Virtual Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) at the Margins of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly
9 October 2020
Theme: Bandung+65: More Relevant, United and Effective NAM against Emerging Global Challenge Including COVID-19
I would like to begin by thanking the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Chair of the Non-aligned Movement, for convening this meeting.
We appreciate Azerbaijan’s dynamic leadership provided to our movement during these difficult times.
The Online Summit of the NAM Task Force held in May 2020 was a worthy initiative in mustering international support against the COVID-19.
We are confident that the 31st Special Session of the UNGA being convened at the request of the NAM will be able to garner wider international support, solidarity and commitment to fight this pandemic.
Sixty-five years ago, 29 Asian African countries, including my own country Nepal, assembled in Bandung with the shared aspiration of peace, prosperity, harmony and justice.
The leaders stood for equality among nations, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference and economic cooperation.
They advocated for human rights and prosperity for all.
And, more importantly, they called for addressing global challenges and crises through cooperation and collaboration.
The ten principles enunciated in the Bandung Declaration laid the foundation of Non-aligned Movement.
Adopted at the backdrop of complex international geo-politics, these principles are time-tested and stand relevant. They bear even greater meaning today when the very foundation of cooperative global order confronts with parochial nationalism and the return of geopolitics.
The challenges posed by COVID-19 and its impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable people calls for greater international collaboration and support. The pandemic has taught us that no country- whether big or small- is immune from the challenges of global proportion.
Effective and coordinated efforts are needed to address the current and emerging challenges and emergencies. Only through larger international collaboration and synergy we can win the pandemic. United we stand stronger, divided we will fail, and the virus will win.
Therefore, this is not a time to abdicate from international responsibility and resort to self-centered nationalism. This is a time to internalize the cost of discord and benefit of cooperation, strengthen multilateral institutions and promote multilateralism with the United Nations at its centre.
We must retain the spirit of solidarity and cooperation. This is the only way where all nations large or small can coexist in peace and dignity.
With its numerical and moral strength, NAM should claim its rightful place and amplify the voice of the weak and vulnerable countries in their fight against the pandemic. NAM must prove itself as a collective voice of reason and a source of strength to its membership.
For this, we the member states of NAM, need to recommit ourselves to make the Movement more effective and faithfully adhere to its principles.
The current crisis requires investing in health systems, social protection and poverty reduction; removing of trade barriers; and accelerating of efforts to address the climate crisis. NAM has to take a leadership role in these areas.
The challenges confronted by the LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS are unique and different. They require robust support measures in the form of preferential trade, investment, technology and knowledge transfer and development cooperation. This has become even more important in the face of the present global health crisis and resulting economic downturn.
With only one decade left to achieve the 2030 Agenda, we must accelerate its implementation and build sustainable and resilient pathways to address the long-term developmental consequences of COVID-19.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I reaffirm Nepal’s profound commitment to the principles of NAM and pledge our continued cooperation to its processes and initiatives.
I thank you.