Ministerial Conference, New Delhi, April 1997
<< Index >>
Development and Poverty Eradication
B. Human Rights
C. International Drug Control
D. Advancement of Women
E. Situation of Children
G. Racism and Racial Discrimination
H. Humanitarian Action
I. International Migration and Development
Date and Venue of the next Summit
- The Ministers, stressing that the eradication of poverty was the
overriding priority for developing countries, reiterated their commitment to the uplift of
the poor, weaker and disadvantaged sections of their societies through accelerated and
sustained economic growth and specifically targeted actions. They stressed the need for
the creation of a supportive international environment and called on the developed
countries to fulfil the commitments undertaken for the provision of additional financial
resources. The Ministers also called on all international agencies and bodies to
incorporate the implementation of the outcome of the World Summit on Social Development in
their programmes and activities. They also expressed the need for the full implementation
of UN General Assembly Resolutions 50/167 and 51/202.
- The Ministers expressed deep concern that the process of
marginalisation of the poor, particularly of women have continued, specially in the LDCs
and African countries. They reaffirmed that the eradication of poverty was essential to
ensure long-term peace and security as well as to achieve sustainable social and economic
- They recognised that the poorest of the poor could not reap the
benefits of most of the poverty eradication programmes. They also noted that the market
forces could not address the worsening poverty situation. In this context, they commended
the microcredit programmes which contributed significantly to poverty eradication and to
the empowerment of the poor, particularly women.
- They called upon the member countries to support the plan of action
adopted at the Microcredit Summit held in Washington D.C. in February 1997 aimed at
bringing 100 million of the world's poorest families, particularly women, out of poverty
by the year 2005.
- The Ministers encouraged the free formation of cooperatives,
community and other grass-roots organization, mutual support groups recreational/sports
associations and similar institutions that tend to strengthen social integration, paying
particular attention to policies promoting equality and social justice.
<<Back to Top>>
The Ministers recalled the position of the
Non-Aligned Movement on human rights as stipulated at the XI NAM Summit at Cartagena and
reiterated their commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights. They
stressed that all human rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and
While stressing the indivisible nature of all human
rights, the Foreign Ministers made special emphasis on the importance of the right to
development for all peoples, as an integral part of the fundamental human rights. They
welcomed adoption of the resolution 51/99 on the right to development by the UN General
The Ministers stressed that the human rights issues
must be addressed within the global context through a constructive, dialogue based
approach, with objectivity, respect for national sovereignty and territorial integrity,
impartiality and non- selectivity as the guiding principles, taking into account the
political, historical, social, religious and cultural characteristics of each country.
Exploitation of human rights for political purposes, including selective targeting of
individual countries for extraneous consideration should be excluded. They emphasized the
coordination of human rights activities must be carried out by United Nations organs,
bodies and specialized agencies, whose activities deal with human rights.
They affirmed that poverty and social exclusion
constitute a violation of human dignity. It is essential for States to promote efforts to
combat extreme poverty and to foster participation by the poorest members of the society
in the decision-making process.
Every state should provide an effective framework for
the protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with
the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the international covenants on
human rights and other relevant international instruments on human rights, as well as a
framework of remedies to redress human rights grievances or violations. In this context
they reaffirmed the important and constructive role to be played by independent national
institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights and stressed that every
effort should be made for the impartiality and objectivity of the national institutions.
They recognised that it is the right of each State to choose the framework for national
institutions, which is best suited to the particular needs at the national level.
The Ministers urged States to ensure that their
constitutional and internal legal systems, taking into account the respective country
conditions, provide effective guarantees for fundamental human rights such as freedom of
thought, conscience, religion and belief to all without discrimination. They condemned
unequivocally all violent acts and activities that infringe upon human rights and
fundamental freedoms, democracy, tolerance and respect for diversity.
The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the General
Assembly resolution 51/100 entitled "Enhancement of the International Cooperation in
the Field of Human Rights" and called for the continuation of consultations on the
need to promote international cooperation in the field of human rights through genuine and
constructive dialogue on the basis of mutual respect and equality of States.
