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CARICOM countries participate in Non-Aligned Movement meeting
Published on May 29, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Ray Chickrie
Caribbean News Now contributor

ALGIERS, Algeria – Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname are participating in the 17th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) foreign ministers meeting that is taking place in Algeria. Guyana and Suriname’s ambassadors to the United Nations, Henry MacDonald and George Talbot, are in Algiers representing their respective countries. Jamaica is represented by minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, A.J Nicholson

The foreign ministerial conference kicked off on Monday under the theme of "Enhanced Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity" and, amongst other things, will address the ongoing civil conflict in Venezuela as it relates to Caracas hosting the 17th summit of the movement that will be held in Venezuela next year.

Jamaica is planning to use the ministerial meeting to lobby for support for the candidature of Jamaican jurist Patrick Robinson to the International Court of Justice.

Robinson is vying to fill one of five vacancies that will be available on the court at elections to be held later this year. Robinson served as president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, based in the Hague, from 2008-2011. He remains a member of that tribunal.

NAM was founded in former Yugoslavia in 1961. The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations members and contain 55 percent of the world population.

NAM's purpose as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries.”

Iran hosted the last NAM heads of government summit and currently holds the rotating presidency of NAM for a three-year term. Guyana did not participate in that summit, which was very unusual in that one of the pillars of Guyana’s foreign policy since its independence in 1966 is non-alignment.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the NAM is trying to resolve the challenges facing the world by fostering unity among its member states.

“We are certain that given the ongoing developments, the movement will try to overcome the challenges ahead through unity among members,” Zarif said in an address to the foreign ministerial conference in the Algerian capital on Wednesday.

He further noted that the presence of foreign ministers from NAM member states at the Algiers meeting highlights Algeria’s prominent position in the movement under the existing international climate.

Following his speech, Zarif officially handed the presidency of the 17th NAM foreign ministerial meeting to his Algerian counterpart, Ramtane Lamamra.
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