President calls for NAM’s new role to meet 21st Century challenges

TEHRAN, Aug 31 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday called for forging a common vision to ensure a new role for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) by enabling it to address the challenges of 21st Century.
Addressing the 16th Summit of the 120-member NAM on the concluding day, the President said that Pakistan would be pleased to actively contribute to the strengthening of the movement, whose member states represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations’ members and comprise 55 percent of the world population.
He said since inception, the NAM represented the aspirations of more than half the humanity living in the developing countries, served as a strong force and offered great promise to the future.
Following is the text of President Asif Ali Zardari’s address to the 16th NAM Summit, here on Friday.
XVI NAM Summit
Tehran, Iran
31st August 2012

Mr. Chairman!
Honourable Heads of State and Government!
Distinguished Delegates!
Ladies and Gentlemen!

I feel honoured to be here in Tehran among friends from Africa, Asia and Latin America.
I have great pleasure to be in the company of friends with whom we share bonds of friendship and partnership.
We are grateful to the Government and the people of Iran for the warm reception and generous hospitality.
We congratulate Iran on assuming the Chairmanship of NAM for the next three years.
Pakistan and Iran have a long tradition of shared history and common culture.
We are neighbours and our ties date back to thousands of years in the past.
We look forward to further strengthening these ties.
We greatly appreciate the valuable contributions of Egypt as Chair of the NAM for the past three years.
We also welcome the offer made by the Republic of Venezuela to host the next NAM Summit in 2015.
Mr. Chairman!
NAM represents the aspirations of more than half of humanity living in developing countries.
Since its inception NAM has been a strong moral force.
It offers a great promise for the future also.
We are passing through challenging times.
The world is witnessing a historic transformation.
It calls for reiterating our belief in the principles of the United Nations Charter and values of multilateralism.
NAM greatest strength has been its unity.
Our unity defeated imperialism and apartheid in the 20th Century.
We must demonstrate the same unity, conviction and solidarity to face the new challenges.
Mr. Chairman!
Pakistan believes in the promise of multilateralism.
States can achieve more together than they can individually.
Solutions to complex problems must be based on dialogue and consensus.
The more we cooperate the more the space for unilateral action is reduced.
Cooperation does not mean uniformity or conformity.
It signifies harmony, tolerance and respect for diversity.
We have tried it in our domestic politics and found it holding great promise.
We believe it also holds great promise in inter-state relations.
Mr. Chairman!
Pakistan is a peace loving country.
We seek a peaceful, stable and prosperous neighbourhood.
We seek it through enhanced economic cooperation and peaceful resolution of outstanding disputes.
We are engaged in a comprehensive dialogue with India.
We look forward to finding peaceful solutions to all outstanding issues, including Jammu and Kashmir.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are brotherly countries.
The destinies of our two countries are interconnected.
We both have suffered from prolonged conflict in Afghanistan for the past three decades.
Pakistan is fully committed to promoting durable peace and stability in Afghanistan.
We have and will continue to support an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
We would stand by our Afghan brothers in dealing with the challenges of transition and transformation.
The repatriation of Afghan refugees is an unfinished task of Afghanistan’s peace and stability.
We hope that the international community, while planning withdrawal from Afghanistan, would also take into account repatriation of Afghan refugees to their homeland.
Mr. Chairman!
We are deeply concerned on the continued bloodshed in Syria.
Death and destruction in Syria must stop immediately.
Democratic aspirations of the Syrian people must be respected.
We strongly condemn unilateral declaration of independence in parts of Mali.
We support the people and Government of Mali in their struggle for territorial integrity.
Pakistan fully supports the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.
The establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state is critical to peace.
Mr. Chairman!
Terrorism is a global threat.
No country has suffered so much from it as Pakistan.
We have lost more than 40,000 innocent lives.
Our economic losses are almost 80 billion dollars.
Fighting terrorism is a complex issue.
Defeating extremism calls for an effective counter narrative.
The international community developed heroine as a war weapon to defeat a rival ideology.
Trading in heroine continues to be the financial backbone of terrorism.
While withdrawing from Afghanistan last time the international community also withdrew their weapons.
However, the war weapon of heroine continues to play havoc with peace process.
To blunt this war weapon Pakistan has convened a Regional Ministerial Conference.
To be held in Islamabad in November the conference will discuss strategies to end the use of heroine as war weapon Victory against militancy requires that we win the hearts and minds of the people.
We can do this by addressing the feelings of helplessness and deprivation.
We must give a message of hope to the youth.
We need to engage in an intellectual debate on countering extremism.
Mr. Chairman!
Pakistan has had a long history of close relations with our African brothers and sisters.
We are glad to see the increasing role played by the African leaders in meeting challenges.
We have supported their efforts for peace and development through UN peacekeeping and technical assistance programme.
We will continue to support our African brothers.
Global peace and security rests on disarmament and non-proliferation.
Rules and norms of disarmament must be based on non-discrimination.
NAM must not legitimize double standards in the disarmament regime.
Mr. Chairman!
We need to forge a common vision of new challenges and the role of NAM in the 21st Century.
I propose the establishment of an Ad Hoc Working Group for this purpose.
The NAM Chair, in consultation with other members of Troika, may chart out a strategy for this purpose.
Pakistan would be happy to actively contribute towards the strengthening of our Movement.
I thank you Mr. Chairman!

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