President Of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, addresses the Inaugural Session of 13th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
24 February 2003
Dear Brother Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Your Majesties and Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to extend my sincere felicitations to you, Mr. Prime Minister, on your assumption of NAM’s Chair. We have no doubt that your dynamic and visionary leadership will help transform this Movement in consonance with demands of the changed international environment. I also wish to thank South Africa, especially Presidents Mandela and Mbeki whose inspiring moral leadership galvanized NAM’s work and gave it a new spirit.
From Bandung in 1955 to Kuala Lumpur in 2003, our Movement has traveled a long distance. At the high noon of superpower rivalry, our Movement emerged to offer an independent middle path to the developing world. The next phase in our Movement’s evolution commenced in the post cold war period. We began a transition dictated by the new global realities and started paying increasing attention to economic issues.
We are now in the third phase of our journey, as we hold this first NAM Summit of the 21st century. This must become the phase of our complete transformation. It is truly befitting that “revitalization” is the theme of this Summit. The challenge before us, is to identify our common objectives and purposes, and evolve appropriate ways and means as well as processes and mechanisms to promote these objectives.
First and foremost, NAM must be the voice of principle – not the voice of power. Asymmetry of power takes different forms, from unmatched military strength to unequal distribution of economic resources to permanent membership of the Council. Such asymmetry undermines collective good.
NAM must counter-balance the asymmetry of power by emphasizing principles. This approach should be anchored on the primacy of the UN Charter and the five principles of peaceful coexistence as well as the central role of the Untied Nations and other multilateral organizations in international relations. Above all, NAM should begin to play a pivotal role in conflict resolution. Chapter VI Of the UN Charter provides the best framework for the pacific settlement of disputes. Pakistan supports the establishment of a Panel of Eminent Persons (the “three wise men”) to more fully define and promote these objectives and processes. Pakistan would be happy to host the NAM mechanism for conflict resolution.
Secondly, NAM must be the strongest proponent of equal security of states. Asymmetry of power cannot be a stable and durable basis for the post-cold war architecture of international peace and security.
NAM must strive for equitable global disarmament – achieved through negotiated agreements rather than forcible actions. The linkage between disarmament and security must be strengthened. The balancing of power and security would provide us the political space for promoting multilateral solutions, to emerging threats to international peace and security.
Thirdly, NAM must be the voice of the people. We must give full life and meaning to the opening words of the UN Charter: “We, the people”. NAM would remain relevant as long as it continues to speak for the weak and oppressed. We must not shy away from the principle of self-determination for peoples fighting foreign occupation or suppression by force. Many of the nations assembled here today owe their very creation this noble principle.
NAM must remain a symbol of hope for the peoples, who even today’s struggle to realize their inalienable right to self-determination. Two supreme cases stand out – those of the oppressed people of Kashmir and Palestine. The legitimacy of their cause is recognized by the United Nations. The Non-Aligned Movement must press for the realization of these just causes, and shun a selective approach to UN Resolutions. Fourthly, NAM must be a strong, principled voice against terrorism, whether by individuals, groups or states. Our Movement must work to promote a universally accepted definition of terrorism – base on recognition of the fundamental fact that no cause justifies acts of violence against innocent civilians. At the same time, we must not allow anyone to manipulate the fight against terrorism to de-legitimize just struggles of peoples against illegal occupation. This travesty must be rejected with the contempt that it deserves. The fight against terrorism should not divide, but only seek to unit nations in this common cause. NAM must also underscore the imperative to address the “root causes”. Resolution of long standing disputes as also efforts to address injustice, the sense of frustration and powerlessness and objective realities like poverty, illiteracy and economic deprivation, would certainly help this cause.
The economic agenda that our Movement must pursue in the 21st century is no less important. It is vital to the well-being and future prosperity of the billions that live in the NAM world.
NAM must support equitable growth and development. Paradoxically, while globalization has increased global prosperity, it has also deepened the levels of poverty and inequality. About 20% people in the North control 80% of the world resources. The world’s richest 1% receive as much income as the poorest 57%. Not unsurprisingly, therefore, in the South more than 1.2 billion people still live on less than one dollar a day, some 800 million lack basic amenities, 850 million are illiterate, and nearly 113 million children are out of school.
To address this, NAM should press for a new agenda for development. Development means enabling people to escape the vicious circle of poverty, hunger and disease. This would require a new “development consensus” centered on people, which should replace the present “Washington Consensus” built largely around the idea of liberalization of economies.
The new development paradigm should help realize the right to development, a fair trade regime, equitable distribution of international liquidity and debt reduction.
Respect for international law should be the cornerstone of NAM’s approach to the international humanitarian order. Past decades have seen flagrant violations of international humanitarian law – in Rwanda, Kashmir and Palestine. This must be brought to an end now. We must raise our voice collectively against genocide and support the international criminal justice system. Oppression and unjust wars – waged for territory or resources – are incompatible with NAM’s ideals. These should be condemned.
Allow me to conclude by reiterating that this is both a moment of challenge and opportunity for NAM. The vision we develop here today would be critical to our ability to realize the Movement’s full potential in the 21st Century.
With you guiding our Movement in this defining moment, Mr. Chairman, we have no doubt that this ship will cruise to its coveted destination.
I thanks you, Mr.