MOFA: Sep 14, 2000 at United Nations, Non-aligned Movement – by U Win Aung, Minister for Foreign Affairs

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(14 September 2000, New York)

Madame Chairperson,

This morning and during the afternoon before I took the floor, many delegates have spoken about the issues which are of importance to our Movement. I share many of them particularly the views expressed by my neighbour the Honourable Foreign Minister of Namibia who spoke about the need for solidarity and unity as well as our future direction.

The need for unity among the members of our group is now greater then ever. Globalisation that brings many opportunities turns out to be opportunities for the developed few. We are facing the danger of further marginalisation. To avoid this we need to have a united and a strong voice NAM represents the majority of the members of the United Nations and the voice of NAM is the voice of the developing countries. But our voice will only be heeded if we are able to enhance unity and solidarity and speak. with a strong united voice. Only then will we be able to bring the focus back to the issues that are important to us.

Madame Chairperson,

Many of the issues that are dear to my delegation have already been discussed at length by many delegations. So 1 will not touch on them.

However, one topic that I would like to inform this meeting is the situation in my country.

Madame Chairperson,

My country is a developing country and occupies a very strategic geographical location in the Asian Continent. This strategic factor has turned us into a spot of special interest to big powers. Since we regained our independence in 1948, as a principled stance, we have consistently adhered to the non-aligned foreign policy. We have never allowed any country to use our land as a base to encircle or threaten any of our neighbours.

While we were trying to protect our land from hegemonistic schemes of big powers, there had been attempts from outside to split our country into pieces. National unity was endangered for most of the post independence era. To many of you, it would be hard to believe that we had faced numerous Insurgencies throughout the country, even called multi-coloured insurgencies. There had been untold bloodshed and miseries. Brothers fought against brothers. Innocent lives were threatened, development projects halted, abandoned or destroyed. We suffered for about 45 years without seeing any light in the tunnel.

Now, this present government, interim in nature, has been able to turn around the situation. For the very first time, peace and stability returns to almost all corners of the country. All armed groups, except one, have come back to the legal fold.

Now we are working on consolidating national unity. We are laying firm and solid foundations for further advancement in nation building. Tangible progress has been achieved. All the people of the country, acknowledge that. They welcome the government’s efforts of solving the fundamental problems which would lead towards emergence of a modern, prosperous and united democratic nation.

Recently, there were developments in my country over which some have expressed concern. I am happy to inform you that the matter has now been resolved peacefully and amicably. ]’he situation is now back to normal.

Madame Chairperson,

Another issue that I would like to share with you is the question of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in our Movement. Myanmar as a founding member is of the opinion that the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia deserves to reassure its rightful place in our Movement. I have noted from your opening statement that the matter has now been referred to the Coordinating Bureau to examine all aspects. We ardently hope that the Bureau will listen to all points of views and consider positively the membership issue of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

Another issue which I would like to highlight is the inviolable cardinal principles set forth in the Charter. These cardinal principles such as sovereignty, territorial integrity, sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs should be upheld steadfastly by all nations. Our Movement must be mindful of’ the attempts by some to dilute these principles. We must reaffirm and safeguard them at every opportunity.

Madame Chairperson,

In this new millennium, many of the problems in the last century still persist. The international community remains seized of old issues as well as new challenges. The real strength of our Movement will be reflected in the manner we address these issues of common concern. It is my conviction that if we work, together with understanding and cooperation we will be able to consolidate our unity and enhance our solidarity. It is only through unity that we can further our cause in the new century.

Thank you.

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