Your Excellency Elmar Mammadyarov Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
Excellencies, and Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I would like to begin by congratulating you on your unanimous election as the Chair of this Meeting. I express my delegation's full support in the discharge of your responsibilities.
I want to thank the Government and people of Azerbaijan for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to us. We are happy to be in this beautiful and historic city.
Let me also commend the leadership of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for efficiently steering the Movement over the last three years.
The founding fathers of the Non-Aligned Movement chose universal peace over conflict, uniting commonalities over dividing differences, shared prosperity over unequitable development and balanced multi-polarity over hegemonic bipolarity.
This Movement is an epitome of our collective pursuit for peaceful, just, fair and equitable world order. Drawing its strength from the Bandung Principles, the Movement has always led the path towards international solidarity and cooperation in the wake of ever-increasing challenges.
However, at present, our collective efforts to establish a peaceful and prosperous world are hindered by multiple challenges.
Poverty and hunger still exist as blemishes on human dignity. Achievements in scientific inventions, technological advances, and managerial innovations have not yet succeeded to soothe the pain of disease and deprivation. Fair distribution of economic development and prosperity remains a far dream for millions of people trapped into abject poverty.
The world economy has bounced back from Great Recession and has been achieving global growth since 2010 but it has failed to raise the hope of the bottom billion for a better future.
There is an unequal distribution of the benefits of globalization, which leaves the poor and vulnerable countries behind. These countries have become more vulnerable to the adverse impact of the financial and economic crises.
Increasing incidents of terrorism, transnational organized crimes, violent extremism, and hate speeches, among others, have become everyday phenomena.
The menace of climate change is outpacing our response. Unfortunately, it is the poorest and most vulnerable who are hit hardest by the impacts of climate change despite their negligible emissions.
Multilateralism has been under attack due to growing trends of populist nationalism and protectionism. We must strengthen the multilateral system by upholding and defending the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the principles of international law.
A strong, transparent and democratic UN would be an effective institution for global governance.
It is in this light that the relevance of NAM and its principles become more pertinent.
Needless to say, peace and security and sustainable development have complementary and mutually reinforcing relationship.
No peace and security can ever be sustained without achieving sustainable development. Similarly, no sustainable development can ever be achieved without sustaining peace and security.
It is worth noting that money spent on prevention of conflict globally is much lower than the cumulative human, social and psychological costs incurred due to cyclical conflicts. Most of the countries suffering from the brunt of conflict and underdevelopment are the members of this Movement.
Conflict begets conflict and respects no national boundary. Arms race and conflicts dissipate the resources and arms add fuels to the conflicts.
Therefore, NAM, as a group of 120 countries, has a special responsibility to use its numerical and moral strength to ensure adequate and predictable resources in preventing conflicts and helping its members achieve peace and stability.
The NAM membership, in the spirit of solidarity, should support each other in building domestic capacity by sharing their experiences, best practices and resources through the South-South Cooperation mechanism.
Nepal, as a founding member, believes that a stronger and revitalized NAM is a sine qua non for achieving peace, development and security.
The principles of NAM constitute the fundamentals of Nepal's foreign policy. They are enshrined in our Constitution to guide our international relations.
Nepal believes that the principles of sovereignty and sovereign equality of States, territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of any State and pacific settlement of international disputes are the cardinal principles of the multilateral system.
Our Movement is for equal rights, equal opportunities, equal protection and equal respect for all countries.
The reforms in the international financial systems are also critically important for timely achievement of sustainable development goals. They need to be further democratized to make them more open, transparent and equitable.
Trade and investment are not just engines of growth but important tools to ensure inclusive growth and sustainable development. Therefore, the international trade and investment regimes should be universal, open, equitable, rule-based, predictable and non-discriminatory so all countries would be benefitted equitably.
Before I conclude, I wish to state that, after the success of our unique and home-grown peace process that culminated in the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015, Nepal’s priority now is on economic transformation and sustainable development.
Implementation of the 2030 Agenda is our national priority and is integral part to our graduation from the LDC status. We anticipate an enhanced, predictable and continued international support including from the NAM membership for a smooth transition and sustainable graduation.
While Nepal is committed to doing all it can, including in forging partnerships among public and private sectors at home, it looks forward to an increased cooperation and partnership with all our international partners for necessary resources, investment, technology and other forms of support.
Finally, I commend the progress made by the senior officials meeting on the Declaration and Outcome Document to be adopted by the 18th Summit of the Non-aligned Movement. I am confident that we will be able to have productive deliberations in this Meeting and contribute to making the Summit a historic one.
I thank you for your attention.