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XIV MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT

DURBAN, 17 - 19 AUGUST 2004

Report of the Chair on the Activities of the Non-Aligned Movement, October 2003 - July 2004

Introduction

1. Malaysia, in its capacity as the Chair of the Movement, has coordinated the activities of NAM with a view to making the Movement more effective, efficient and more credible and relevant as a Forum of the developing countries, consistent with the decisions contained in the "Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Continuing Revitalization of the Non-Aligned Movement".

Activities of the NAM Chairmanship.

Launching of NAM e-Secretariat Portal.

2. In an effort to promote ICT as a tool of communication and interaction among NAM members, the NAM e-Secretariat Portal was launched in March 2004. The portal has an interactive platform that would facilitate direct communication between the Chairmanship of NAM and its Member States as well as between members of NAM Committees and Working Groups. It is hoped that with an on-line service, NAM will be more interactive, and therefore more efficient and effective, in the absence of a permanent NAM secretariat.

Launching of NAM Business Council

3. In June 2004 the NAM Business Council was officially launched in Kuala Lumpur which is intended to serve the interests of the business community in the NAM member countries through the establishment of linkages and networking among NAM business establishments in the context of South-South cooperation. It is also intended to serve as a means of harnessing the contribution of the private sector within the framework of the revitalization of the Movement.

NAM Ministerial Committee on Palestine

4. As Chairman of NAM and Chairman of the NAM Committee on Palestine, Malaysia convened a Ministerial Meeting of the Committee at Putrajaya, Malaysia, on 13 May 2004, to discuss the grave situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (including Jerusalem) and to consider appropriate approaches and strategies to be undertaken by the Committee, and NAM as a whole, in support of Palestine. At the conclusion of the Meeting, a Final Communiquť was adopted which, among others, outlined a number of measures to be taken by NAM in the context of the Movementís strong support for the Palestinian cause, aimed at moving the peace process forward.

5. As a follow up to the Ministerial Meeting of NAM Committee on Palestine, a NAM Ministerial Delegation was established under Malaysiaís Chairmanship to undertake contacts and dialogue with the International Quartet, Permanent Members of the Security Council and other parties influential in the Middle East peace process. The Foreign Minister of Malaysia, as Chair of NAM and the Committee, had called on Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of the United Kingdom, Mr. Jack Straw, on 24 June 2004. In a useful exchange of views with the British Foreign Secretary, the Minister conveyed the position of the NAM Committee on Palestine, and the Movement as a whole, on the urgency of pushing the peace process forward, beginning with salvaging the Road Map.

6. The Committee, at its meeting in Durban, on 18 August 2004, adopted a Statement, which I trust will be adopted as part of the documentation of this Ministerial Conference. The Statement, among others, welcomed the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the illegality of the construction of the Israeli Wall, called for further measures to be taken at the United Nations in compliance with the Advisory Opinion, pursuant to Resolution ES-10/15 (20 July 2004) of the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly, called on the international community and the Quartet to exert efforts to salvage the Road Map, and to ensure that any Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip should be a full and complete withdrawal and be part of the Road Map. It also stressed the vital role of the Movement on this issue and entrusted the Chair of NAM and the Committee to continue with the ongoing contact and dialogue with the Quartet, Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and other influential parties. The Statement also reaffirmed the need for early convening a special meeting of regional and international groupings aimed at mobilizing international support for a just, durable and comprehensive peace.

Meeting of the Ministers of the Troika

7. As Chairman, Malaysia also took the opportunity of convening an informal meeting of the Troika, at the sidelines of the Ministerial Meeting of NAM Committee on Palestine on 13 May 2004. The Troika Ministers discussed a number of important issues of particular interest and concern to the Movement, among others, the Situation in Palestine, Iraq, Nuclear Disarmament, Revitalization of NAM, and preparation for the Ministerial Meetings of NAM in Durban and New York. The Troika agreed that these and other issues could be further addressed during the Ministerial Conference in Durban with a view to building a consensus within NAM, in the interest of enhancing the credibility and unity of the Movement.

Statements/Messages by the Chairman of NAM.

8. The following statements/messages were issued by the Chairman of the Movement:

A statement made at the opening session of the Tenth Summit Meeting of the Organizations of the Islamic Conference (OIC) in Putrajaya, Malaysia, 16 October 2003 which, inter-alia, stressed on the need to enhance cooperation and coordination between the two organizations, in the interest of enhancing their clout and relevancy in international relations within the framework of the multilateral process.

