Thursday, 26 May 2011

Foreign Minister Calls for NAM Revitalization

The Minister for Foreign Affairs of RDTL, H.E. Zacarias Albano da Costa, has called on NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) to revitalize the organization in order to effectively respond to contemporary global challenges.

Speaking in Bali, where he is attending the 16th Non-Aligned Movement’s Ministerial Conference, Minister da Costa commented In revitalizing NAM, we must look at both its founding principles and at contemporary realities. We must also look at areas that are important for our development and the active promotion and effective participation of developing countries in the international community. Constructive dialogue amongst States in pursuit of our shared goals and values is key to addressing the multiple challenges. Such dialogue must be grounded in a vision of shared responsibilities, and must be based on respect for national ownership.”

In his speech delivered this morning, Minister da Costa also stated the importance of empowering and engaging both women and youth highlighting the exponential effect they have on society. “The Bandung Principles should be a catalyst in this endeavor. In moving towards recognizing the equality of all nations, races and people, it is also important to highlight the need to empower women and youth. Gender equality and the empowerment of women are critical to the sustainable development of our countries.”

Minister da Costa also highlighted Timor-Leste’s commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law, noting in particular the plight of the people of the Western Sahara and Palestine and their right to self-determination.

As this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of NAM, the theme of the Ministerial summit is entitled: ‘A Shared Vision on the Contribution of NAM for the Next 50 years’.

Timor-Leste joined NAM in 2003, and there are currently 118 members. This meeting will also approve the membership of Azerbaijan and Fiji into the group, raising the total membership to 120.

Minister da Costa spoke highly of the importance of Indonesia as host, given their indispensible role in founding the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Minister took the opportunity, on the margins of the conference, to meet with his ASEAN counterparts to discuss and promote Timor-Leste’s application for membership to ASEAN.