Non-aligned Movement celebrates 50th anniversary in Belgrade

Non-aligned Movement celebrates 50th anniversary in Belgrade
# 06 September 2011 01:44 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. Representatives from 113 countries on Monday marked the anniversary of the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement in Belgrade where it formally began half a century ago, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

The first of two days of ministerial meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement was attended by 600 delegates from India, Indonesia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Algeria and other countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Participants also included observers from the UN, OIC, Arab League and African Union, along with representatives from Hungary, Spain and Finland.

"Today’s meeting, 50 years after the founding meeting, shows the strength of our movement and we are grateful to the founders, historical leaders who led our movement," said Chairman Mohamed Kamel Amr, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, in the National Assembly of Serbia.

The Non-aligned Movement was founded in Belgrade by the Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah and Indonesian leader Sukarno.

Serbian President Boris Tadic, host of the event, stressed the continued relevance of the movement, despite the seismic shift in diplomatic relations since 1961.

"The Non-aligned rejected the idea to divide the world into two camps, proudly stood and expressed the idea of a third way, and declared war on all that is outdated and obsolete in international relations," Tadic said.

Tadic said Serbia, the largest of the successor states of the former Yugoslavia whose capital was also Belgrade, would continue to be actively engaged in increasing trust and consolidating peace in the world.

More than any other country, the former Yugoslavia was seen as the leader amongst the many third world and post-colonial countries seeking an alternative to the Cold War politics that essentially divided the political landscape into two blocs, namely NATO and the Warsaw Pact in the ensuing decades.

Ironically, although hosting the conference, Serbia has only an observer status in the Movement. Nonetheless, the conference offers Serbian politicians an opportunity for its continued campaign against the recognition of Kosovo, its southern province which unilaterally declared independence in 2008.

Economic issues and bilateral agreements among member states are expected to dominate the agenda at the 50th anniversary conference.