∑ A message, addressed to His Excellency President Yasser Arafat, on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, on 1 December 2003, conveying the Movementís continuing strong and resolute support for and solidarity with the people and leadership of Palestine in their continuing struggle for peace, freedom and an independent and sovereign state of Palestine.

∑ A message addressed to the leaders of the Quartet, namely the President of the United States, the Presidency of the European Union, the Russian President, the United Nations Secretary-General, as well as to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, on 16 April 2004, conveying the Movementís deep concern at Israelís unilateral disengagement plan from Gaza, which would jeopardize the Road Map, and urged the Quartet to expedite the full implementation of the Road Map, so as to create an impetus for the peace process.

∑ A message to President Bush of the United States, in his capacity as President of the Group of Eight Industrialized Countries (G8), on the eve of the 30th Summit of the G8 at Sea Island, Georgia, United States of America, on 7 June 2004, conveying the views, positions and concerns of the NAM on issues of importance to the Movement, while addressing the need for an enhanced dialogue between NAM and the G8 on issues that affect the developing countries.

∑ A statement, issued on 29 June 2003, on the transfer of sovereignty from the Coalition Provisional Authority to the Interim Government of Iraq, stressing the importance of the role and involvement of the United Nations in the transition process, as well as in the reconstruction of the country.

∑ A statement expressing NAMís gratification at the Advisory Opinion of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on 10 June 2004, which reflected the overwhelming sentiment the international community on the illegality of the construction of the Israeli Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, which should be dismantled.

The NAM Coordinating Bureau, New York.

9. The NAM-CoB in New York continued its work and activities in the pursuance of the mandate and decisions of NAM on various issues. The Chairman of the NAM CoB held several formal and informal consultations with officials from several delegations from among the Member States of the UN, including the European Union, as well as the United Nations Secretariat on various issues of concern to NAM. These included issues on disarmament and international security, Palestine, reform of the Security Council, revitalization of the General Assembly and on Security Council matters. In addition, the Chairman delivered statements on behalf of NAM and NAM-CoB at various occasions and on various issues. These included statements concerning disarmament and international security, Palestine, and Commemoration of Ten Years of Freedom in South Africa.

10. The NAM-CoB, under the Chairmanship of Malaysia, convened eight meetings, almost on a monthly basis. Such meetings were useful as they provided members of the NAM-CoB with a regular platform to receive reports from the Chairman and Coordinators of the various NAM mechanisms on their activities. Members of the NAM-CoB were also able to exchange constructive views on various issues of concern to the Movement. In addition, the NAM-CoB convened seven meetings on specific matters relating to the NAM Business Council, Palestine, and Security Council resolution on the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction among non-state actors.

11. At the CoB level, the NAM Committee on Palestine met once during the period under review on the question of Palestine and the situation in the Middle East which remained priority issues of NAM. The Chairman of the NAM-CoB, also acting in his capacity as Chairman of the Committee, and Members of the Committee undertook several activities and followed up on the decisions of NAM on these issues.

12. At the level of the NAM CoB, a meeting of the Joint Coordinating Committee (JCC) of the Group of G-77 and NAM was held on 5 November 2003 to exchange views on issues concerning UN reform and revitalization of the General Assembly. In this connection, the JCC agreed that both NAM and the G-77 should pursue their efforts in these issues, in accordance with their mandate and scope of work, so as to avoid duplication of effort. The JCC also agreed that members of the G-77 which are not members of NAM may participate in the work of the NAM Working Group on UN Reform and General Assembly Revitalization.

13. The NAM-CoB and the Working Group on UN Reform and General Assembly Revitalization has held several informal consultations during the period under review on the issue of the Revitalization of the work of the General Assembly. Given the importance of the issue of Security Council (SC) reform, the NAM-CoB revived the Working Group on SC Reform under the Coordinatorship of Egypt which is expected to actively pursue the issue of reform of the Council.

14. As in the past, the other NAM Working Groups, namely, those on Disarmament, Peacekeeping Operations and Human Rights, continued to be active in respect of the issues under their purview that are considered by the Main Committees of the General Assembly.

