Founded in 1961 during the Cold War as a bloc bringing together nations that neither supported nor opposed the big powers, the Non-Aligned Movement has some 120 member-states mostly in the Global South but only a handful sent representatives to the latest Summit. The low turn out and absence of NAM’s voice in international affairs have led to calls for the re-evaluation of the movement’s relevance in today’s world.
The Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, gathered in the Island of Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, within the framework of the XVII Conference Summit, on 17-18 September 2016, under the theme “Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development”, undertook a review of the state of the international situation.
MINDFUL of the fact that the history and reality of the world in which we live in today demonstrates that it is the developing countries of the world the ones who suffer more intensely from the disregard of international law, from invasions, from the ravages of war and armed conflicts, caused mostly by the geopolitical interests of the great centres of power, as well as from protracted conflicts inherited from colonialism and neo-colonialism,
EMPHASIZING that many of these crises have been triggered by the violation of the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Principles of Bandung,
RECOGNISING that solidarity, the highest expression of respect, friendship and peace among States, is a broad concept encompassing the sustainability of international relations, the peaceful coexistence, and the transformative objectives of equity and empowerment of developing countries, whose ultimate goal is to achieve the full economic and social development of their peoples,
At the 55th anniversary of the Movement, DETERMINED to defend the right to peace, sovereignty and solidarity for the development of their peoples,
· GUIDED by the visionary spirit of its founders and the principles and purposes of the Non-Aligned Movement enshrined in Bandung (1955) and Belgrade (1961), as well as by the firm commitment to achieve a world of peace, justice, respect, fraternal friendship, solidarity, cooperation and development,
· REAFFIRMING the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations, the rules and principles of international law and the Declaration concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States,
· ENCOURAGED by the validity of the founding principles of the Movement and the achievements that have marked its historical development, which ratify that the fight against colonialism and neo-colonialism, racism, all forms of foreign intervention, aggression, foreign occupation, domination or hegemony, as well as the intention of becoming a balancing factor in the international relations, outside of the military alliances of the centres of power, remain concrete expressions of the policy of non-alignment,
· RATIFYING their commitment to the founding principles of the Non Aligned Movement and the principles enshrined in the Declaration on the Purposes and Principles and the Role of the Non Aligned Movement in the present international juncture adopted in the 14th NAM Summit in Havana,
· CONVINCED of the need to ensure that the Movement has a significant impact on the dynamics of international relations and in achieving the objectives that have underpinned its validity,
· EXPRESSING deep appreciation to the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, H.E. Mr. Hassan Rouhani, for his valuable contribution to the process of strengthening and revitalizing the Non-Alignment Movement,
· HAVING adopted the Final Declaration of the XVII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in the Island of Margarita, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, from 17-18 September 2016, Declare, that the effective implementation of the Final Document of the Island of Margarita requires the highest commitment and willingness of all Members of the Movement to decisively address the challenges posed in the areas of peace, economic and social development, human rights and international cooperation, and for which they will make joint efforts to achieve the following objectives:
1. Strengthening and Revitalization of the Movement: They reaffirmed their full and decisive support to the consolidation, strengthening and revitalization of the Non-Aligned Movement, as the only guarantee to preserve its legacy and historical validity and to ensure therefore its strength, cohesion and resilience, on the basis of unity in diversity and the solidarity of its Member States.
2. Strengthening International Peace and Security: They reiterated that they will continue 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 24 October 1970 and international law, in order to contribute to achieve said objective and to save future generations from the scourge of war and military conflict. They further rejected the illegal policies of regime change aimed at overthrowing constitutional Governments, in contravention of international law. Furthermore, they stressed that overcoming conflicts and the achievement of a firm and lasting peace requires a holistic approach that addresses the structural causes of conflicts, in order to realize the three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, development and human rights.
Moreover, they reaffirmed their determination to continue opposing any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity or territorial integrity of a State as well as their commitment for the respect of the sovereignty, 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, in accordance with UN Charter.
3. Right to Self-Determination: They stressed the inalienable right of all peoples, including those of non-self-governing territories, as well as those of territories under foreign occupation or under colonial or foreign domination, to self-determination. In the case of peoples who are subject to foreign occupation and colonial or foreign domination, the exercise of self-determination remains valid and essential to securing the eradication of all those situations and ensuring the universal respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms.
4. Disarmament and International Security: They reaffirmed their intention to redouble efforts towards eliminating the threat posed to the human species the existence of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. In this regard, they resolved to work to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. They also resolved to establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East, in accordance with the commitments reached during the Conference of the Treaty on the Non- Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), held in 1995, and its subsequent meetings. They also called for the urgent commencement of negotiations on nuclear disarmament in the CD, in particular on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use and to provide for their destruction with a specified time frame. They further reiterated the sovereign right of countries to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes keeping in view their independence and economic development.
