Rise to the occasion and face challenges, says PM

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 26 Feb 2003

THE 13th Non-Aligned Movement Summit came to a close yesterday with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad urging member states to “rise to the occasion” and face challenges confronting the movement. 

He said Malaysia looked forward to working closely with the other members to further enhance the movement’s international profile and increase its political and economic “clout” in global affairs. 

In his closing remarks, Dr Mahathir said the movement had become more relevant for the protection and promotion of the interest of countries in the South. 

He said the well being of the world would be better served by its strong multilateral system revolving around the United Nations, which was more representative and democratic, than the unilateral system based on the dominance of one power. 

“We resolved to give strong and sustained support to the UN for its future is linked with that of the NAM and multilateralism,” he said. 

Earlier, at the closing ceremony, representatives of the continents of Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe reaffirmed their support and commitment towards the revitalisation and the founding principles of NAM. 

Namibia president Dr Samuel Danial Nujoma spoke on behalf of the African region, Asia was represented by Kuwait's First Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN Sotos Zackheos spoke for Europe, and Latin America was represented by Guyana's Prime Minister Samuel Hinds. 

Dr Mahathir listed the new challenges facing the movement as international terrorism, globalisation and efforts towards integration of developing countries into a new political, economic and human global order that was equitable, just and democratic. 

He said another was the revolution in the information and communications technology that was rapidly changing the world and widening the digital divide. 

“In the face of all these challenges, it is clearly in our interest to strengthen our unity and cohesion and speak with one voice on issues of vital importance to us. 

“I am particularly gratified that we have adopted the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the revitalisation on the NAM,” he added. 

Dr Mahathir said the declaration constituted an important blueprint for NAM’s collective action as it provided clear guiding principles and practical action plans, which would assist NAM’s causes in the future.  

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