Sat, 04 Jun 1994

Colombia picked as venue for next NAM summit

By Oei Eng Goan

CAIRO (JP): Foreign ministers of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member countries wrapped up their four-day meeting here yesterday after they had announced that Colombia would be the venue of the forthcoming 11th summit of the Movement.

They also reaffirmed their commitment to their principles and goals in a declaration.

As a host country of the next NAM's summit, scheduled for September 1995, Colombia will automatically chair the Movement for a period of three years. They will replace Indonesia, one of the founders of NAM, which assumed chairmanship in 1992 when it hosted NAM's 10th Summit in Jakarta.

The chief of the Bogota delegation, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Wilma Turbay, accepted her country's nomination to the warm applause of the attendants.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa, who chaired the meeting, officially closed the 11th conference of NAM's foreign ministers which was attended by representatives of 111 member countries from Asia, Africa, a small part of Europe and Latin America.

In their declaration, called "The Cairo Declaration", the foreign ministers jointly expressed their determination "to closely coordinate their countries' approaches towards global issues of international peace and security, debt, colonization and occupation, disarmament, development, trade, poverty, human rights and environment."

But the declaration was criticized by Yemen's foreign minister who represented the Sanaa government at the meeting, saying that the declaration had failed to mention the Unity of Yemen.

"The unity of Yemen has been slaughtered here in this conference," the Yemeni minister said, in an accusatory tone.


NAM also passed separate resolutions on Bosnia and Rwanda, calling for immediate actions to settle the tragedy and civil wars which have ravaged the two countries, causing the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.

With regards to Bosnia, the resolution, which was proposed by President Soeharto of Indonesia in his capacity as the current NAM's chairman, calls for the immediate convening of an appropriately structured international conference, under the auspices of the United Nations.

It also urges that the conference should be participated in by the warring parties in the troubled Bosnia-Herzegovina, troop contributing countries to UNPROFOR, representatives of NAM, the contact group of the Organization of Islamic Conference, the European Union, the five permanent members of the Security Council and the UN secretary general.

The foreign ministers also appealed yesterday to international community to respond concretely to restore peace into war-torn Rwanda "by providing all material and financial resources and rendering practical assistance which will ensure that the public health and environmental hazards and pollution caused by human carnage are immediately contained."

Moments before the closing ceremony took place in the imposing building of the Cairo International Conference Center, a number of countries from the Middle East and Africa demanded the conference to adopt a resolution denouncing Israel for its recent "act of piracy and aggression on Lebanon."

Chief delegates from Iran, Palestine, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq and Syria were among those who suggested the adoption of the resolution.


Security on yesterday's closing ceremony, which took place later than was scheduled, was lighter compared to the opening on Tuesday. Journalists were allowed to enter the ground floor of the conference hall which, formerly, was exclusively for delegation members.

Indonesian chief delegate, Nana Sutresna, concurrently head executive assistant to the NAM chairman, sat next to Moussa on huge and spacious podium, right below the huge symbol of NAM's 11th ministerial meeting -- a white pigeon inside a blue circle symbolizing global peace and prosperity.

The conference also produced a final document, whose draft was formerly made available to journalists on Wednesday. The final document was revised only for editorial changes without considerable changes in the content.

The document states, among other things, that the foreign ministers of the Movement have to adopt new approaches capable of accommodating the broad spectrum of its members' interests. It also said that they had to improve all forms of cooperation in the rapidly changing world, while doing its utmost to create world peace and stability.

It also states that the agreements resulting from the Uruguay Round should be translated into increased market access and employment opportunities in NAM countries.

It says that the World Trade Organization should be established to effectively contribute to a "rule-based, competitive discipline and non-discriminatory trading system as well as the protection of the rights and interests of developing countries."

Finally, it calls on the multilateral financial institutions to continue to provide support for debt and debt-service reduction packages and apply growth-oriented solutions on developing countries.