Malaysia: NAM's relevance proven

  • Nation
  • Monday, 24 Feb 2003

NOBODY should question the relevancy of NAM now that the meeting in Kuala Lumpur has proven its worth.  

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said members and critics of the organisation, comprising mainly Third World Countries, should move on to focus on other NAM-related activities and programmes. 

“People have started to realise that NAM is still relevant. The meeting here is to determine this.  

“We should now talk about other programmes and activities for NAM. These activities should take place not only during the summit, but in the next three years. 

STRENGHTENING TIES: Syed Hamid discussing with his counterpart from Eritrea Ali Said Abdella during bilateral talks at Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

“There is also a general agreement that NAM should not only focus on politics and diplomacy but other areas as well. This was the reason why our proposal for a NAM business forum to be held in conjunction with the summit was taken up so readily,” he told reporters after meeting foreign ministers from Eritrea and Nepal on the sidelines of the 13th NAM meeting here. 

Syed Hamid said the movement would not have a permanent secretariat but a support system which would give greater flexibility.  

“This system will carry out activities and keep track of the latest international situations, and respond accordingly, particularly on the issues of globalisation and its effects on developing countries,” he said. 

“The location of the co-ordination bureaus for NAM are chosen because Vienna and Geneva in Europe, and Nairobi in Africa are also hosts to United Nations agencies, much like the existing NAM co-ordinating bureau in New York.” he said. 

Wisma Putra will be setting up a Malaysian secretariat for NAM during its three-year tenure as chairmanship. 

On the draft of the Final Document, Syed Hamid said: “The two paragraphs which are still causing some debate are terrorism, and women and development.”  

Asked if some countries were finding it difficult to “define terrorism” and if that was the stumbling block, Syed Hamid said members should focus on how to overcome the root causes of such actions. 

“Even the UN is having trouble defining terrorism. But we should just move on discussing about definitions towards overcoming terrorism.”  

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