Foreign Ministers Adopt NAM Guidelines

Reprinted for Granma International, September 15, 2006

On September 14, the foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) [an organization of 116 nations] defined for the approval of their heads of state a group of principles that are to guide the movement’s activities from now on.

The fundamentals are contained in a statement on the aims and principles and role of the Non-Aligned Movement in the current international juncture.

Respect for the UN Charter and the sovereignty of the peoples and the territorial equality and integrity of all states heads the document to be endorsed by the 14th NAM Summit that is in session today and tomorrow in Havana.

In addition, the statement refers to the equality of all races, religions, cultures and nations, large and small, and respect for and promotion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right of the peoples to peace and development.

It ratifies the principle of free self-determination and the inalienable right of states to freely decide on their political, socioeconomic and cultural systems.

An explicit statement that no state or group of states has the right to directly or indirectly intervene in the internal or external affairs of another also appears in the document.

The Non-Aligned Movement rejects the exercise of pressure on or coercion of any country, including the application and/or promotion of any unilateral measure of a coercive nature contrary to international law, or in any other form.

The text stipulates abstaining from having recourse to threats or the use of force in international relations against the territorial integrity, sovereignty or political independence of another country.

At the same time it quotes respect for the immanent right of legitimate individual or collective defense, in conformity with the UN Charter.

Aggression is a crime against peace and entails international responsibility, the document states, and calls on states to combat the organization, instigation, support, promotion, funding of or participation in acts of terrorism in any of its forms.

On the other hand, it sustains that the promotion and defense of multilateralism and multilateral organizations are the ideal frameworks for resolving problems afflicting humanity through dialogue and cooperation.

Finally, it establishes the principle of the defense and promotion of shared interests, justice and cooperation independently of states’ differences in political, economic and social systems on the basis of mutual respect and equality of rights (PL).