India pushed for a re-look at the “appropriateness” of the United Nations which was designed, post the second world war in 1945, to serve the needs of its growing members as Vice-President Hamid Ansari also voiced the concern of several other developing countries and called terrorism one of the most “egregious sources of human right violations today”.
Addressing the 17th Non Alignment Movement (NAM) summit which began in Margarita on Saturday, Ansari said that the use of terrorism as instrument of state policy should be unequivocally condemned.
Most of city of Porlamar in this island where the summit is being hosted, wore a deserted look, except the area around the venue of the summit where supporters of the new chairman of NAM and president of host nation Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro Moros, who is facing a tough time in his own country, crowded the streets wearing red T-shirts, caps and sang and raised slogans in his favour. Maduro took over the chairman ship from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Speaking at the summit, Vice-President Ansari said that the UN lay at the heart of the multilateral system set up at the end of the second world war. “Today we need to ask whether an organization designed in 1945 with just 51 member states, is really appropriate to serve the needs of an international community that now comprises 193 independent sovereign states facing 21st century challenges to their citizens’ well-being and security”, said Ansari.
The 17th NAM summit saw participation of 104 of its 120 full time members and 18 observers and guests. Even as questions are being raised on the relevance of NAM in a post cold war era, the member nations, especially Latin Americans assumed an anti-US position at the summit.
Ansari recalled how world leaders at the summit in UN in 2005 had called for urgent reform of the Security Council to make the UN “fit for the 21st century”. “The Inter-governmental Negotiations process currently underway in the UN General Assembly seeks to fulfill that mandate. We must use the forthcoming 71st UNGA to ensure that our discussions in the IGN move forward”. The UNGA is to begin September 19. Secretary General of the UN Ban ki Moon who could not make it to the summit because of the preparations for the UNGA, sent a message saying “multilateralism is the most efficient means to face global challenges”.
In a direct attack on the United States, Venezuela’s President Maduro called upon NAM to “reject the decree of Barack Obama that Venezuela is a threat to US”, and reiterated that his country was peace loving and was facing a “global attack”. He went a step ahead to say, that “subjecting a country by intervention by military and political destabilization should also be (counted as) terrorism”.
Ansari also pressed for NAM to recognize the need for concrete action in the fight against terror. He said that the movement needed to establish a mechanism within itself to ensure effective cooperation in combating terrorism, that is the main threat to security, sovereignty and development.
The Margarita declaration adopted by the members Saturday, reaffirmed that terrorism and violent extremism “as and when conducive to terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group”, and that these attributions should not be used to justify terrorism or counter terrorism measures that include, profiling of terror suspects and intrusion on individual privacy”.
The Declaration adopted by the member countries, recognised the threat posed particularly by the activities by terrorist groups such the Taliban, Al-Qaida, ISIS (Da’esh) and its affiliated entities, Jabhat Al Nusra, Boko Haram and Al Shabab, and the spread of violent extremism which can be conductive to terrorism, pressing for States to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, “including its financing and the illicit transfer of weapons, in a decisive and coordinated manner, while adhering to the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as other obligations under international law”. It also condemned the destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites by terror groups.
The Latin American nations got together to condemn the ‘coup d’etat’ in Brazil leading to the ouster of its president Dilma Rousseff . Besides Maduro President of Cuba Raul Castro also said, “we repudiate the coup d’etat engineered against president Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff was the first woman president of Brazil and was removed by impeachment in August.
Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe also spoke in support of Palestine and said that Israel had remained defiant because of the support it received “from certain permanent members of the security council”.