H.E. Mr. Thongphane SAVANPHET
Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic
At the Mid-Term Ministerial Meeting of Non-Aligned Movement
Theme: Non-Aligned Movement at the Center of Multilateral Efforts in Responding to Global Challenges
13-14 July 2021
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At the outset, I would like to commend you, Mr. Chairman, for your able stewardship of our Movement and for convening this online Mid-Term Ministerial Conference of NAM during this challenging period, under the theme “Non-Aligned Movement at the center of multilateral efforts in responding to global challenges”. This meeting is indeed timely and crucial for our Movement. I assure you of our full support and cooperation and wish you every success in discharging your noble duty.
My delegation welcomes the adoption of the Political Declaration which reaffirms our Movement’s vision, principles, objectives and commitments as well as positions on various issues of common concern and interest, especially in responding to the emerging threats and challenges to international peace, security and sustainable development.
On this occasion, the Lao PDR also welcomes the official admission of the Russian Federation as observer state to the Non-Aligned Movement, which reaffirms the role, validity and relevance of our Movement.
This year marks the 60th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement during which the global political landscape, economic and social environment continue to face the complex unpredictable rapid changes that entailed numerous challenges, including unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also crucial when sovereignty has often been breached, interference into internal affairs still prevails and multilateralism is challenged. In this connection, I would like to stress the need for all members of NAM to stand firm in upholding and defending the Movement’s founding principles and objectives while further enhancing the unity, solidarity, effectiveness and relevance of our Movement and making sure that our Movement can play a significant role in all areas of international affairs including in the United Nations so as to make the UN relevant to all members.
In the same vein, we must strengthen our collective efforts to find the right solutions to various conflicts and regional instability by peaceful means, to eradicate poverty and alleviate the impact of climate change. More importantly, we need to redouble our effort, unity and the forces of NAM in addressing the impact of global health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has threatened to revert our hard-earned progress in poverty eradication and SDGs implementation as well as exacerbated the existing vulnerability and multiple challenges faced prior to COVID-19. We need to find a global response based on unity, solidarity and renewed multilateral cooperation to ensure equitable and affordable access to vaccines, medical equipment and necessary support by developing countries, especially the most vulnerable to fight the pandemic and build back better.
Let me conclude by reiterating my country’s firm commitment and support to the noble cause of NAM and multilateralism in defending the Movement’s founding principles, objectives and legitimate interest. I also express my sincere appreciation to the chair, the Republic of Azerbaijan for its able chairmanship of NAM and for various initiatives over the past years. I wish the meeting a great success.