The Ministers put special emphasis on the need to
rationalize the work of the United Nations human rights machinery with a view to avoiding
duplication of individual mandates and to promoting consensus through a strengthened
system of consultation. They also emphasized the need for regional balance in the
composition and structure of all human rights bodies, in particular the Center for Human
Rights through appointment of personnel from developing countries.
The Ministers emphasized the need, for the
appointment of the next High Commissioner for Human Rights from a developing country.
<<Back to Top>>
The Ministers recalled the General Assembly
resolution 51/103 entitled "Human Rights and Unilateral Coercive Measures", and
restressed the fact that human rights should not be used as instruments of political
pressure especially against Non-Aligned and other developing countries.
The Ministers called for the full implementation of
relevant UNESCO resolutions and decisions relating to the restitution of cultural property
of peoples formerly under colonial rule and urged the payment of applicable compensation.
The Ministers unequivocally condemned international
terrorism as a criminal act and noted that terrorism endangers the very territorial
integrity and security of states, due to acts of terrorism which take place within States,
specially those which violate human rights in particular the right to life of all citizens
and that destroy the physical and economic infrastructure, and attempts to destabilize
legitimately constituted governments. They expressed their resolve to take speedy and
effective measures to eliminate international terrorism and urged all States to fulfil
their obligations under international law, including prosecuting or, where appropriate,
extraditing the perpetrators of such acts and preventing the organization and instigation
of terrorism against other third States from within or outside their territories. The
Ministers reaffirmed their support for General Assembly resolution 46/51 of 27 January
1992 which unequivocally condemned as criminal and unjustifiable all acts, methods and
practices of terrorism wherever and by whomever committed and called upon all States to
fulfil their obligations under international law to refrain from organizing, instigating,
assisting or participating in terrorist acts in other States, or acquiescing in or
encouraging activities within their territory directed towards the commissioning of such
The Ministers further called on all States to endorse
in principle the convening of an international Conference under the auspices of the United
Nations to define terrorism, to differentiate it from the struggle for national liberation
and to reach comprehensive and effective measures for concerted action. They also
denounced the brutalization of peoples kept under foreign occupation as the gravest form
of terrorism. The Ministers condemned the use of State power for the suppression and
violence against innocent civilians struggling against foreign occupation to exercise
their inalienable right to self determination. They stressed the sanctity of this right
and urged that in this era of enlarged freedom and democracy, people under foreign
occupation should be allowed to freely determine their destiny. In this context, they also
reaffirmed the principled position of the Movement that the struggle of peoples under
colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation for self-determination did not
The Ministers welcomed with satisfaction the adoption
of General Assembly resolution 50/186 entitled "Human Rights and Terrorism" and
renewed their concern at the gross violation of human rights perpetrated by terrorist
groups, and reiterated their condemnation of all acts, methods and practices of terrorism.
<<Back to Top>>
The Ministers welcomed the convening of a Special
Session of the UN General Assembly in 1998 dedicated to the fight against the illicit
production, sale, demand, trafficking and distribution of drugs and psychotropic
substances and drug related offences. In this regard, they reaffirmed their determination
to achieving concrete results on all the objectives set out in resolutions 51/64 for the
Special Session, on the basis of the principle of shared responsibility for addressing the
demand and supply aspects of drug trafficking. They also reiterated the commitment
undertaken at the XIth Summit to strengthen international cooperation to eradicate the
growing and dangerous links between terrorist groups, drug-traffickers and their
para-military gangs, and other armed criminal groups, which have resorted to all types of
violence, thus undermining the democratic institutions of States and violating basic human
rights. They called for the adoption of effective measures to restrict the smuggling of
guns which is linked to the drug trade and which is generating unacceptable levels of
crime and violence affecting the national security and the economies of many States.
The Ministers called upon the international community
and international financial institutions to take necessary measures to contain money
laundering from drug trade, which also affects international financial system.
The Ministers expressed serious concern about the
destabilizing effects on society, particularly on youth, of the illicit use, production,
trafficking and distribution of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances and renewed
their commitment to fight against the illicit production, trafficking, distribution and
consumption of drugs in all stages and modalities, as well as against money laundering,
arms, ammunition and explosives trafficking, and the deflection of precursory and
essential chemical substances.
