Eritrea: Statement of the State of Eritrea On the Ministerial Meeting of the Nonaligned Movement

Distinguished Heads of Delegations


Ladies and gentlemen,

Allow me to begin by thanking the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Chair of the Non-aligned Movement, for convening the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement and for the gracious hospitality accorded to my delegation since our arrival in the beautiful city of Baku.

I would also like to express my gratitude on behalf of my government, to the Republic of Azerbaijan, for the leadership its government provided to our movement over the years of its chairmanship. Especially, I would like to especially recognize the dynamic work done by the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United Nations in NY and hereby calls on member states to carry on the legacy.

I would also like to take this opportunity to Congratulate Uganda for assuming the Chairmanship of our group and assure it of Eritrea’s full cooperation and support during its tenure.

Also take this opportunity to welcome our sisterly neighbour South Sudan to the Movement.

Mr. Chair,

The wellbeing of the global south continues to face enormous challenges. The Ten Bandung Principles remain as valid today as they were in 1955, including the recognition of the equality of all races and of the equality of all nations, large and small.

To ensure a more stable global order, as a group, as diverse as we are, we must always uphold the principles of mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality.

These are the foundations for our solidarity, also enshrined in the UN Charter. We should always guard them and stand together for their strict observance by all states

The theme of this year’s NAM summit, “NAM: United and Steadfast in Confronting Emerging Challenges”, calls on us to safeguard the unity of our group and uphold the principles and values of our Movement, as we navigate through the difficult transition to a multipolar world.

We are at a critical moment in history, where global crises are intensifying and the essence of cooperation and solidarity is lacking. The current and emerging crises confronted by developing countries, namely climate change and global economic downturn require synergic contribution of all members.

I believe NAM, as the second largest international institution, has a vital role to play in mobilizing global efforts to strengthen multilateralism and echo the principles of solidarity and cooperation. States must address these global challenges in the same spirit.

Another important issue that has been challenging our international community is the imbalance existing in today’s world order.

Small or large, all States and their interests have equal right to representation in the international arena, notwithstanding differences of an economic, social, political or other nature.

A movement which represents 90% of humanity and which is the largest grouping after the U.N. has endured, despite differences between individual members, because it concentrates on global issues and raises the combined voice of mankind. It also enables each State, big or small, to take position on various issues on which they wish to express themselves.

NAM has survived but it still remains “silent, passive and acquiescent” today. The need of the hour is to rejuvenate it, reinvigorate it, so that it can successfully meet the challenges lying before it.

To this end, we, the members of the movement must collectively call for the cooperation among all states, guided by the Bandung Principles and the UN Charter.

Mr. Chairman,

Eritrea joined this movement in 1995 soon after becoming a newly independent country in the Horn of Africa, affirming at the outset of its commitment to world peace and security. This was at a critical historical juncture when the geo-political bi-polarization of the world had just ended and the unipolar hegemonic power had taken over.

It was also the time when the Horn of Africa embarked in a political transition that could have allowed the region to get on to an era of peace and prosperity.

Thus, at the backdrop of excessive intervention of global powers in the region, the government of Eritrea ceaselessly endeavoured towards uniting the region for a commonly shared aspiration of peace and stability the region, but to no avail.

Decades after, our principle of engagement in the region and in the international arena stands relevant, and the region of the Horn of Africa is still ravaged by conflicts and interventions.

These external interventions have adversely affected peace, stability and security of the Horn of Africa, as well as other regions of our world.

Mr. Chairman,

The principle upon which NAM established was, among others “Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty”. As was the case in many countries and regions of the word, the biggest threat to this principle is thus, the current international order which has existed for the last several decades.

The existing obsolete international world order has battered the principles of multilateralism and left the international order unguarded.

The multifaceted challenges facing humanity calls for our commitment to multilateralism, to renew it, strengthen it and uphold it. Only a strong movement can counter the assault on multilateralism, and force the reform its institutions and governance structures.

Fortunately, the journey has already taken a leap.