Vice President M. Hamid Ansari has said that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit has resolved to act for Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development in the world. He was addressing the Media Onboard Air India Aircraft while returning back to New Delhi after attending the 17th NAM Summit in Margarita, Venezuela on September 17th and 18th.
The Vice President said that India is one of the founders of the NAM and it is a matter of satisfaction that the great majority of the countries in the world have found NAM relevant. Even though there has been much evolution in the approach since 1961, the core approach remains the same, he pointed out. He said that three issues – Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development comprised the theme of the NAM Summit meeting and the point that India made emphatically was that the core issue of sustainable development was not possible unless there were sustainable conditions of peace in societies. He further said that the choice of mode of development was an autonomous decision of each country, as only it could choose the path most relevant to it. So the three pointed themes of this conference formed a triad, where peace, security and sovereignty formed the essential requirement for development.
Specifically referring to the issue of terrorism, the Vice President said that along with sustainable development and the situation in West Asia, terrorism formed the three longest sub-items in the final document. The centrality of terrorism as an impediment to peace in the society and as an impediment to development has been flagged by India and received much support at the Summit. He also said that when he met the Chairman of the Conference, the President of Venezuela, he had raised these issues, and that some of the language used in the bilateral meetings had found its way in to the final document.
Reacting to a question on whether India was showing restraint on terrorism, the Vice President said that there could be no question of restraint or tolerance of terrorism. He said that India was a victim of cross-border terrorism and the manner of response is something that should be left to the concerned authorities.
On a question relating to a specific statement by a member-state of NAM, the Vice President mentioned that something was said by one delegation which was contrary to the practice of NAM and specifically objectionable to India. As NAM does not have a practice of right of reply, India registered its protest in the form of communication from the Minister of State for external Affairs, M.J. Akbar who was also a part of the Indian delegation, to the Chairman of the Conference.
On India’s approach to raising the issue of terrorism at the forthcoming session of United Nations General Assembly, the Vice President said that it has been India’s general approach to flag the issue of terrorism on all possible fora, and that although he did not have the details of Indian intervention, he was certain that it was a subject that would figure very prominently in our statement to the General Assembly.