South Africa participated in the 18th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 21-26 October 2019 under the theme: “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”.
For the Senior Officials Meetings the South African Delegation was led by Ambassador Mxolisi Nkosi, the Deputy Director General of Global Governance, with Ms Laoura Lazouras, the Director of the United Nations Directorate and Mr Raymond Sithole from South Africa’s Permanent Mission at the UN, including Ambassador Pule Malefane, South Africa’s Ambassador to Turkey accredited to Azerbaijan.
Subsequently, Deputy Minister Alvin Botes was the Head of Delegation for the Ministerial Meetings engaging NAM members on moving the Bandung principles forward. The Ministerial Meetings took place on the 23-24 October, 2019.
The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Minister Naledi Pandor led South Africa’s delegation at the 18th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on 26 October 2019.
Minister Pandor emphasized the need “to uphold the banner of multilateralism, which is the only viable, credible and valid framework for responding effectively to the current global challenges”.
The Minister further touched on issues important to South Africa’s foreign policy, seemingly, “the self-determination of the peoples of Palestine and Western Sahara; the lifting of the economic blockade against Cuba”. She further raised concerns on issues of geopolitical interest including the “unilateral sanctions against Iran, Venezuela and Zimbabwe; the resolution of the debate on the right of access to nuclear technology for peaceful purposes; defeating the scourge of unilateralism; upholding the centrality of the UN Charter & international law in the peaceful resolution of conflicts”.
South Africa’s participation in the summit is in the advancement of the multilateral ideals & the promotion of International law.
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
The 18th NAM Summit was held under the theme “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world,”
The five principles are:
• Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
• Mutual non-aggression.
• Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs.
• Equality and mutual benefit.
• Peaceful co-existence
With its 120 Member States, the NAM is the largest grouping of countries outside of the UN, making it an important role-player in global and multilateral affairs.
Since its inception in 1961, the Movement has played a crucial and highly visible political role in representing the interests of developing countries, particularly in the eradication of colonialism, supporting struggles for liberation and self-determination, the pursuit of world peace and the search for a more equitable and just global order.
NAM remains an important role-player in the multilateral system and continues to play an active role on issues pertaining to development, UN reform, disarmament, human rights, peacekeeping and peacebuilding, amongst others.