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Statement by His Excellency Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus Mr. Vladimir Makei (August 30, 2012, Tehran)

Mr. Chairman,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am immensely pleased and honored to address the XVI Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement as head of the delegation of the Republic of Belarus. First of all, I would like to extend high appreciation to the Arab Republic of Egypt for steering the Movement over the last three years with such distinction and skill. We, the Non-Aligned countries, must be truly proud of your Chairmanship. Likewise, I would like to address a few words to the new Chair – the Islamic Republic of Iran. You commence your tenure at the time of both challenges and opportunities. You can always count on Belarus. We will be doing our best to assist in all your endeavors to overcome the former and capitalize on the latter.

Mr. Chairman,

The evolution of the Non-Aligned Movement over the last two decades somehow proceeded in a way as to sharpen our gathering’s focus on political matters. It was understandable since the end of the Cold War has created a political rather than any other kind of vacuum. Naturally, major global stakeholders, including the Movement, began then groping for a political place in an emerging international constellation.
The downside of this process for us was that we seem to have somewhat lost sight of our heretofore preoccupation with global economics. It is particularly regrettable given that once the Movement did have a very commendable economic record. Specifically, what we have in mind is the Declaration on the New International Economic Order – a genuinely landmark document, which spearheaded by the Non-Aligned Movement, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1974.
Indeed, it is economics that underpins politics rather than the other way around. The Non-Aligned countries had such a grasp of things in 1974 and that, among other important factors, was instrumental in their outstanding performance throughout the first few decades of Movement’s existence.
I think there is no need today to expatiate on the matter and try to persuade anyone of the veracity of that dictum. After all, everyone can plainly see these days that it is the well-endowed and economically empowered countries rather than otherwise, which, at the same time, hold sway in global politics.
We consistently talk about the Non-Aligned Movement as a serious player on the world stage, one whom others must respect and reckon with. 
Can we acquire such a stature in a contemporary self-serving world by sticking to political approaches and the power of conviction alone? I am afraid the answer has to be negative as far as Belarus is concerned.
The Non-Aligned Movement and its Member States will be able to gain in authority and influence only if they significantly increase their “foothold” in the domain of economics, namely, in economic and technological development. 
Therefore, Belarus is of the firm belief that the scope of partnership in the Movement should be unequivivocally harnessed to the purpose of building up economic and technological ties among its countries. That is why we must clearly state this intention in the Movement and proceed to diligently act upon it.
In this regard, Belarus would like to appeal once again to NAM’s Member States to support the idea of a Global Fund on new green technologies, which, in our view, might cover, in particular, such areas as energy, transport, industry and agriculture.
Moreover, the need to embark on Rio+20 outcome’s implementation provides the Movement with a proper window of opportunity to approach the issue of sustainable development in a unified and comprehensive way at both the United Nations and the Non-Aligned Movement.
I am utterly convinced that the Movement can and must become a leader in addressing the exigencies that, on the one hand, give rise to global instability, while, on the other, burden the international community with other potential contingencies. 
Our voice should be loud and clear, and it should be heard by the G8 and G20, as well as inside the United Nations. One caveat, however, is in order here. This must be a united voice, which has to address most acute contemporary challenges like, among others, energy security or regulation of the global financial system.
In making headway against pervasive problems that affect NAM nations, we will be able to reclaim unity and solidarity in political terms, which, let us be frank on that account, has of late eroded to certain extent. Then, we are not likely to face a situation when NAM countries vote against their fellow Members in various international fora. 
What is even more crucial, the Movement’s voice will then indeed be respected and taken into consideration by other global stakeholders. 
Thank you for your kind attention.

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