5. Human Rights: They reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights, which are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, through a constructive and cooperative international dialogue, capacity building, technical assistance and the recognition of good practices, while ensuring the full enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to development as a an inalienable, fundamental and universal right, and as a comprehensive part of universally recognised human rights, in order to build collective and sustainable peace and prosperity across the world. They highlight the historical significance of the adoption of the Declaration of the Right to Development thirty years ago, which was promoted by the Non-Aligned Movement, and which requires a profound change in the international economic structure, including the creation of economic and social conditions that are favourable to developing countries. Likewise, they expressed once again that human rights should be strengthened by adhering to the fundamental principles of universality, transparency, impartiality, non-selectivity, non-politicization and objectivity while seeking to realize the human rights for all, pursuant to the principles contained in the Vienna Declaration of 1993.
6. Unilateral Sanctions: They expressed their condemnation at the promulgation and application of unilateral coercive measures against countries of the Movement, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law, particularly the principles of non- intervention, self-determination and independence of States subject of such practices. In this respect, they reiterated their determination to denounce and demand the repeal of such measures, which affect human rights and prevent the full economic and social development of the peoples who are subjected to them. Similarly, they reaffirmed that each State has full sovereignty over the totality of its wealth, natural resources and economic activity, exercising it freely.
7. Terrorism: They reiterated that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Hence, they reaffirmed their firm condemnation of terrorist acts in all their forms and manifestations, whatever their motivations, wherever and by whomsoever they are committed. They further condemned the destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites, as well as the commission of crimes against humanity by terrorist groups, among others, on the basis of their religion or beliefs.
Likewise, they recognized the threat posed nowadays by this despicable scourge, particularly the activities carried out by terrorist groups such as the Taliban, Al-Qaida, ISIS (Da’esh) and its affiliated entities, Jabhat Al Nusra, Boko Haram and Al Shabbaab, and other entities designated by the United Nations, including the phenomenon of foreign terrorist fighters and the spread of violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism, making it necessary for States to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including its financing and the illicit transfer of weapons, in a decisive and coordinated manner, with strict adherence to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as other obligations under international law. In this regard, they considered that the adoption of a future Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism could complement the set of existing international legal instruments, including the implementation of the United Nations Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.
In addition, they reaffirmed that terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, and that these attributions should not be used to justify terrorism or counterterrorism measures that include, inter alia, profiling of terror suspects and intrusion on individual privacy.
8. Dialogue Among Civilizations: They stressed the importance of promoting respect for religious, social and cultural diversity, in order to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and respect between societies and nations, through intercultural, interreligious and inter-civilizations dialogue. They also recognized the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and the valuable contribution they can make to an improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind, as well as to the promotion of economic and social development, peace and security.
9. Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine: They reaffirmed once again that the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, constitutes a destabilising factor in the region, and as such they demanded the withdrawal of the Occupying Power from those territories occupied since June 1967, in accordance with resolutions 242, and 338 as well as other relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the General Assembly of the United Nations. They reiterated that the continued injustice against the Palestinian people as a result of the Israeli occupation and its related policies and practices, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, the demolition of houses, the acts of collective punishment against the civilian population, including the imprisonment and detention of thousands of civilians, and the illegal blockade of the Gaza Strip, are the main source of the violation of human rights of the Palestinian people, in denial of their legitimate right to self-determination and independence. They called on the parties to exert all efforts to resume and support a credible peace process, based on the longstanding terms of reference and parameters, with a view to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace that is based on a two-State solution, with secure and internationally recognised pre-1967 borders, bearing in mind the Arab Peace Initiative.
They sought a comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian refugees’ cause in accordance with resolution 194 of the UN General Assembly and the Arab Peace Initiative, in a way that preserves security, stability and peace of all the countries in the region.
Moreover, they condemned all measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan. In this regard, they demanded once again that Israel should abide by resolution 497 (1981), and to withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967, in implementation of resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
10.Reform of the United Nations: They reiterated the need to recover and strengthen the authority of the General Assembly as the most democratic, accountable, universal and representative body of the Organization. In this regard, they encouraged the establishment of a harmonious and balanced relationship between the main bodies of the Organization, on the basis of the prerogatives provided in the Charter of the United Nations. They further called for 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 contemporary geo-political realities.
11.Selection and Appointment of the Secretary General of the United Nations: They underlined the central role that corresponds to the General Assembly in the process of selection and appointment of the Secretary General of the United Nations, while reaffirming the need for greater transparency and inclusiveness in the current process of selection and appointment with due regard to the principles of geographical rotation and gender equality in the process of selection and appointment of the Secretary General of the United Nations.
12. Peacekeeping Operations: They reaffirmed that peacekeeping operations must be carried out with strict adherence to the principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter, and emphasized that respect of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of States, as well as non-intervention in internal affairs, are key elements of the joint efforts in the promotion of international peace and security. In this regard, they reiterated that the respect to the basic principles of peacekeeping; namely, consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence, is essential for the success of peacekeeping operations. They also took note of the reports of the High- Level Independent Panel and the Secretary General on UN Peace Operations and of the Advisory Group of Experts on the Review of the
United Nations Peacebuilding Architecture, and, in this regard, while emphasizing the importance of close consultation and coordination in the implementation of relevant recommendations.
