CSMS Magazine Staff writersAs the 14th Non-Aligned Movement Summit came to a close this Sunday, September 17, 2006, two more countries were added to the movement: Haiti and the small Caribbean nation Saint Kitts and Nevis. Due to health problem, Fidel Castro could not be present, although there were rumors of an unexpected appearance. Instead, younger brother and the head of the Arm Forces of Cuba as well as vice president, Raúl Castro, gave the closing speech. Raul declared that the successful results of the Summit “were fruit of the collective work of its participants and an example of the maturity the NAM has achieved during its 45 years of existence.”“We are convinced,” he said, “that the documents and decisions adopted here will serve in the months and years to come for the Movement to be capable of a decisive influence in the discussion and solution of the principal challenges posed to humanity and, in particular, to the peoples of the South.In his words he expressed thanks for the active participation and valuable contributions of the high number of heads of state and government and other leaders of the nations of the Movement that made the positive results achieved possible.At the same time, on behalf of the Cuban people and government and, very especially, President Fidel Castro, he offered those present his most sincere gratitude for their support and valuable contribution to its successful outcome.
Raúl explained during the final session that “important documents and initiatives were approved, including the reaffirmation of the positions of the Non-Aligned Movement countries on the principal political, economic and social issues of our time and the most significant regional and sub-regional problems for our countries.”Approval was also given to the Havana Declaration that contains the aims and principles and role of the NAM in the present international juncture, and which, the Cuban leader added, “offers a framework of solid action based on the regulations that must guide international relations in order to achieve a more just and equitable world.”NAM solidarity with the cause of the Palestinian people was another of the resolutions approved at a time when, as Raúl said, that people “is more in need of it than at any other time given the difficult conditions of constant aggression in which they are living.”In their totality, he noted, “the positions and initiatives considered by the Summit confirm the identity, raison d’être and validity of the Non-Aligned Movement and will allow us to take a step forward in what constitutes our common objective and undertaking: its revitalization in such a way that it can fulfill its role in international relations derived not only from its current membership of 118 nations, but of our history of struggle in favor of the most just causes.” During his brief closing speech the Cuban vice president referred to the international situation and the enormous challenges that confront the nations of the Third World and that are related to the use of force, threats, coercion and violation of the principles of international law. In a similar way, underdevelopment, poverty, marginalization, hunger and illiteracy, the proliferation of preventable diseases, environmental deterioration and the squandering of the planet’s resources are constants that are degrading the life of our peoples.
REGIONAL GROUPS SPEAK
The final segment of this second and last working day of the leaders’ summit began with speeches from representatives of regional groups. The first to take the floor was Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe who, in the name of Africa, thanked the Cuban people and government for their hospitality and organization of the event.He expressed the absolute confidence of the African nations in Cuba’s leadership of the Movement and reiterated his conviction that when this troika is ended and we arrive in Egypt, the next summit venue, we will have recovered the role that the Movement had one day in international relations and the much desired revitalization will be a fact.We all consider, said Mugabe, that this Summit has been one of the best, while asking for the transmission of “our extremely warm message to brother Fidel for his prompt recovery.”The president of the Maldives spoke in the name of Asia and reiterated former comments in terms of the success of the Summit and the confidence of his regional group in the new presidency of the Movement, convinced that the road undertaken by the Malaysia will be continued.“We have more than enough reasons to feel hopeful of the Movement’s future,” he added, while asking for Fidel to be informed of “how much we have missed him.”Latin America and the Caribbean spoke in the voice of Ralph Goncalves, president of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who recalled that the Cuban Revolution is already 47 years old and the NAM 45. In that context, he said, “we are confident that in the next three years the experience of both in terms of the revitalization and consolidation of the grouping will be combined.”In his view Cuba and the troika – Malaysia, Cuba and Egypt – cannot work on alone, that they need the support of everyone to take their mandate to a happy end.The NAM Summit in Havana was made up of 118 nations – with the addition of Haiti and Saint Kitts and Nevis – 56 of which were represented 56 heads of state and government and by 90 foreign ministers.Also see more about the Summit in Havana: http://www.csmsmagazine.org/news.php?