Foreign Ministers at the ongoing Non-Aligned Movement have called on the international community to respect the United Nations Resolutions especially those that respect the sovereignty of member-states.
The Ministers meeting that started Wednesday follows the Senior Officials Preparatory Meeting that comprised mainly of technical people and ambassadors to the UN, and will be proceeded by the heads of states summit.
At least 90 countries have so far sent in their delegations and confirmed attendance of the Heads of States Summit at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala.
State Minister for International Relations, Henry Okello Oryem told the media that 28 Heads of State had officially confirmed their attendance for the Heads of State Summit.
The conflict between Israel and the Hamas in Palestine, interference of developed countries in the affairs of others, as well as the need for reforms at the UN dominated the concerns raised by the different countries.
While opening the ministerial summit, Uganda’s Vice President Jessica Alupo noted that the 19th Summit is taking place amidst multiple challenges facing the international community.
She said these challenges, like the Russia/Ukraine and the Palestine-Hamas conflicts ate taking a toll on human lives as well as on global resources that would help in human development.
Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Namibia, said there is need for reforms at the UN because many challenges are unresolved and continue to grow because the UN can no longer attend to them in its current structure.
She called for reforms regarding the participation of women in the UN-led policies and activities, as well as expansion of the UN Security Council.
The Summit, she said must work towards strengthening and observing the UN Charter that calls for the recognition of national sovereignty, decolonization and others.
Ndaitwah, who referred to the Israeli incursion in Gaza as systematic “ethnic cleansing military operation” called on all UN member-states to observe the right to decolonization for all countries.
She said Israel must, as a matter of urgency, stop the increasing humanitarian situation which has led to creation of millions of refugees.
South African’s Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor said the multiple challenges facing the world, especially the developing world a risk to the progress that has been achieved in recent years, including human rights.
She urged the Summit to push for the upholding of the Bandung Principles on which NAM was founded as they remain relevant today, including respect for the UN Charter on Human Rights, respect for territorial integrity for all states and resolving disputes by peaceful means. She also accused some western powers of taking advantage of the “selective application” of international laws against others, especially the laws on human rights.
South Africa earlier this month petitioned the International Court of Justice seeking for sanctions against Israel for its alleged atrocities in against the Palestinians.
On Gaza, Pandor further justified their court action and stressed that Hamas must release the Israeli hostages it still has, while Israel should end what she called the “genocide of unprecedented proportions. She said Israel must stop its campaign in Gaza, and that the international community must act on the creation of two states of Israel and Palestine following the 1967 borders.
South Africa also called for “global governance reforms”, mainly targeting the United Nations, as this would help to resolve the current challenges.
According to her, for example, the current international governance tools are being used by the developed powers against others, including using the Human Rights conventions. She called for the expansion of the UN Security Council to include representations from Africa, Latin America and Asia as permanent members.
The meeting of the minister started with the election of the chairperson and Foreign Affairs Minister Jeje Odongo was unanimously elected, replacing Mammad-Guliyev Khalafov Hafiz Pashayev Nadir Huseynov of Azerbaijan.
Odongo pledged that Uganda’s chairmanship for the next three years will focus on making NAM a stronger and more relevant body, adding that the principles on which it was founded still resonate with today’s situations.