NAM countries urged to commit to peace

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pretoria - Defence Minister Charles Nqakula on Wednesday called on all countries affiliated to the Non-Aligned Movement to commit to achieving international peace, stability and security.

"We all need to commit both collectively as a movement, and as individual nation states, to ensure the peaceful settlement of conflicts," he said, speaking at the Ministerial Conference of the Non Aligned Movement in Havana, Cuba.

Minister Nqakula said the attainment of international peace, stability and security remained a primary objective, not only for the movement, but also for South Africa.

"We are all aware that there are still many countries in the world which are ravaged by conflict and wars. We all need to commit both collectively as a movement, and as individual nation states, to ensure the peaceful settlement of conflicts," he said.

He added that peace and stability was a prerequisite for sustainable development.

The minister is leading a South African delegation to an official week-long visit to Cuba.

Apart from attending the ministerial conference, the minister will also take part in a wreath laying ceremony at the bust of OR Tambo at the African Founding Father's Square as well as the Pantheon of International Combatants at the Colony Cemetery.

The visit is in the context of strengthening the relations between South Africa and the Socialist Republic of Cuba, as both governments share long standing and cordial relations.

The Non-Aligned Movement has 118 member states, making is the largest grouping of countries outside of the United Nations and an important lobby in global affairs.

Since its inception in 1961, the movement has played a crucial and highly visible political role in representing the interests of developing countries, particularly in the eradication of colonialism, supporting struggles for liberation and self-determination, the pursuit of world peace and the search for a more equitable and just global order.

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