Indonesia to host Non-Aligned Movement conference

16:20, May 23, 2011      

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After hosting the ASEAN summit, Indonesia is ready for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) conference slated for Monday in Bali, and poised to lead the 118-nation group in drafting a vision for the next 50 years, local media reported on Monday.

Indonesia last chaired the NAM in 1992, just after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991. The end of the Cold War raised questions on the relevance of the organization, which was founded in 1961 to encourage developing nations to stay neutral in the rivalry between the Western bloc led by the U.S. and the Eastern bloc led by the Soviet Union.

"In 1992, we hosted the NAM that came up with revitalized objectives after the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. After 20 years, we again have a moment to determine what this organization can do in the next 50 years," Sunu M. Soemarmo, Foreign Ministry director for socio-cultural affairs and international organizations for developing countries, said on Sunday.

The Non-Aligned Movement's current chair, Egypt, has been focused on domestic affairs after former president Hosni Mubarak was toppled after decades in power.The meeting, which will commemorate the NAM's 50th anniversary, is expected to determine a vision for what the grouping wants to do in the next half century.

While Indonesia might want to portray itself as an international leader, critics have expressed doubts on the nation' s use of the forum to promote its varied international interests and activities.

Most of the NAM members have stated that reform of the UN Security Council should be a priority for the grouping.

It remains to be seen, however, if Indonesia can attract wide support for its bid for a permanent seat.

Former Indonesian ambassador to Australia Sabam Siagian said that no reform would be realized unless the major developing countries avoided competition and united to support each other.

"Reform can also be pushed at other international organizations, such as the IMF. With the embarrassing scandal that pushed Dominique Strauss-Kahn to step down, the NAM can play a significant role in forcing reform at the institution," he was quoted by the Jakarta Post as saying.

There will also be a meeting between Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi and his Egyptian counterpart, Nabil al-Arabi, to mend diplomatic ties between the nations.Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told ISNA news agency recently that " Iranian and Egyptian authorities welcome resumption of bilateral ties".

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Amir Mansour Borghei is slated to visit Egypt ahead of the meeting in Bali. Iran and Egypt have not maintained diplomatic relations since Iran's revolution in 1979 due to Iran's rejection of Egypt's peace treaty with Israel.

Source: Xinhua

 
 
     
 
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