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Address by External Affairs Minister at 18th Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Alignment Movement in Baku, Azerbaijan

April 05, 2018

Excellency Mr. Jorge Arreaza
Foreign Minister of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Chairman

Excellency Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, our gracious host

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen
It is a great pleasure for me to be here amongst some of India’s longest standing friends.


Mr. Chairman,

The challenges we face today such as nuclear escalation, armed conflict, refugee flows, terrorism, poverty and worsening environmental degradation – all require more effective multilateralism. The fundamental values and principles on which the Non Aligned Movement is based are, therefore, even more relevant today.

Mr. Chairman,

In 2015, we adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to find solutions of the developmental challenges we face. We also promised that "no one will be left behind”. Genuine global partnerships have to be forged if the SDGs are to be achieved. Financing for Development is, therefore, of utmost importance to NAM countries.

Last year India launched the ‘India-UN Development Partnership Fund’ in collaboration with the UN’s Office for South-South Cooperation to open up a new pathway for collaboration amongst developing countries. But these efforts remain qualitatively different and are no substitute for the responsibility that needs to be shared by the global North.

Mr. Chairman,

Protecting the environment of our planet is a moral responsibility.Global action on the basis of the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities is now an even greater imperative.

At the initiative of Prime Minister Modi, India along with France launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA) through which more than 60 countries have joined to promote greater use of solar energy.

I call upon friends, who have so far not joined the Alliance,to seriously consider doing so.

Finding energy sources that are cost effective, environmentally sustainable will be vital for achieving our SDGs, while ensuring that we protect mother Earth for future generations.

Mr. Chairman,

NAM has been a votary of universal, non-discriminatory and verifiable nuclear disarmament and of pursuit of that goal through multilateralism. India remains committed to the shared goal of the global elimination of nuclear weapons.

Mr. Chairman,

Terrorism is one of the foremost threats to international peace and security. It maims and kills our citizens and undermines our ability to attain our development goals.

Unfortunately, the talks about combating terrorism have not been matched by our actions. The strengthening and implementation,without double standards of existing international laws and mechanisms to fight the menace of terrorism is an imperative.

In 1996 India proposed a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as a way to strengthen the existing legal framework. Yet after more than two decades discussions have made little progress even while terrorists continue to operate with greater impunity and inhumanity.

As a first step, let us renew our commitment to finalize the CCIT. NAM countries must galvanize the international community towards this goal.

Mr. Chairman,

At the last UN General Assembly High Level segment, a strong desire was voiced by the international community for change and reforms at the United Nations. No effort to reform the United Nations will be complete without reforms of the United Nations Security Council.

To date, the Inter-Governmental Negotiation process, has been carefully nurtured into a credible collective process for negotiation on this important subject. The time has come to move to the next phase and commence text based negotiations – a demand made by an overwhelming majority of UN members including most NAM members.

Mr. Chairman,

India’s support to the Palestinian cause has been a reference point of our foreign policy. In May 2017, we had the honour of receiving H.E. President Mahmoud Abbas, on a State Visit to India and in February 2018, the Prime Minister of India visited Palestine.

At the recent extraordinary meeting in Rome to deal with the financial crisis faced by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), India decided to increase its contribution to the UNRWA budget from US$ 1 million to US$ 5 million, on a multiple year basis, in view of the dire financial crisis that this body now faces.

Many of us in this Movement need to also contribute. At this juncture this would be a good way for NAM to manifest its solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Mr. Chairman,

The NAM epitomises our desire to carve out a space of autonomy in policy making. NAM will, therefore, always be for us a platform of choice to pursue our intertwined goals on international peace and security and sustainable development.

I thank you Mr. Chairman.

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