13.Sustainable Development Goals: They reiterated that their will to work towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, leaving no one behind, remembering that the Agenda is based on people and is universal and transformative. Likewise, they reiterated the need to fulfil the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and its 169 targets for all nations and peoples, and for all sectors of society, in an integrated and indivisible manner, bearing in mind the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Likewise, they reiterated that ending poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development and, in this sense, they reaffirmed all the principles recognized in the Agenda, particularly the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. They further underlined the importance of developed countries fulfilling their commitments regarding the provision of finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries, in order to ensure the global realization of Sustainable Development Goals.
They also reiterated their support to strengthening the multilateral trading system so as to provide and enabling environment for development, by ensuring a level playing field for developing countries in international trade, which is an engine for inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction, while also contributing to the promotion of sustainable development. In this regard, they reaffirmed their determination to move forward within the framework of the Doha Development Agenda, taking into account the developmental needs of developing countries. They further underlined the 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.
14.Promotion of Education, Science and Technology for Development: They reaffirmed their commitment to combat illiteracy as a way to contribute to overcoming poverty and social exclusion, while noting that education is an inalienable human right that must include all sectors of society. In this regard, they stressed that the use of science and technology is essential to address the development challenges of countries of the South. Hence, the transfer of technology from developed countries, on favorable terms, is crucial to ensure the sustainable development, for the benefit of all peoples of the world.
15.Climate Change: They reaffirmed that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of their times and expressed profound alarm that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to raise globally. They expressed concern about the increased adverse impacts of climate change, particularly on developing countries, which are severely undermining their efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development.
In this regard, they reiterated the concerns and particularities of all developing countries, based on the provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), particularly in relation to the implementation of the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, and in light of the historic responsibilities of developed countries. Hence, they urged the developed countries to fulfill their commitments of providing finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries.
Moreover, they looked forward to the 22nd Conference of States Parties to the UNFCCC, to be held from 7th through 18th November 2016, in Marrakech, Kingdom of Morocco.
16. Economic Governance: They reaffirmed that the reform of the international financial architecture requires the democratization of the decision-making institutions of Bretton Woods (IMF and World Bank). Therefore, it is necessary to widen and strengthen the level of participation of developing countries in the international decision and economic law making processes and in the governance of a new world
economic order. In this regard, they urged for transparent and more opened multilateral development banks and international finance organizations or agencies. Furthermore, they expressed concern on the negative impact that tax havens can have on the world economy, in particular on developing countries.
17. South-South Cooperation: They reiterated that South-South Cooperation is 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 favourable conditions and preferential terms. In this regard, they reaffirmed that South-South Cooperation is an expression of solidarity and cooperation among the peoples and countries of the South, which contributes to their national wellbeing, guided by the principles of respect for sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in the internal affairs, and mutual benefit.
18.International Solidarity: They recognized that the response of the international community to pandemics that constitute a threat to public health and to various natural disasters is an example to follow in terms of solidarity and international cooperation. In this sense, they highlighted 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.
19.Refugees and Migrants: They welcomed the convening of the High Level Meeting to address large movements of refugees and migrants, to be held on 19 September 2016, in New York, and which represents an opportunity for international community to discuss responses to this growing global phenomenon that mainly affects women and children.
They acknowledged the acute humanitarian emergencies resulting from the high number of refugees, mainly due to the conflicts created in the territories different Member States of the Movement. They further stressed the importance of translating political statements into tangible support to countries affected the most by this phenomenon as well as, the need to assist the host countries and communities.
They also acknowledged the historical contribution of international migration to nations from an economic, political, social and cultural perspective and, in this regard, they reaffirmed the responsibility of Governments, at all levels, to safeguard and protect the rights of migrants in accordance with international and domestic laws, including applying, and where needed, reinforcing existing laws against all illegal or violent acts; in particular acts, of and incitement, to ethnic, racial, sex and religious discrimination as well as crimes perpetrated with racist or xenophobic motivation by individuals or groups against migrants, especially in the context of the global economic crisis that increases the vulnerability of migrants in host countries.
20.Youth, Women, Peace and Security: They recognized the important role that youth and women play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. In this regard, they underscored the need to achieve full gender equality and the empowerment of women, including their participation in these processes. They took note of the Report of the High Level Advisory Group on the Global Study of the Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security reiterated their firm commitment to join efforts in the fight against all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls.
21.New World Information and Communication Order: They emphasized the need for information and communication strategies to be deeply rooted in historical and cultural processes and called on the media of developed countries to respect developing countries in the formulation of their opinions, models and perspectives with a view to enhancing the dialogue among civilizations. They also reiterated their deep concern on the use of media as a tool for hostile propaganda against developing countries aimed at undermining their governments and stressed the need to promote alternative, free, pluralistic and responsible media and communication sources, that reflect the realities and interests of the peoples of the developing world.