Most Excellent Mr. Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, president of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
I understand that everybody agrees. My congratulations for the new president and our best wishes for success.
Thank you very much. (PL)
Translated by Granma International
SHARM EL-SHEIYPT, NON-ALIGNED NATIONS FOCUS ON MELTDOWN
Cuba's president on Wednesday called for an international
financicount developing countries' interests, as the global
recession captured the spotlight at a summit of non-aligned nations.
Raul Castro's remarks at the opening session of the two-day
Non-Aligned Movement's meeting in this Red Sea resort were echoed
by other leaders and build on earlier discussions among officials
from the 118-nation grouping of mostly of African, Asian and Latin
"We demand the establishment of a new international financial
and economic structure that relies on the participation of all
countries," Castro said, ahead of handing over the movement's
presidency to Egypt.
"There must be a new framework that doesn't depend solely on the
economic stability and the political decision of only one country,"
the Cuban leader said, apparently referring to the United States.
The new system must give developing countries "preferential
treatment," he said without elaborating.
As the global meltdown roiled world markets, erasing trillions
in dollars in individual, corporate and government wealth, calls
have mounted for greater market regulation and a shift from the use
of the dollar as the main foreign reserve currency. Developing
nations have argued that their growth and stability is being
undercut by a crisis in which they had no part in creating.
"This crisis, the worst in living memory, emanated from the
advanced industrial economies, but the developing economies, the
members of our movement, have been the hardest anmohan Singh.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said "the economic crisis has
revealed the need to improve the international financial
architecture, so we may see the developing world and emerging
powers gain more of a say in that realm."
The call by Castro, whose country has been under U.S. sanctions
for decades, followed similar demands by the movement's foreign
ministers and senior officials who stressed after four days of
meetings here that joint action was needed to ward off the global
The summit's draft declaration also calls for the group to
coordinate with China - attending the summit as an observer - to
have their voices heard at international financial institutions
like the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The movement - born in the 1950s as a group of nations allied
neither with the U.S. nor the Soviet Union - has lost much of its
relevance with the end of the Cold War. Over the past two decades,
it has become a forum in which developing nations meet to complain.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, in his address, recognized the
"challenge" facing the movement's founding principles, saying the
group must work closely with developed nations to address the
world's biggest problems, such as terrorism and financial
But some of the group's members - such as India and Saudi Arabia
- have gained considerable economic clout, and that influence has
not been lost on the West.
As the movement's members met in Egypt for their 15th gathering,
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was in the United Arab
Emirates on the second leg of a Mideast visit during which he
stressed on the need for joint effort to rebuild a more stable
global economic foundation.
Geithner's trip, which began in OPEC powerhouse Saudi Arabia,
was a clear reflection of the growing financial strength of the
six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. As a whole, that bloc is the
U.S.'s second biggest creditor after China.
The prime ministers of nuclear powers Pakistan and India,
meanwhile, were expected to meet on the summit's sidelines. The two
met in Russia last month for the first time since the Mumbai terror
attacks last year but made little headway in defusing tension in
India blamed Pakistan-trained militants for the attacks, which
killed 166 people, and has accused Pakistan of dragging its feet in
punishing those suspected of planning the three-day siege.
Pakistan has rejected the accusations and announced Sunday that
the trial of five men accused in the attacks will likely start next
"You need evidence for the courts. It is an ongoing process. One
day is not the make or break of things," Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan,
the Pakistani minister of state for foreign affairs, told reporters
at the summit.
The two countries' foreign secretaries met for 90 minutes on the
sidelines of the summit meeting Tuesday night, apparently to
prepare for Wednesday's meeting of the two prime ministers,
according to a diplomat familiar with the meeting. He spoke on
condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to
CAIRO 15 July 2009 Sapa-dpa
NON-ALIGNED COUNTRIES CALL FOR "NEW ECONOMIC ORDER"
Leaders from the countries that make up the Non- Aligned
Movement (NAM) gathered in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm
al-Sheikh on Wednesday called for a new world economic order.
Cuban President Raul Castro called for a "new financial and
economic order" in response to the world financial crisis at the
opening session of the NAM's 15th triennial summit.
"We call for the establishment of a new financial and economic
order based on the actual participation of all member states,
particularly developing countries," he told delegates from the 118
countries that make up the movement.
"The current crisis will not be resolved by superficial
solutions," Castro said.
The NAM summits have been billed as the largest gathering of
nations outside the UN General Assembly.
Cuba is passing leadership of the movement, which represents
more than 50 per cent of the world population, to Egypt. Three
years ago, at a summit in Havana, Cuba assumed leadership of the
movement from Malaysia.
"It is an honour for our country to pass the leadership of the
movement to Egypt, one of the founders of this movement," Castro
Castro reaffirmed the movement's support for the Palestinian
people and "all occupied Arab countries," saying that these issues
"remain at the top of the (movement's) agenda."
"The movement has not hesitated to condemn Israeli attacks and
crimes, and will continue its efforts to regain the rights of the
Palestinian people," he said.
In his remarks to the more than 50 world leaders assembled for
the summit, Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi called for the movement to
establish its own security council as a counterweight to the UN
Security Council, which he described as a form of "terrorism."
"The Security Council is terrorism. It has no power over the
world's strongest countries," he said.
"We are missing from the world's international organizations,
such as the UN Security Council and the International Monetary Fund
(IMF)," Gaddafi said.
"The UN Security Council is only for the permanent members, and
the IMF is called international, but it is not, because it serves a
certain group," he said. "This represents a danger toward
international peace. ... It has become a sword over our necks."
This year's summit has fostered communication between countries
with strained relations.
Significant meetings took place on the sidelines, Pakistani and
Indian foreign ministry officials held a meeting in the Red Sea
resort city in advance of their prime ministers' meeting, expected
to be held on Thursday. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
his Pakistani counterpart Yousef Raza Galani are expected to meet
on the sidelines to discuss possible new peace talks.
Foreign Secretary Shri Shivshankar Menon and his Pakistani
counterpart Salman Bashir had talks for 90 minutes on Tuesday,
during which time they discussed last November's attacks on the
Indian city of Mumbai.
India blamed the November attacks, which left more than 160
people dead, on the banned Pakistani militant group
Lashkar-e-Taiba. Indian and Pakistani officials have held out the
possibility of a joint statement on the attacks.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit and his Iranian
counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki have also met three times since
preliminary meetings began over the weekend.
Aboul Gheit said he hoped the two countries could cooperate to
bring "stability to the region."
Egypt and Iran severed diplomatic relations 30 years ago, after
Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel and offered asylum to the
deposed shah following the Iranian Revolution.
The broader summit is also expected to produce declarations
about the security of the world's food supply, climate change and
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and to honour former South
African president Nelson Mandela.
The movement was founded in 1955 by former Indian Prime Minister
Jawaharlal Nehru, former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, and
former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito.
Participating countries said they did not wish to be drawn into
the Cold War, but vowed, in a 1979 declaration, to support each
other in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism,
neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression."
Since the end of the Cold War, the NAM has been looking for a