16th NAM Summit Held In Tehran

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The 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was held in Tehran, Iran from August 26 to 31, 2012. Leaders from 120 nations, including 24 Presidents, three Kings, eight Prime Ministers and 50 Foreign Ministers participated in the summit. The final document adopted at the preceding (15th) NAM Summit held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt in 2009 was the framework of the 2012 Tehran Summit. The agenda of the summit primarily consisted of such issues as nuclear disarmament, human rights, etc., as also some regional issues. The summit was held in three parts—”Senior Officials’ Meeting” on August 26 and 27; “Ministerial Meeting” on August 28 and 29; and main “Leaders’ Meeting” on August 30 and 31.

At the Senior Officials’ Meeting, the Sharm El-Sheikh final document was reviewed and a draft document issued. Some of the main points of the draft document included rejection of all forms of terrorism and all forms of occupation including occupation of Palestinian territories by Israel; nuclear disarmament; and replacing unipolar management of international politics with collective management. The draft also urged West Asia to be free of nuclear weapons and emphasised the “inalienable” right of all NAM member nations for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

At the Ministerial Summit that followed the Senior Officials’ Meeting, four main points were emphasised upon. These were : establishment of a task force in New York to lobby for Palestine’s membership in the UN and act against ‘illegal’ measures adopted by Israel against Palestine; finding solutions to the Syrian crisis with the cooperation of the UN; acting against dollar monopoly in financial mechanisms; and finally, the establishment of a working group to find ways for collective management of world affairs.

The main Leaders’ Meeting was presided over by Iranian President Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. In a pointed reference to the US’s call for stripping Iran of its nuclear rights, the Iranian leadership said that the US’s advocacy of a non-nuclear Iran was ironic, as the US itself is the world’s foremost nuclear power. Iran also took a rigid anti-Israel stance. UN Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, who was also in attendance, denounced Iran’s position against Israel. He also urged Iran to boost global confidence in its nuclear programme by allowing full inspection of its N-facilities by the IAEA.

India was represented at the summit by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, who held bilateral talks with a number of foreign leaders at the sidelines.

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