Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, was featured on Press TV News Analysis on August 30, 2012. Azikiwe discussed the history and significance of the Non-Aligned Movement that met in Iran., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
To watch the interview with Mr. Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor, Pan African News Wire, just click on the website below:
Fri Aug 31, 2012 4:57PM
The 16th Summit of the Non Aligned Movement, which attracted support from 120 nations, saw Iran accept the presidency for the next three years.
Press TV has interviewed Mr. Abayomi Azikiwe, Editor of the Pan African News Wire from Detroit, about the Summit’s significance for unity and global equations.
The news analysis also hears views from Omar Nashabe, a political commentator in Beirut. What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Let’s talk about this new world order in which, in one sense it gets channeled through this organization called the United Nations. Much criticism has been leveled against the current structure of the UN in particular the Security Council when it comes to the veto power.
How democratic and representative is the veto power? Why not, as a solution, a simple majority or for example a consensus mechanism instead of this veto power?
Azikiwe: That would be much more democratic if there was a simple majority within the United Nations General Assembly. The Security Council has been dominant. The permanent members on the Security Council represent mainly the countries of Europe and the United States.
But the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) all along has posed a challenge to this undemocratic character of international relations going all the way back to the Bandung Conference of 1955 being the initial meeting of the emerging states of Africa and Asia, leading up to the preliminary meetings of the Non Aligned Movement in 1960 and 1961 where the leaders of independent movements during that time in Ghana, Indonesia, India, Egypt and Yugoslavia posed a challenge, even at that time, to the bi-polar character of international politics.
It was founded during the height of the Cold War of the early 1960s. The nuclear arms race was well under way at that time because France had tested nuclear weapons in the Sahara during the early1960s, and since the early 1960s, the Non Aligned Movement has grown substantially, to now over 120 nations.
As Fidel Castro said some 30-plus years ago when he was president of the Non Aligned Movement - quote, “We represent the immense majority of humanity”. I think that’s a very important observation, a very poignant statement on the part of the former leader of revolutionary Cuba.
So I think with this Summit held in the Islamic Republic of Iran, it’s a major accomplishment not only for Iran, but also for those countries who have opposed war and who have opposed militarism and imperialism in the modern era.
And I believe that it has gone a long way in curtailing the influence of the United States and the Western European countries, NATO, who have attempted for many, many years now have attempted to isolate Iran and also to exclude Iran from very important international issues. For example the situation in Syria right now, they are attempting to exclude Iran from any meaningful role in regard to developing some type of peace plan for Syria and bringing about stability within that country.
I believe this is very significant that this meeting is being held. The fact that the newly-elected Egyptian President Dr. Mohamed Morsi travelled to Iran, being the first Egyptian leader to travel there in over 30 years. I think it represents a historical turning point in regard to international relations.
Press TV: Let’s touch on what Omar Nashabe said about the presence of the UN Security General Ban Ki Moon. Was he sincere?
And when I ask that question, I’m talking about the statements that he made when he criticized Iran for criticizing Israel, but he didn’t give a balanced approach to the criticism.
Because he didn’t say when he criticized Iran why he is not criticizing Israel. At the same time why didn’t he talk about for example the illegal settlements or for example the nuclear issue - why did he not say, well, Israel is not a signatory to the NPT (Non Proliferation of nuclear weapons Treaty)?
So it brings me back to my initial point on the question - was Ban Ki Moon sincere in his presence at this NAM Summit?
Azikiwe: I believe that he still has to answer to Washington and London. That is why he cannot take a sincere position vis-a-vis the role of the State of Israel within the Middle East.
The fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is calling for a nuclear free Middle East is very significant. At the same time there has been much speculation that the State of Israel has nuclear weapons capability. The technology used to develop that nuclear weapons capability was shared with the State of Israel by many of these Western imperialist powers.
I believe that until the situation in Palestine is resolved, meaning that the Palestinian people would have adequate independent and sovereign representation within the United Nations and all international bodies, there will be no stable and lasting peace within the Middle East.
I believe that the United Nations Security Council and even the Secretary General to a large degree is beholden to the powers within the United States, within London, the Western European countries and those that are part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
I believe also that the Non Aligned Movement can take initiatives to bring about settlements to many of these international questions: the Palestinian question; the current crisis that is going on right now in Syria; as well as other developments.
For example the Afghan war, which is going on and appears to have no end in sight. A war that is intensifying as we speak with more and more ISAF or US-led forces being killed on a daily basis. Where you have even Afghan troops that have been trained by the United States and by NATO, turning their guns against the people who have been training them in military tactics.
I believe that the Non Aligned Movement should take its own initiatives in resolving some of these international questions and I believe, with the Iranian government taking the chairpersonship of the Non Aligned Movement at this point, that there can be progress made in these particular arenas.