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Statement by the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Karen Cummings at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement

Thursday, 26 September 2019
Hon. Dr. Karen Cummings

Mr. Chairman and distinguished colleagues,

Guyana welcomes the convening of this Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement. We are meeting at a time when the world is faced with multiple, new and complex threats to international peace and security that affect relations and cooperation among States.

As a small developing country, Guyana is no stranger to the challenges encountered by Member States pursuing relations of cooperation with each other in an environment of peace and security. As we navigate this difficult course, Guyana continues to be guided by the purposes and principles set out in the Charter of the United Nations and by those that guide the Non-Aligned Movement, such as the peaceful settlement of disputes, respect for the territorial integrity of States and non-interference in the internal affairs of States. These principles have served us well in every aspect of our development agenda.

Mr. Chairman,

I wish to highlight three aspects of the theme of our meeting which my delegation believes will accelerate progress towards improved relations of cooperation among Member States in an environment of peace and security.

First, we must value strategic partnerships and alliances to advance our interests in areas of critical importance to member States of the Movement. Together we can take action to promote respect for human rights, reduce poverty, promote sustainable management of the environment and the empowerment of our youth and women, and formulate bottom-up responses to our socio-economic challenges. All of these elements are necessary for the fulfilment of this year’s theme.

Second, we must address collectively global issues such as climate change, which do not recognise international borders or distinguish between rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless. A collective and multilateral approach is the only way to address the challenges confronting today’s globalized world. No single Member State, no matter how powerful, can resolve them on its own, Guyana remains firmly committed to multilateralism and to continued engagement and solidarity with other Member States in the global effort to combat climate change and the other perils facing our global community.  

Third, Guyana attaches the highest importance to respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States. That is why, Mr. Chairman, we condemn all attempts to infringe on these fundamental principles of international law, which are obstacles to the development of our countries and disrupt the friendly relations of cooperation among States. Such actions, moreover, are contrary to our obligations under the Charter and to the core principles on which the Non-Aligned Movement was established.

Mr. Chairman,

“Upholding of the principles of sovereignty and political independence as a means to maintain international peace and security and foster friendly relations and cooperation among States” requires strategic partnerships and alliances in areas of international interest. It requires us to collectively address global issues through concerted action and in a spirit of dialogue. And, lastly, it requires that we recognize the importance Member States attach to their sovereignty, territorial integrity and security. Only by recommitting ourselves to the core principles of the Movement can we hope to achieve peace and security and to foster friendly relations and cooperation among States. Guyana remains fully committed to those core principles and will continue to be guided by them in the conduct of our relations with other States.

I thank you.