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Non-Aligned Movement Summit Stresses Multilateralism and Global Cooperation To Combat COVID-19

May 5, 2020 (EIRNS)—Yesterday, 40 heads of state from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America attended a virtual summit of the Non-Aligned Movement’s (NAM) Contact Group to discuss coordination and cooperation to confront the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hosted by NAM’s current chairman, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the summit included UN Secretary General António Guterres, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organization, Josep Borrell, foreign policy chief of the European Union, and heads of state and government of India, Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba and Indonesia, among many others. Founded in 1961, the NAM includes representatives of 120 largely developing nations

According to a report by Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, the summit made a commitment to building a “stronger and more effective post-pandemic world based on cooperation and multilateralism,” which are considered to be indispensable. The group offered full support for the World Health Organization, and condemned the use of unilateral coercive sanctions levied against several countries, which violate the UN Charter and international law.

Discussion focused on global efforts to fight the pandemic and foster the increased role of the NAM in dealing with and alleviating the consequences caused by the pandemic, recognizing that poor nations have been the hardest hit. The effects of the crisis, it warned, “will reverse hard-earned development achievements and impede progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.” The group voted to create a NAM Task Force to set up a database to indicate basic humanitarian and medical needs of NAM member states.

The NAM’s final communiqué states in point 11:

“We Heads of State and Government … Emphasize that in the face of this type of global emergency, the spirit of solidarity must be at the center of our efforts and a high level of ethical and humanist commitment is required, where solidarity and selfless cooperation prevail in order to provide the peoples in need with medicines, medical equipment and supplies, food, exchange of expertise and good practices.”

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