Cuba Expands Influence Through NAM and UN

Cuba is doing its part to build the anti-Western axis.

From the Communist Party USA’s Peoples Weekly World

The weeklong 14th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) opened here Sept. 11 with suspense over whether Cuban President Fidel Castro would be participating, given his continuing recovery from major surgery.

Havana is receiving delegations from throughout the world. The Caribbean nations of Haiti and St. Kitts and Nevis became full members of the NAM at this meeting, bringing the movement’s total membership to 118.

The summit has drawn the political attention of a number of countries that have asked to take part as observers in the movement or have been invited to this week’s meeting, including almost all of the European Union member countries and Russia, it was noted at the opening ceremony.

The NAM summit is facing the ambitious goal of becoming a strong political force of the developing South, through coordinated actions in international bodies, especially the United Nations.

To that end, diplomats from member countries have been negotiating for over a month a nearly 100-page draft final declaration presented by Cuba, which outlines a strategic vision of the aspirations of the NAM in today’s global context.

The document reiterates the movement’s multilateral vision of the world, in rejection of the “hegemonic pretensions” of the United States and other industrialized countries. But it also sets forth proposals for specific actions within the framework of international institutions.

Issues like terrorism, the International Criminal Court or the U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq are touched on with extreme caution, in search of a balance, while traditional NAM positions like the rights of the Palestinian people and the right to development in a more just global economic context are reaffirmed.

After a reinvigorated NAM is “re-launched” this week, it will be in a position to become a “decisive force” in the United Nations and other multilateral bodies, said the Cuban foreign minister at the opening of the summit’s press center Sept. 10.

One of the NAM’s missions is to “preserve the United Nations charter, the only protection to which the non-aligned countries can aspire” in the face of threats and attacks, he said.

“If we come together, if we organize, we could be a decisive force in the international bodies,” said Perez Roque.

As of this week, Cuba will hold the rotating presidency of the NAM for the next three years. It took over the reins of the movement once before, at an earlier summit in Havana in 1979, in the midst of a very different global political context.

The fact that the movement is holding its summit meeting in Cuba for the second time “is an unequivocal sign of recognition of Cuba’s role in the international arena, and of the rupture of the policy of isolation of the island promoted by the United States,” said the foreign minister.

The minister said that in its final declaration, the NAM will pronounce itself in favor of “total and complete nuclear disarmament.” He also protested the “hypocritical double standards” of those who urge Iran to abandon its plans to produce nuclear energy.

Perez Roque said 50 heads of state and government, at least 10 vice presidents or deputy prime ministers and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan are taking part in the summit.

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