Sixty years ago, the Non-Aligned Movement was founded at the height of the Cold War, in world divided by the “iron curtain”. Armed conflicts raged across regions and the threat of nuclear annihilation was a constant menace. We, the peoples of the newly independent countries, were struggling to preserve our new found freedom and prevent economic subjugation.
Today, the world is a very different place. But the challenges we face are no less daunting. Peace remains fragile. Coercion and a “might is right” mentality is on the rise. Great power competition is causing fractures in the international system, undermining the UN-centered international order. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified already persistent inequalities. The huge disparities in COVID-19 vaccination between developed and developing nations is a case in point.
Just like in the past sixty years, our Movement can navigate through these stormy weathers only if we remain united in defending and promoting the core values of the Movement, notably respect for international law, the UN Charter and the fundamental principles of independence, sovereign equality, non-interference, no threat or use of force, and peaceful settlement of disputes.
The Movement should continue to be at the forefront of the effort to uphold multilateralism and strengthen the effective operation of multilateral institutions at both global and regional levels.
NAM members should continue to ask for adequate, affordable and equal access to COVID-19 vaccine and treatment. We should collaborate in our common efforts for economic recovery and attainment of the SDGs, as well as in our response to climate change. We need to strengthen our own resilience and call for the enhanced inclusiveness of global post-pandemic recovery and reconstruction plans. The strength of NAM is in its individual members’ strength, political independence, economic autonomy and determination to maintain a peaceful and stable environment for sustainable development.
It is also vitally important that NAM members continue to voice support for fellow members’ efforts to maintain peace and security and to settle disputes by peaceful means. This is what Viet Nam has been doing consistently, including in her capacity as an elected member of the Security Council. The interests of fellow NAM members and their people are always key in Viet Nam’s considerations. And we would expect no less when it comes to the maintenance of peace and stability, maritime security and safety in the South China Sea, in line with international law and the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The Non-Aligned Movement will soon enter its seventh decade. It is high time we revitalized our Movement and the values we hold so dear – the principle of non-alignment, the solidarity amongst NAM members, the support for multilateralism, and the respect for the UN Charter and fundamental principles of international law. Only by so doing can NAM maintain and enhance its relevance in our common endeavors for a peaceful and sustainable future for all.
I thank you./.