Uganda will take over leadership of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) starting January 2024 and this will last up to 2026, which will see the East African nation host the 19th Summit of the NAM Heads of State and Government in Kampala.
While attending the summit-level meeting of NAM contact group in response to COVID-19 in Baku, Azerbaijan last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs Gen Jeje Odongo noted that Uganda is already preparing to host the 19th summit.
"It is our conviction, that with your unwavering support, the Summit will be a monumental success and its outcomes will further strengthen our Movement. We look forward to the participation of your respective delegations at the highest level," he said.
Uganda will host the 19th Summit under the theme 'Deepening cooperation for Shared Global Affluence'. During the summit, which will be held at the Speke Resort Munyonyo in January 2024, President Yoweri Museveni will take over the chairmanship of the organization from the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliye.
During last week's summit, Minister Odongo conveyed a message of gratitude on behalf of Museveni to Aliyev for organizing the summit-level meeting on Covid.
He further underscored that this Summit-level meeting is a valuable platform for exchanging information between Member States and Organizations on lessons learned from combating the COVID-19 pandemic that will be vital in collectively responding to future global threats and emergencies.
Odongo reiterated the commendable strides taken to respond to post-pandemic challenges that the Non-Aligned Movement has taken since the outbreak of the pandemic, stressing that Member States must build upon these efforts and follow up with concerted post-covid recovery measures.
He registered Uganda's immense gratitude to bilateral and multilateral partners that supported her response to the COVID-19 challenge. The Minister further recognized the need to scale up cooperation in enhancing the capacity to manufacture vaccines and resource mobilization to support efforts to mitigate the impact of pandemics.
In this regard, the Minister commended the Government of Azerbaijan for the donation of $1 million towards supporting the recovery of African and Small Island Developing States (SIDS). He however noted that the global support to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic has been insufficient and called for more comprehensive actions, including debt relief package, debt cancellations, easy access to concessional finance, and building capacity of developing countries to develop vaccines nationally and regionally.
The Minister also appreciated NAM for the efforts rendered during the COVID-19 pandemic and further called for Member States of NAM to be resilient and unite to combat new and emerging threats. As Uganda assumes Chair of the Organization in January 2024, the Minister reiterated the readiness of the Government of Uganda to meaningfully contribute to the efforts of the global community in tackling shared challenges. He reaffirmed his willingness to cooperate with the NAM and expressed support for the NAM initiative on establishing a UN High-Level Panel on post-COVID-19 Global Recovery, with the task of working out recommendations for post-pandemic recovery.
With two-thirds of the UN Member States, the Non-Aligned Movement has a critical role to play in revitalizing multilateral cooperation and forging a new social contract based on inclusivity and sustainability.
The Summit was attended by Heads of State and Governments of about 70 countries, including presidents of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iraq, and Libya. Vice presidents of Cuba, Gabon, and Tanzania, prime ministers of Algeria and Kenya, and other leaders from international organizations.
NAM is an International organisation consisting of 120 countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It aims at creating dialogue for a peaceful and Prosperous world in a just and equitable order. It is the largest grouping of Member states worldwide after the United Nations (UN).
The basic concept for the organisation originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia. The first NAM Summit Conference took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in September 1961.
It has an official membership of 120 States as of April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan). There are 17 countries and 10 international organizations that are7 Observers at NAM. Uganda has been endorsed to officially Chair the organisation on behalf of Africa for the period from 2023 - 2026.
NAM operates on the ten (10) Bandung principles, including respect for the sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of all states; rejection of the possibility of an unconstitutional change of government, as well as external attempts to change the regime of government; the preservation of the inalienable right for each state is free, without interference from outside, to determine its political, social, economic and cultural system; refusal from7 aggression and direct or indirect use of force; non-application of any unilateral economic, political or military measures.
NAM holds Summits, Foreign Ministers level7 conferences, and meetings in New York at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the NAM member countries during the sessions of the UN General Assembly, Meetings of the NAM Coordination Bureau, activities of the Chairman and “Troika”, meetings of sectoral ministers of NAM members countries (ministers of labor, health, information), topical thematic meetings.