[R-G] NAM statement on Iraq, 3rd World Debt
u_majeed at straight.com
Wed Feb 26 14:16:20 MST 2003
NAM rejects war on Iraq without UN approval: New debt relief sought for
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25: The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on Tuesday rejected any
invasion of Iraq not sanctioned by the United Nations, but pressed Iraq to
cooperate "actively" with weapons inspectors.
The NAM ended its summit with the adoption of several resolutions focusing
on the conflict in Iraq, unrest in the Korean peninsula and the Middle East
High on the list of discussions throughout the two-day summit was the Iraq
crisis and issue of weapons disarmament.
At the proposal of host Malaysia, a separate statement on the movement's
stand on Iraq was released, stating that member countries were opposed to
any attacks on Iraq and were committed to maintaining international peace
and security in the region.
The leaders sent out a strong anti-war message, and called for members, who
make up most of the developing world, to remain united in order to remain a
relevant movement in the international community.
The NAM believes war on Iraq "will be a destabilizing factor for the whole
region, and that it would have far reaching political, economic and
humanitarian consequences for all countries of the world", the 116-nation
body said in a statement at the end of a summit here.
"We reaffirm our commitment to exert our efforts to achieve a peaceful
solution to the current situation," it said.
"We welcome and support all other efforts exerted to avert war against Iraq
and call for the persistent continuation of such efforts based on
multilateral as opposed to unilateral actions, and reaffirm the central role
of the United Nations and the Security Council in maintaining international
peace and security."
Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan earlier told the summit that
Baghdad was determined to iron out all its problems over weapons of mass
destruction to avert war, but denounced the United States for "trying to
dominate the world".
"Iraq is determined to continue its efforts to help with verification of all
problems if (the UN) requests details," he said.
He also condemned "the phenomenon of unipolar politics which seeks to
dominate the world on the political and economic levels and to interfere in
the internal affairs of other countries through force and aggression".
The two-day summit has been dominated by the Iraq crisis, with six NAM
members - Pakistan, Syria, Cameroon, Chile, Guinea and Angola - due to vote
on a second UN Security Council resolution submitted by the United States,
Britain and Spain.
DEBT RELIEF: The world's developing nations proposed new debt relief
measures to haul struggling economies, especially in Africa, out of poverty
as they called on Tuesday for a fairer global economic system.
The 116-nation Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), in a document issued after a
two-day summit, expressed "alarm" over the growing burden of debt payments
in many developing nations.
It singled out Africa as most in need of help, noting that the continent's
economic situation remained "precarious" amid a decline in official
development aid (ODA) and foreign investment.
Foreign investment to Africa accounts for only two per cent of total flows
to developing countries, and its share in global trade accounts for less
than one per cent.
NAM proposed a "temporary standstill" on debt repayment from least
developing nations, most of which are in Africa, debt cancellation and
restructuring, and "debt-for-sustainable-development swap arrangements" to
haul the continent out of poverty. But it warned such debt relief must be
separated from ODA resources and must not impose any unfair burden on them.
NAM leaders urged developed countries to grant duty-free market access to
least developing nations, and rejected attempts to link trade with labour,
environment, social and human rights standards as "pretexts for restricting
market access or aid and technology flows".
They urged the international community to create a "dedicated multilateral
mechanism of international financing" for infrastructure development to spur
economic growth in developing countries.
NAM, which groups poor nations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, pressed
rich nations to fulfil a UN target of 0.7 percent of Gross National Product
(GNP) as ODA for developing countries.
NAM leaders said they remained "deeply concerned" over the marginalization
of developing nations in the process of globalization, as they face barriers
to markets, capital and technology.
They urged an "equitable international economic order" that allowed
developing countries to have a say in decision-making on world economic
The movement called for more effective regulation and greater transparency
of financial markets, including currency trading, to prevent financial
It underlined the need for effective surveillance and early warning systems
to protect developing countries against the excessive volatility of
short-term capital flows and international speculation.
With more than 113 million children having no access to primary education
and 880 million adults illiterate, NAM called for accelerated progress
towards education for all to narrow the global wealth divide.
DOCUMENT: Delegates released a 70-page document containing the movement's
stand on issues discussed and agreed upon during the meeting.
The heads of state expressed concern over the continued division of the
Korean peninsula and reaffirmed their support to the Korean people to
reunify their homeland through dialogue and negotiations.
The document also expressed serious concern over the issue of North Korea's
withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
In the much watered-down statement, following objections from Pyongyang, the
delegates called upon all parties concerned to do everything possible to
resolve the nuclear issue peacefully, including through dialogue and
At a media conference after the closing ceremony, Malaysian Prime Minister
Mahathir Mohamad, who will head the movement for the next three years, said
that the priority for NAM would be to focus on the Israel-Palestinian
conflict as well as the threat of war in Iraq.
Mr Mahathir said the movement was strongly against war, whether it is
multilateral or unilateral, but told reporters he believed that the U.S.
would launch attacks on Iraq despite international opposition.
"I hope there will be no war, but I suspect there is going to be a period
after war (for Iraq)," he said, adding that he hoped the U.S. would take
notice of the anti-war stance adopted by members of NAM.
Also released at the end of the summit was the Kuala Lumpur Declaration,
which spelled out member countries continued commitment in the
revitalization of NAM, the theme of the summit.-AFP/dpa
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