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XIV MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT

DURBAN, 17 - 19 AUGUST 2004

DURBAN DECLARATION ON MULTILATERALISM

We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Non-Aligned Movement, meeting in Durban, South Africa, at the XIV Ministerial Conference, agreed and resolved that:

The XIV Ministerial Conference expressed strong concern at the growing resort to unilateralism and unilaterally imposed methods, and reaffirmed the Movementís commitment to advancing multilateralism. The UN was meant to create an international system that is characterised by order based on international law, and one from monopoly by the powerful to international democratic governance.

We reaffirmed the centrality of the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law in the preservation of international peace and security. The United Nations System remains a central multilateral forum for addressing the pressing global issues presently confronting all nations. It represents near universal membership and a well-founded international legitimacy. While acknowledging its limitations, we underscored that the UN, and through it, multilateralism, remains the only platform for us to address many of the most pressing challenges that the global village is facing.

When multilateral bodies and organs of the UN are under-resourced and marginalised, and perceived to be ineffective and unimportant, they create an environment conducive to the violation of its decisions and resolutions, and the exploitation of its agendas for political purposes. In this respect we reaffirm the Movementís continued engagement in the process of revitalising the General Assembly as the highest deliberative and decision-making UN organ, strengthening the role of the ECOSOC as a vehicle for the formulation of development programmes, and enhancing steps towards the democratising of the Security Council.

In reviewing the developments since the XIII Summit and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Revitalisation of the Movement it is clear that further vigorous initiatives are imperative to translate the Kuala Lumpur spirit of committed multilateral cooperation into reality. We undertook to enhance the Movementís cohesion, solidarity and unanimity on common positions for concerted action in shaping the multilateral agenda to embrace development as a priority. Underdevelopment and poverty remain cardinal concerns on the agenda of the South. Globalisation and technological advances have made us more interdependent than ever before, and therefore requires developed countries, developing countries, and international institutions to intensify partnerships and co-ordinate resources to effectively address the imbalances in the global agenda.

We committed ourselves to the maintenance of a rules-based global trade system. In this regard we commit ourselves to sustain the momentum towards the attainment of the Doha development agenda. The central challenge for the international community is to undertake its commitment under the Millennium Declaration which commits all Member States at the highest level to make globalisation a positive force and strive to ensure that the benefits are shared evenly by all.

We stressed the need to strengthen the co-ordination and co-operation between the NAM and the G77 through the JCC in advancing the interest of the developing countries.

We reaffirmed our commitment to strengthening the comparative advantages of existing multilateral arrangements and institutions without compromising on equitable geographical representation and equal partnerships. The leadership, legitimacy and stature of NAM in the world can be elevated by expediting our decision-making through determined and timely action in order to remain relevant in the multilateral process and constitute a leading global force in the 21st Century.

 

 

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