15. The Working Group on Disarmament remained one of the active mechanisms of NAM during the period under review. Several consultations with the NAM-CoB were held in conjunction with various activities in the field of disarmament such as the First Committee of the 58th UN General Assembly Session, the UN Disarmament Commission and the Third Session of the Preparatory Committee for the 2005 Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT.

16. The Working Group on Peacekeeping Operations remained active. Several statements were delivered by the Coordinator on behalf of NAM, such as at the Fourth Committee of the 58th UN General Assembly Session and the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations.

17. The Working Group on Human Rights and the NAM-CoB concentrated their work during the 58th General Assembly Session, on matters dealt in the Third Committee. Three resolutions traditionally sponsored by NAM concerning human rights were adopted by vote in the Third Committee, namely, the "Right to development", "Enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights" and "Human rights and unilateral coercive measures".

18. The NAM-CoB continued to have regular meetings with the NAM Caucus in the Security Council, comprising Algeria, Angola, Benin, Chile, Pakistan and the Philippines, for the purpose of exchanging views on issues dealt in the Council, aimed at arriving at better coordination of the NAM positions between the NAM CoB and the Caucus.

19. The NAM-CoB had also established an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Draft Resolution on the Strengthening of the United Nations to address the need for the NAM-CoB to formulate a draft resolution on "enhancing multilateralism, centrality of the UN and adherence to the UN Charter and international law". Following intensive consultations, the draft resolution was adopted by the General Assembly on 5 August 2004 by a recorded vote of 94 in favour, 2 against and 47 abstentions. The NAM initiative was aimed at bringing the focus on multilateralism at the United Nations.

NAM Chapter in Geneva

20. NAM coordination in Geneva dealt, traditionally, on the following issues:

Human rights issues;

Disarmament issues;

Labour issues; and,

Other ad hoc responsibilities.

21. As Coordinator of the NAM in Geneva, Malaysia tabled three draft resolutions on behalf of the Movement and China at the 60th session of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on issues relating to the right to development, unilateral coercive measures and on the enhancement of international cooperation in the field of human rights, which were later adopted, following consultations between Malaysia, as Chair of NAM, and the European Union.

22. On disarmament issues, the Geneva Chapter dealt largely with coordination on issues pertaining to the Biological Weapons Convention, Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and Conference on Disarmament. At the Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties, Malaysia, as Coordinator of the Group of NAM and Other States to the BWC, chaired four group coordination meetings to discuss the draft outcomes of the Meeting. Statements were made on behalf of NAM, reiterating the positions of the Movement on these issues.

NAM Chapter in Vienna

23. The NAM Chapter in Vienna, comprising 51 Member States of the Movement, was established to coordinate the NAMís positions on issues of disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear power. Although it was newly established, the Vienna Chapter had carried out its coordination actively during the period under review. Several statements were delivered on behalf of NAM at the meetings of the Board of Governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), namely, on Iran, Libya, the 3rd PrepCom of the 2005 NPT Review Conference, and on the initiative by the United States to strengthen the IAEA.

24. The NAM Chapter coordinated closely with the NAM-CoB in New York, particularly in preparation for the 3rd PrepCom of 2005 Review Conference of the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which was held in New York from 26 April-7 May 2004. The Vienna Chapter provided elements for consideration of the NAM-CoB on issues that are dealt in Vienna by the IAEA and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO).

NAM Chapter in The Hague

25. The NAM Chapter in The Hague was established in 2003, mainly to coordinate issues pertaining to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). It played a prominent role in promoting its interest concerning the CWC. In the 1st Review Conference of the CWC held on 28th April - 3 May 2003, Malaysia on behalf of NAM, delivered a statement outlining NAMís position on major issues pertaining to the CWC. Malaysia on behalf of NAM also delivered a statement at the 8th Session of the Conference of State Parties of the CWC on 20 - 24 October 2003.

Other Issues

26. Withdrawal of Cyprus and Malta from NAM Membership:

The Chairman of Non-Aligned Movement was informed by the governments of Cyprus and Malta that with their full membership of the European Union with effect from 1st May 2004, they were withdrawing from the membership of the Movement, but formally requested that they be accorded the status of Guest to NAM. With the withdrawal of both Cyprus and Malta, the membership of the Non-Aligned Movement currently stands at 114 countries.

 

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