They reiterated that the illicit drug chain begins
with the insufficiently controlled trade of the precursory and essential chemical
substances for the production of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and is
completed with the laundering of money through the international financial and commercial
channels. Therefore they considered that, on account of its global nature, the drug
problem can only be dealt with effectively through international cooperation based on the
principle of shared responsibility in which national-measures are articulated with a
global, integral, and balanced response to the illegal drugs problems.
The Ministers considered the phenomenon of illicit
drugs as a common threat, and called for the commitment of all members of the
international community for its solution. They rejected the unbalanced, inequitable and
selective form in which some developed countries seek to assign a major responsibility to
specific countries, due to political considerations.
Since poverty underlies illicit crop cultivation, the
Ministers called for enhanced international cooperation for alternative development
programmes and for environmental rehabilitation in the areas of illicit crop cultivation.
The Ministers called upon the United Nations Drug
Control Programme and developed countries to fully support developing countries in their
fight against illicit drugs, through providing them with adequate financial and technical
<<Back to Top>>
- The Ministers welcomed the Beijing Declaration and Platform for
Action of the Fourth World Conference on Women and reiterated that the advancement of
Women is of critical importance to development, environmental protection and promotion of
peace and social justice in the world. To this end, the Ministers proposed a holistic
approach through the entire life cycle of Women in promoting the full enjoyment of all
human rights by women and girls, including the empowerment of women and economic
independence of women and reiterated the commitment of their Governments to:
- make available human and financial resources for the
empowerment of women, the integration of a gender perspective in budgetary discussions on
policies and programmes as well as adequate financing of specific programmes for securing
equality between women and men.
- to implement specific programmes for the eradication of
poverty and illiteracy, ensuring women's equal access to education, training, employment
and promotion of entrepreneurial activities, and strongly urged the international
community to support national efforts towards the advancement of women in developing
countries, particularly in Africa and LDCs.
- encourage the members to take concerted action to create a
peaceful, just and humane world based on all human rights including the principle of
equality for all people of all ages and from all walks of life.
- encourage the active support and participation of a broad
and diverse range of other institutional actors, including legislative bodies, academic
and research institutions and women non-governmental organizations and enhance the
co-operation between them in the framework of South-South co-operation.
- to enhance the role of women in the process of development
and their full participation on the basis of equality in decision making at all levels.
The Ministers welcomed and supported the Plan of
Action and conclusion of the Pan African Conference on Peace, Gender and Development which
was held in Kigali, Rwanda between 1-3 March, 1997 under the aegis of the OAU, UNDP and UN
Economic Commission for Africa, as a follow up of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
The Ministers were convinced that educational and
health programmes need to focus more on women, especially the girl child. In the same
vein, the attack on poverty, in particular rural poverty, must take into consideration the
special needs of women. Further, to enhance the role of women in the process of
development, their increased participation in decision-making at all levels is of cardinal
importance. They affirmed that a conducive international environment contributes to and
accelerates the achievement of equality between men and women.
The Ministers expressed their abhorrence on the
increasing victimization of women, especially in situations of armed conflict, and the
systematic use of rape by the parties to conflicts as an instrument of war, ethnic
cleansing and terrorism. They called on countries to take necessary measures against all
such perpetrators of violence in order to put an end to all such practices forthwith.
The Ministers pledged themselves to combat all forms
of discrimination against women and to eradicate its more pernicious manifestations like
physical violence, and sexual harassment directed against girls and women. They also
invited Member States of the Movement that have not yet ratified the Convention on the
Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women to do so in order to reach the
goal of universal ratification by the year 2000.
The Ministers also condemned the brutality and
violence in connection with hostage taking, and use, particularly of women and children as
<<Back to Top>>
The Ministers expressed satisfaction at the
initiatives taken by the international community for survival, protection and development
of children in recent years. The World Summit for Children held in New York in 1990 and
the Declaration and the Plan of Action called upon all countries to formulate National
Plans of Action with quantifiable time-bound targets. The Ministers urged all members to
vigorously pursue implementation of their respective plans of action and called upon the
international community to supplement their efforts.
They noted with satisfaction that the Convention on
the Rights of the Child was nearing universal adherence and urged all the remaining
members who had not done so to ratify or to accede to the Convention without further
delay. They also rededicated themselves to its full and effective implementation including
the fulfillment of reporting obligations.
