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"As is" reference - not a United Nations document

Source: Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)(See also > Committee on Palestine)
19 August 2004



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.

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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 Communiqué was adopted which, among others, outlined a number of measures to be taken by NAM in the context of the Movement’s 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 Malaysia’s 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:

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· 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 Movement’s 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 Movement’s deep concern at Israel’s 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.

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· A statement expressing NAM’s 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.

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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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