By Ivan Kaahwa
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has officially assumed the office of the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement for the next three years. He received leadership from the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the former chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement, who was represented by the Azerbaijani Foreign Minister.
The former chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement called for unity to address resistance and growing challenges. Efforts should be made to enhance the capacity of NAM member states to tackle problems. Azerbaijan, since its admission to the NAM in 2011, has played a crucial role in international relations, strengthening unity within the movement by defending the principles of international law. The Azerbaijani leadership expressed confidence in the upcoming leadership of President Yoweri Museveni to steer the agenda of the movement. South Sudan was the 121st country to be admitted as a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, further solidifying unity to address issues with a common goal.
President Museveni labeled NAM as a necessary antidote to the irrational polarization of the world between capitalist Western countries and communist, mainly Eastern countries. He emphasized that the direct colonization of Africa was orchestrated by evil imperialistic forces through forms of the slave trade, worsened by chiefs and kings who, out of selfishness, could not unite and fight the oppressors.
The president emphasized opting for political economics to discover the fundamental laws that govern the motion of society from one social system to another. This step discovered that man, who emerged in Africa, had been the main actor and coped with oppression by nature, including floods, droughts, diseases, wild animals, earthquakes, etc.
Museveni stated that societies advancing in science and technology lay a basis for positive social change and should be encouraged by the progressive forces of the world. He stressed that the world should concentrate on common human problems, achieving prosperity through trade free from stereotypes that misrepresent the nature and ability of Africa.
He called for respect for fundamental human rights, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of all nations, recognition of the equality of all races and nations, large and small, and abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country. Abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defense to serve the particular interests of any of the big powers, abstention by any country from exerting pressures on other countries, refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country, and settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration, or judicial settlement, as well as other peaceful means of the parties’ own choice, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, promotion of mutual interests and cooperation, and respect for justice and international obligation.
Museveni stated that it is on these principles that NAM was founded. We, the resistance fighters of Uganda, can testify that by synthesizing the package of ideas, we have achieved very good results. Using the ideas of the free market, combined with the ideas of selective State intervention in the economy in some sectors like banking, energy, transport, etc., and also bringing back some aspects of the pre-capitalist institutions such as reformed cultural institutions, Uganda, although starting from a very low base, has had growth rates of 6.2% per year for the last 37 years.
The presence of people from around the world, especially members of the Non-Aligned Movement, enables core interactions to address common human problems.
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