The Ministers expressed serious concern at the
intolerable social and economic conditions faced by children, in particular those in
especially difficult circumstances. They expressed particular concern at the continued
exploitation of children for pornography, prostitution and drug trafficking as well as at
the suffering of the refugee and displaced children. They called for urgent steps in
particular international cooperation, to address these problems.
The Ministers also expressed deep concern about the
difficult situation of many children who are innocent victims of armed conflict in various
parts of the world and over the recruitment, organization and employment of children in
armed conflicts. They condemned this inhuman practice. They urged all countries to refrain
from recruiting or arming children and called upon them to support the work on an optional
protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in
The Ministers urged all members to effectively ban
employment of children in hazardous occupations and eliminate child labor through a
comprehensive policy including, inter alia, encouragement for sending children to school
and retaining them in the educational system through innovative approaches and by
eliminating family poverty which is the major cause of child labor.
<<Back to Top>>
- The Ministers felt that it was essential to promote awareness among
youth in Non-Aligned countries of the goals of the Movement and to encourage exchanges and
interaction among young people of the Member States. They expressed concern at some of the
problems facing young men and women, such as drugs and unemployment. In this context, they
urged governments and concerned International Organizations to devote greater efforts to
the ten priority areas identified in the World Programme of Action for Youth to the Year
2000 and Beyond, namely education, employment, hunger and poverty, health, environment,
drug abuse, juvenile delinquency, leisure-time activities, girls and young women and the
hill and effective participation of youth in the life of society.
<<Back to Top>>
Opposition to racial discrimination and elimination
of all forms of exploitation and inequality have been accorded the highest priority in the
agenda of the Movement. The Movement had been in the forefront of the successful struggle
against apartheid. The Ministers, however, noted disturbing trends regarding contemporary
forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. They
underlined that migrant workers and their families required special attention in this
regard. They urged all States, in particular developed countries, to cooperate more
closely with the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights on Contemporary
Forms of Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related Intolerance, and to take
all steps. particularly in the legislative, administrative and educational fields, to
combat new forms of racism. They also called upon members to help promote the goals of the
Third Decade to combat Racism and Racial Discrimination. They also underlined the need to
convene, as soon as possible, a world conference against racism, racial and ethnic
discrimination, xenophobia and other related contemporary forms of intolerance.
The Ministers expressed serious concern at the acts
of violence linked to the manifestation of xenophobia and other forms of contemporary
racism and racial discrimination.
<<Back to Top>>
The Ministers underlined the importance of promoting
the respect for the universally recognised humanitarian principles and for the
international humanitarian law, particularly those of the four Geneva Conventions of 1949
and their 977 Additional Protocols. They invited those States which have not yet done so
to ratify or accede to the two Protocols additional to the Geneva Convention of 1949.
The Ministers considered it essential to make a
distinction among humanitarian action and UN peace-keeping and peace-enforcement
operations as well as operational activities for development. In order to pursue the
independence, neutrality and the impartiality of humanitarian action, such action must be
kept distinct from, and independent of political military action, in accordance with the
respective mandates while ensuring the observance of international humanitarian laws.
The Ministers reiterated that humanitarian assistance
is not an alternative to development assistance and offer durable solution of those
problems that are at the origin of the need to giant emergency assistance. In this
context, they stated that financial, material and human resources devoted to
emergency-assistance should not be taken from those geared at development assistance.
<<Back to Top>>
- The Ministers expressed their concern over the emergence of stringent
immigration policies in various developed countries which severely restrict the free
movement of people and breed xenophobia. They also expressed deep concern over new
immigration laws and regulations recently adopted by some developed countries which could
lead to massive deportations of immigrants from Non-Aligned Countries and earlier
developing countries and to violations of fundamental human rights. The called upon those
developed countries to take fully into account the social and economic effects those
deportations would have on the affected developing countries, particularly those facing
high debt burdens and high unemployment situations. The Ministers emphasized that due
attention be accorded to migrants and their families in the host countries as per relevant
international instruments. They also called upon the host countries to ensure the
protection of immigrants and their families from all kinds of racism, discrimination and
- The Ministers welcomed the offer of Government of South Africa to
host the XIIth NAM Summit and asked all NAM countries to actively participate in that