Uganda outlines NAM Chairmanship focus

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Uganda outlines NAM Chairmanship focus
Gen. Jeje Odongo outlines Uganda's NAM priorities

In his inaugural address upon assuming the role of the Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Minister's Meeting, General Abubaker Jeje Odongo, Uganda's Minister of Foreign Affairs, affirmed Uganda's commitment to a "Stronger and united NAM that contributes to a better world for all."

Key concerns under Uganda's chairmanship include:

International Peace and Security: Previous NAM summits have extensively discussed regional conflicts, aiming for peaceful resolutions. The ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a high-priority issue, with NAM consistently supporting a two-state solution. Uganda's chairmanship is expected to continue addressing conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan, advocating for ceasefires, humanitarian aid, and inclusive political processes.

Fight Against Terrorism: NAM unequivocally condemns all acts of terrorism and emphasises international cooperation to combat it. Rejecting any justification for terrorism, NAM promotes cultural understanding and tolerance to prevent radicalisation. The comprehensive approach includes addressing root causes such as poverty, inequality, social exclusion, and governance issues.

Humanitarian Crises: At the ongoing 19th NAM summit in Munyonyo Convention Centre, the plight of the Palestinian people continues to take centre stage. Namibia and South Africa, among others, further highlighted the situation, at today’s Meeting of Ministers, calling for the release of hostages held by Hamas. South Africa filed a lawsuit against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), accusing it of genocide in the Gaza Strip. The ICJ hearings, started in January 2024, are ongoing.

Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): NAM emphasises South-South cooperation to achieve SDGs, addressing poverty, food security, education, health, gender equality, climate action, and sustainable infrastructure. Discussions call for increased investments in these areas and tackle challenges faced by developing countries, such as limited resources and vulnerability to climate change.

Other Key Issues: Chair Jeje Odong also highlighted concerns about human trafficking and drug smuggling.

NAM acknowledges the complexity of SDGs, urging integrated approaches, and addressing their implementation holistically. Concerns about the unequal distribution of the burden and benefits of sustainable development are raised, with a focus on reaching vulnerable populations. The impact of global crises like COVID-19 and climate change on SDG progress is recognised, calling for resilience and adaptation strategies.

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