Sisters and brothers,
I am delighted to be among our friends here in Baku for this historic 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.
2. My congratulations to the Government and the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan for assuming leadership of our Movement at a critical juncture in its journey. You can be assured of India’s full cooperation and support. We look forward to working with you to ensure that the Movement remains effective and true to its founding principles. We also thank you for the excellent arrangements and hospitality extended to our delegation.
3. I would also like to felicitate the outgoing Chair, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, for its successful coordination of the activities of our Movement over the last three years.
4. The theme chosen for this Summit, “Upholding Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”, is timely.
5. As we mark the 65th anniversary of the Bandung Principles in 2020, and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of NAM in 2021, we must take this opportunity to introspect and reflect upon the NAM journey and its achievements so far, and what concrete steps we can take to make this Movement relevant and effective as it gears up to face the new challenges of the modern world.
6. Historically, NAM has played an important role in promoting global peace and security, and in voicing the hopes and aspirations of nearly two-thirds of humanity. It has imparted political impetus and moral direction to many important processes, including our shared struggles to end colonisation and eliminate Apartheid. If we are to remain relevant, this tradition of independence must be defended and nurtured so that we set our own agenda.
7. India has been a proud and integral part of this journey since the very beginning. We have fought shoulder to shoulder with our NAM partners to secure a more equal and just world order for our peoples. We continue our unwavering commitment and solidarity for the Palestinian cause.
8. In the six decades since Bandung and Belgrade however, the world has undergone a remarkable transformation. Today we are faced with serious challenges of an interdependent world. Globalisation and unprecedented technological advances are shaping the 21st century in unpredictable and often disruptive ways. As we all strive to ensure inclusive and sustainable growth and a better future for our peoples, we must realise that our destinies are linked like never before.
9. The adoption of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the global 2030 Sustainable Development Goals represent important milestones in recognizing the inter-linkage and inter-dependence of our actions and their impacts on our planet’s health.
10. Contemporary threats respect no borders – whether it is terrorism, climate change, pandemics, financial crises, or cyber security.
11. Terrorism continues to expand its tentacles with increasing impunity. This is the single most destructive threat, not only to international peace and security, but to the very principles we are discussing today. Its capacity to inflict damage has multiplied with the diffusion of information technology, giving terrorist organisations offensive cyber capabilities.
12. The only way to fight this menace is to strengthen and implement, without exception, all existing international laws and mechanisms to combat terrorists and their enablers. No justification whatsoever can be accepted for violent extremist ideologies and terrorist actions that maim and murder innocents, disrupt the very fabric of our societies, and stall developmental efforts. I call upon all our NAM partners to come together to forge a common front against terror in all its forms. We must do this by stepping up inter-agency coordination, exchanging information, and strengthening the existing legal framework by endorsing the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) proposed by India in 1996. All this is really possible when we have a clear commitment to zero tolerance towards terrorism.
On the subject of terrorism, our thoughts naturally go to itscontemporary epicenter - Pakistan. We regret that earliertoday afternoon, this August forum was misused to justifyonce again its long standing policy of conducting crossborder terrorism against its neighbors, including the Stateof Jammu and Kashmir which is an integral part of India.Indeed, we speak for the larger region in terms of this deepconcern over Pakistan's behavior. All of us in the NonAligned Movement are focused on meeting ourdevelopmental goals and aspirations. Pakistan clearly needsto do much more to earn the confidence of the internationalcommunity. It must decisively abjure terrorism - for its owngood, for that of its neighbors and for the good of the world.
13. We must urgently find solutions to the development challenges of bringing health, education, clean energy and jobs to our people, amid a global economy being rapidly transformed by advances in technology.
14. These common goals can only be achieved with a global governance system that is just, equitable, and representative. This necessitates early and meaningful reform of the United Nations, including a Security Council to reflect the contemporary realities of the 21st Century. We hope that the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations will finally produce concrete outcomes towards this goal.
15. NAM countries need to work together to uphold the rules based global order and respect for international law. We must also ensure that multilateral institutions and regimes are working effectively for the benefit of our peoples.
16. NAM must also keep pace with the changing times and refocus itself to remain a useful and influential grouping that can promote our interests on emerging global challenges.
17. Our Movement was created to provide a platform for autonomy of policy for newly independent and developing nations, an objective that remains relevant today. We should demonstrate the strength of unity in diversity by pursuing a focused positive long-term agenda.
18. For this, we do not need to position NAM as ‘for’ or ‘against’ any ideology or groups of nations. It is important that we do not waste our energies on issues that cause dissonance among us. We should identify select cross-sectoral challenges that require our immediate attention, and on which we can work together to present workable solutions. Issues that come to mind immediately are counter-terrorism, global governance reform, sustainable development, and South-South cooperation.
19. Our countries share much in common, have similar experiences and shared aspirations, even as we represent diverse peoples, circumstances and levels of development. NAM is a large grouping that can shape global responses to such challenges, as we have done in the past.
20. As always, India stands ready to play its part. The underlying principle of India’s development agenda is “through everyone’s support, for everyone’s development and towards everyone's trust”. This approach also mirrors the essence of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, of leaving no one behind.
21. A few weeks ago, in the UN General Assembly, the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi outlined how India seeks collective efforts to address serious challenges facing the world through the new global platforms initiated by India.
22. The Indian vision is a vision of collaborative endeavor for common good of humanity. As the Vedic hymn“Sangachadhwam” written about 4000 years ago suggests,” May our intentions and aspirations be alike so that a common objective unifies us all.” That common objective is the welfare of all our citizens. Let us make our Movement align with that overarching objective of improving the quality of life of our peoples. Let us be aligned with the forces of peace and development.
23. This is the message that I bring to NAM on behalf of 1.3 billion Indians.
I thank you.