I bring to this important 60th Anniversary Commemorative Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, the greetings of the people and government of Eritrea and of President Isaias Afwerki.
The Non-Aligned Movement was born at a critical juncture in history, a period of hope, enthusiasm, and vibrant energy. It embodied the profound aspirations of the peoples of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, South America, the Pacific, and other regions of the world for self-determination, for genuine sovereignty and territorial integrity, for independent paths to political, economic, and social development, for equitable and just world order. It was a visionary movement that crystallized the determination of these nations and their towering leaders to seize their own destiny into their own hands, to free themselves from colonial, neo-colonial, and imperialist subjugation, to resist and fight unwarranted intervention in their affairs. It sought to build humane societies, with people at the center of development.
Much has been achieved by the Non-Aligned Movement and its constituent nations over the past six decades. Yet, it is glaringly clear, that the Mission Has Not Been Accomplished. The principles of Bandung are routinely flouted, our world more unequal and unjust than ever. In this light, we the peoples and countries of NAM need to rededicate ourselves to its vital principles and lofty goals, which remain highly relevant today. We need to strengthen the unity of our ranks and act in concert in pursuit of our common vital interests and the cause of human survival and advancement. We need to go further and develop effective organizational mechanisms that will enable us to address the myriad challenges that we face and benefit from the vast opportunities that are available to us.
The world is undergoing profound change and transformation. A historic breakthrough is possible. It will not be easy as our project will be resisted and fought tooth and nail by the privileged beneficiaries of the current unjust system. But it can be done. We now have a critical mass of capabilities- a powerful blend of natural, human and cultural capabilities. We owe it to our people and our coming generations to make it happen. Let’s seize this historical moment. Let’s make Belgrade 2021, this 60th Commemoration, mark the relaunching and revitalization of the Non-Aligned Movement.