NAM must hold fast to multilaterism, says Abdullah

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 23 Feb 2003

THE Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) must continue to make itself the indispensable forum for developing countries because no superpower can ever represent or voice the hopes of the developing world, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

And NAM members are duty-bound to change a world order that is increasingly marked by the supremacy of one nation, he said. 

Organisations like NAM must ensure that the multilateral process remain the primary objective in the affairs of nations. 

“Unilateral actions are injurious to the interests of NAM and must be strongly resisted,” he said when opening the 13th NAM meeting at the Ministerial Level here yesterday. 

Hopefully, said Abdullah, NAM would be able to once again provide balance and moderation in global politics. 

In a global order dominated by a single superpower, he said, NAM must continue to maintain its independent position in international affairs. 

“We must continue to pursue peace and stability, and to speak out against war, violence and terror.” 

He said NAM must remain the forum for developing countries, because no superpower, however benign and well meaning, could ever convey the hopes of the developing world, adding that only NAM could remedy the imbalances and injustices of the world. 

Questions, Abdullah said, had also been raised both within and outside the movement about its continued relevance, to an extent that even its name had come under ridicule. 

“It is as if in the new global order, there is no need to be non-aligned. 

This year’s summit, said Abdullah, was being held at a time when there was a profound sense of unease and uncertainty about the future. 

“Today, this state of affairs brings us to the brink of conflict, one which the peoples of the world have loudly and clearly opposed. 

“That the collective voice can be ignored suggests that we live in a world that is no better than the one which our founding fathers found themselves in,” he said. 

Later at a press conference, Abdullah advised NAM members not to be a mere “rubber stamp” of the unilateral actions by certain countries. 

“In order for NAM to be more relevant, it must take part in more UN activities and to give the UN its wholehearted support,” he said.  

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