(VOV) - Since its establishment in September, 1961, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has become a leading multilateral forum for promoting international cooperation and dialogue, as well as protecting the legitimate rights of developing countries.
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Vietnam became an official member of the movement in 1976. Since then, it has increasingly cooperated with other members to strengthen the solidarity and promote peace, national independence, democracy, and social progress.
A VOV reporter interviewed Le Luong Minh, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, who will lead a Vietnamese delegation to attend the celebration of NAM’s 50th anniversary in Belgrade, Serbia on September 5-6.
VOV: Could you elaborate on the role of NAM since it was established in 1961?
Mr. Minh: NAM was founded at the peak of struggle for national independence all over the world and during the time of the Cold War, which was likely to lead to a new world war. Newly independent nations, with diverse culture, religious beliefs, and political systems, had the same aspiration for solidarity and assistance in protecting their political independence, gain economic independence, protest war, and maintain peace for co-existence and development.
During the Cold War, the movement played an important role in struggling for intersnational peace and security, preventing the risk of a nuclear war, and promoting disarmament. It backed the struggle for national independence and the eradication of colonialism, as well as asking for the establishment of a new international economic order. Through regional mechanisms, NAM also contributed to the settlement of disputes and conflicts between its members in a peaceful manner.
After the Cold War, the developing countries have continued to cope with the slow socio-economic growth and continual intervention from outside. Together with Group 77 (a loose coalition of developing nations), NAM has provided a platform for the developing countries to raise their voice in important international and regional issues related to peace, security, and development to protect their legitimate rights.
With many of its members involved in the United Nations and other multilateral institutions, NAM has breathed a new life into the operations of these institutions.
VOV: What are the major challenges facing NAM and what should the movement do to deal with them?
Mr. Minh: In the current international context, NAM is confronted with numerous challenges such as the slow economic growth, the negative impact of globalization, poverty, social instability, tribal and religious conflicts, and other global issues. In addition, the developing countries have to cope with violence and intervention from the outside. In some countries, there is a trend of deviation from the movement’s basic principles, as seen in the way of settling regional conflicts and their attitude towards sensitive issues, including the principles of independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, and non-intervention in other countries’ internal affairs.
NAM’s vitality and role are based on its members’ efforts. Therefore, they should enhance their solidarity and cooperation in dealing with political, economic, and global issues at multilateral forums. NAM should persist in its basic goals and principles which have improved its prestige over the past 50 years. The movement should boost international cooperation for mutual benefit, thus continuing to play its role as a large and powerful organisation of developing countries which are striving for peace, national independence, and development. Besides, it should also bring into full play its internal force strength through South-South cooperation.
VOV: What has Vietnam been doing for the development of the movement?
Mr. Minh: Vietnam has made active contributions to NAM’s development through its struggle against foreign invaders for national independence. It attended the Asian-African conference, a precursor of NAM, in Indonesia in 1955 during which Vietnam helped strengthen solidarity among the newly-independent countries and formulate the basic principles of the movement.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Vietnam made great contributions to the struggle for national independence of NAM member countries and for eradication of colonialism and imperialism in the world.
Since 1976, Vietnam has coordinated with other members to strengthen the solidarity in the common struggle for peace, national independence, democracy, social progress and development.
Following the foreign policy guideline of independent diplomacy, self-reliance, multilaterilisation and diversification of relationship, and global integration, set by the 11th National Party Congress, Vietnam will contribute more actively to the movement. Vietnam will work closely with other member countries to maintain international peace and security and create a favourable environment for the development cause of each member country by promoting dialogue to settle disputes and conflicts in compliance with the UN chapter and the basic principles of international law.
Vietnam will do its best to boost the movement’s solidarity, persist in its operational principles, promote South-South cooperation, and deal with global issues such as the economic crisis, climate change, food and energy security.
Vietnam will join efforts with other member countries to help reform the UN and other multilateral institutions and deal with the crisis more effectively.
VOV: Could you say something more about the conference to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the movement in Serbia?
Mr. Minh: This year’s conference is a special event for which its members will gather in Belgrade to review its development over the past 50 years and discuss new guidelines for its development in the future.
The conference will analyze the current international situation and challenges facing NAM, and adopt measures to strengthen its solidarity and role in the future.
VOV: Thank you very much!