Basic Documents: The Call from Colombia
The Heads of State or Government of the country members of the Non-Aligned Movement, gathered in the heroic city of Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, hereby made a fervent appeal for the peace and development of our peoples.
We note the significant changes that have taken place on the international scene during the last few years. Many of the conflicts which took place in previous decades have been resolved; at the same time, there has been a notable increase in trade and a dynamic development of integration mechanisms at the regional and subregional levels.
There has been significant progress in the scientific field. Life expectancy has increased, while the coverage of literacy programs has been expanded, and there has been a notable decrease in child morality rates in the developing countries.
There is a new attitude in favour of change from confrontation to cooperation, and clear interest in working for the social and economic development of peoples.
Nevertheless, we note with concern the progressive evaporation of the expectations created following the end of the Cold War. The problems we have faced for a long time, which we expected to be gradually overcome with the easing of the bipolar confrontation are now, to a large extent, more apparent and acute than before.
Although it is stated that the general economic situation has recovered markedly, in many cases, this improvement has benefited only a few who have accumulated excessive amounts of wealth and power, while unemployment, in various regions, has reached alarming proportions and poverty is spreading inexorably, giving rise to serious social imbalances.
The scourge of hunger has dramatically increased and illiteracy continues, however, to be one of the greatest obstacles to the efforts to improve the living conditions of our peoples. Moreover, wide sectors of our societies continue to lack basic medical services, including drinking water, to satisfy their primary needs for survival.
Even at the risk of causing internal disruption, we are striving to open up our economies. Yet, some developed countries have continued to impose commercial, financial and technological constraints under various pretexts, which seriously hamper and jeopardize the processes we are carrying out.
For many developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, the debt crisis has become a major obstacle for the take of their economies and a drastic hindrance to their social development.
Racial discrimination and xenophobia, which we thought were overcome, have gained new impetus. Nationals from many developing countries continue to be marginalized and ethnic or religious minorities are dangerously threatened in many developed countries, while the protests arising out of this situation are suffocated in many cases by indifference.
Twenty-four million people, including elderly people, women and children, have been forced out of their homes and wander as refugees or displaced people as a result of racial or religious and political intolerance. They anxiously await a solution to their tragic plight.
New modalities have arisen to destabilize the governments of developing countries, with the increasing use of defamation and the distortion of information, which is difficult to respond to effectively with the precarious means at our disposal.
Large arms exporters have taken advantage of the new international situation to increase their sales to developing countries, while the states that manufacture such arms have not taken any effective measures to restrict their illicit trade and traffic of arms to groups of terrorists, mercenaries and common criminals, who have easy access to them thanks to the permissiveness of those who tolerate and promote such profitable business, have wound up benefiting from this apathetic behaviour.
Notwithstanding the new framework of international relations, we are concerned over the persistence of the nuclear threat and the risk from nuclear testing, which expose our countries to disastrous effects. Simultaneously, thousands of nuclear weapons continue to pose a danger threat to the world.
Our peoples are still threatened by rising risks stemming from the irresponsible handling, movement, transhipment and deposit of radioactive materials and toxic wastes generated in industrialized countries. The problem is compounded since the countries of origin, recognizing the hazardous posed by such materials to their respective territories, seek to remove them to the oceans or to land areas of the developing countries.
Globalization and interdependence have benefited mainly industrialized countries, and many developing, however, remain marginalized, broadening the gap between rich and poor countries. Globalization has also caused problems and risks to many of the Non-Aligned Countries that are compelled to fact such phenomena as environmental degradation and the problem of illicit drugs, which have their origin in the permissiveness prevailing in certain developed countries.
These considerations lead us to affirm:
The validity of the Non-Aligned Movement and its fundamental principles are fully preserved. Under the current circumstances, the Movement today constitutes a forum which provides us with a basic framework to coordinate our interests and positions in the international environment.
In facing the new realities of this historical juncture, the Movement seeks to promote its objectives through dialogue on the basis of mutual interests and benefit, genuine interdependence and shared responsibility.
The Non-Aligned Movement will continue to strive for peace, independence, sovereign equality of the States and non-intervention in their internal affairs, which some are now trying to disregard. At the same time, we will continue unflinchingly to work towards the economic and social betterment, the strengthening of democracy and the free determination of the peoples.
Convinced, therefore, that our agreed and active position will allow for the achievement of our common goals, we do hereby adopt the following commitments which we agree to call:
THE CALL FROM COLOMBIA
1. We shall continue to promote the restructuring, revitalization and democratization of the United Nations based on the principles contained in its Charter, as well as the restructuring of the international financial system, including the Bretton Woods institutions, all in basis of the principle of sovereign equality of States.
2. We shall redouble our efforts aimed at achieving general and complete disarmament, including the nuclear disarmament and the elimination of type of weapons.
3. We consider essential the complete fulfilment of commitments agreed upon at the Children's Summit at New York, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development at Rio De Janeiro, the World Assembly of the Group of Education for All at Jon-Tien, the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna, the International Conference on Population and Development at Cairo, the World Summit on Social Development at Copenhagen, and the IV World Conference on Women in Beijing, as well as those agreed on at the Uruguay Round.
4. We shall jointly oppose all kinds of conditionalities and coercive and unilateral measures, rules and policies that are attempted to be imposed upon us or those that are imposed on us, as well as the imposition of models alien to the religious, historical and cultural particularities of our countries.
5. We shall seek to eradicate the remnants of colonialism and foreign occupation and jointly oppose new interventionist trends.
6. We shall persevere in our call for a once-and-for-all settlement of the debt problems of the developing countries, including, in particular, multilateral, and the cancellation of debt of the least developing countries.
7. We will foster the full application of the guiding principles of the Charter of the United Nations and norms of international law, in particular, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
Furthermore, we the Heads of State or Government shall:
1. Refrain form the use of threat of use of force against any State, and resort to the negotiation and other means provided by international law for the peaceful settlement of disputes.
2. Pursue reduction of military expenditures with the aim of devoting such resources towards the economic and social development of our peoples.
3. Commit ourselves to eradicate illiteracy and poverty.
We request from the President of Colombia, Ernesto Samper, in his capacity as Chairman of our Movement, to undertake the following actions:
1. Convey to the Heads of State or Government of the Group of 7 the positions and concerns of the Member Countries of the Movement at the meetings of that Group.
2. Take the necessary steps to promote South-South cooperation among Members of the Movement, in as much as this is one of the fundamental objectives of our effort and can help our States achieve greater collective self-sufficiency.
3. Formulate appropriate recommendations for reviewing the operation, procedures and actions of the Movement, within the framework of our guiding principles.
4. Move ahead with the study and implementation of actions of the Movement aimed at effectively improving the social condition of our peoples.
In conclusion, we, the Heads of state or Government of the Non-Aligned countries, express to President Ernesto Samper, to the people and to the Government of Colombia our unconditional and absolute support in the brave and bold struggle that they are resolutely conducting against the scourge of drug trafficking, within the framework of its internal legislation and of the international commitments of which it is part. Likewise, we express our resolute support to Colombia's initiative and that of other developing countries, to call for, within the framework of the United Nations, a world conference regarding the problem of illicit drugs.