Iran to hold next NAM summit in 2012


Cairo : Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member states gathering in Egypt’s Red Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh announced Thursday that the next summit will be held in Iran in 2012.

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“President Hosny Mubarak, on behalf of my government and my country I want to thank you all sincerely for the honour you gave us, through accepting our invitation to host the 16th summit of the movement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told the delegates during Thursday’s closing session.

Cuba has passed the leadership of the movement, which represents more than 50 percent of the world population, to Egypt.

“We count on your cooperation and support in order to push forward our common issues and interests,” added Mottaki, who met his Egyptian counterpart three times since preliminary meetings began over the weekend.

Egypt and Iran severed diplomatic relations 30 years ago, after Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel and offered asylum to the deposed shah following the Iranian Revolution.

Leaders attending NAM’s 15th Summit issued a declaration reaffirming the movement’s commitment to support the Palestinian people through providing necessary assistance and to contribute to the efforts aimed at ending the Israeli occupation, as well as reaching a just and peaceful solution for the conflict.

The declaration also asserted the member states’ support for the Palestinian Liberation Organisation as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian Authority, headed by President Mahmoud Abbas.

The declaration also pointed out the members commitment to promote disarmament and international security, peacekeeping and to support human rights and democracy. It also tackled the global economic crisis and its consequences on member states.

“We will continue our support to the fundamental right to self-determination… We shall restore the lost balance between the main bodies of the United Nations and re-establish the role and authority of the General Assembly,” read the declaration.

In his remarks to the more than 50 world leaders assembled for the opening session Wednesday, Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi called for the movement to establish its own security council as a counterweight to the UN Security Council, which he described as a form of “terrorism”.

“We are missing from the world’s international organisations, such as the UN Security Council and the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” Gaddafi said.

“The UN Security Council is only for the permanent members, and the IMF is called international, but it is not, because it serves a certain group,” he said.

The NAM summits have been billed as the largest gathering of nations outside the UN General Assembly.

The movement was founded in 1955 by erstwhile Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egyptian president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito, Indonesian president Sukarno and president Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

Participating countries said they did not wish to be drawn into the Cold War, but vowed, in a 1979 declaration, to support each other in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression”.

Since the end of the Cold War, the NAM has been looking for a new role.