The NAM Summit Declaration in summary

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The Declaration of the NAM’s 17th Summit  (now widely called the Margarita Declaration), adopted by the heads of state and government at the closing session, contains some statements of principles and positions in its preamble, and commitments for joint efforts on 21 issues.  Below is a summary of the Declaration.  The full Declaration can be downloaded at this web link:



The Margarita Declaration stated that the developing countries are the ones who suffer more intensely from the disregard of international law, from invasions, from the ravages of war and armed conflicts, caused mostly by the geopolitical interests of the great centres of power, as well as from protracted conflicts inherited from colonialism and neo-colonialism.


It recognised that solidarity is a broad concept encompassing the sustainability of international relations, peaceful coexistence, equity and empowerment of developing countries.


It affirmed the validity of the founding principles of the Movement and its historical achievements, which reaffirm that the fight against colonialism and neo-colonialism, racism, all forms of foreign intervention, aggression, foreign occupation, domination or hegemony, as well as the intention of becoming a balancing factor in the international relations, outside of the military alliances of the centres of power, remain concrete expressions of the policy of non-alignment.


The political leaders committed to make joint efforts to achieve 21 objectives.  These included:


  1. Strengthening and Revitalization of the Movement: They reaffirmed their full and decisive support to the consolidation, strengthening and revitalization of the Non-Aligned Movement, as the only guarantee to preserve its legacy and historical validity and to ensure therefore its strength, cohesion and resilience, on the basis of unity in diversity and the solidarity of its Member States.
  2. Strengthening International Peace and Security: They reiterated that they will continue to promote the peaceful settlement of disputes, and to save future generations from the scourge of war and military conflict. They further rejected the illegal policies of regime change aimed at overthrowing constitutional Governments, in contravention of international law. Overcoming conflicts and the achievement of a firm and lasting peace requires a holistic approach that addresses the structural causes of conflicts. They opposed any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity or territorial integrity of a State.
  3. Right to Self-Determination: They stressed the inalienable right of all peoples to self-determination. In the case of peoples who are subject to foreign occupation and colonial or foreign domination, the exercise of self-determination remains valid and essential to securing the eradication of all those situations.
  4. Disarmament and International Security: They reaffirmed their intention to redouble efforts towards eliminating the threat posed by the existence of weapons of mass destruction, particularly nuclear weapons. They resolved to work to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. They also resolved to establish a nuclear weapon free zone in the Middle East. They called for the urgent commencement of negotiations on nuclear disarmament in the CD, in particular on a comprehensive convention on nuclear weapons to prohibit their possession, development, production, acquisition, testing, stockpiling, transfer, use or threat of use and to provide for their destruction with a specified time frame. They further reiterated the sovereign right of countries to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.
  5. Human Rights: They reaffirmed their commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights, which are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated, through a constructive and cooperative international dialogue, capacity building, technical assistance and the recognition of good practices, while ensuring the full enjoyment of all human rights, including the right to development as a an inalienable, fundamental and universal right, and as a comprehensive part of universally recognised human rights. They highlight the historical significance of the adoption of the Declaration of the Right to Development thirty years ago, which was promoted by the Non-Aligned Movement, and which requires a profound change in the international economic structure, including the creation of economic and social conditions that are favourable to developing countries. Likewise, they expressed once again that human rights should be strengthened by adhering to the fundamental principles of universality, transparency, impartiality,non-selectivity, non-politicization and objectivity while seeking to realize the human rights for all, pursuant to the principles contained in the Vienna Declaration of 1993.
  6. Unilateral Sanctions: They expressed their condemnation at the promulgation and application of unilateral coercive measures against countries of the Movement, in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law. In this respect, they reiterated their determination to denounce and demand the repeal of such measures. Similarly, they reaffirmed that each State has full sovereignty over the totality of its wealth, natural resources and economic activity, exercising it freely.
  7. Terrorism: They reiterated that terrorism constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security. Hence, they reaffirmed their firm condemnation of terrorist acts in all their forms and manifestations. They further condemned the destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites, as well as the commission of crimes against humanity by terrorist groups, among others, on the basis of their religion or beliefs.


Likewise, they recognized the threat posed nowadays by this despicable scourge, particularly the activities carried out by terrorist groups and the spread of violent extremism which can be conducive to terrorism, making it necessary for States to prevent and combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They considered that the adoption of a future Comprehensive Convention for Combating International Terrorism could complement the set of existing international legal instruments.


In addition, they reaffirmed that terrorism and violent extremism as and when conducive to terrorism cannot and should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group, and that these attributions should not be used to justify terrorism or counterterrorism measures that include, inter alia, profiling of terror suspects and intrusion on individual privacy.


  1. Dialogue Among Civilizations: They stressed the importance of promoting respect for religious, social and cultural diversity, in order to promote a culture of peace, tolerance and respect between societies and nations, through intercultural, interreligious and inter-civilizations dialogue. They also recognized the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue.
  2. Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine: They reaffirmed once again that the Israeli occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, constitutes a destabilising factor in the region, and as such they demanded the withdrawal of the Occupying Power from those territories occupied since June 1967, in accordance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council and the UN General Assembly. They reiterated that the continued injustice against the Palestinian people as a result of the Israeli occupation and its related policies and practices, are the main source of the violation of human rights of the Palestinian people. They called on the parties to exert all efforts to resume and support a credible peace process, based on the longstanding terms of reference and parameters, with a view to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace that is based on a two-State solution, with secure and internationally recognised pre-1967 borders, bearing in mind the Arab Peace Initiative. They sought a comprehensive and just solution to the Palestinian refugees’ cause.


They condemned all measures taken by Israel, the occupying Power, to alter the legal, physical and demographic status of the occupied Syrian Golan. They demanded once again that Israel should withdraw fully from the occupied Syrian Golan to the borders of 4 June 1967.


  1. Reform of the United Nations: They reiterated the need to recover and strengthen the authority of the General Assembly as the most democratic, accountable, universal and representative body of the Organization. In this regard, they encouraged the establishment of a harmonious and balanced relationship between the main bodies of the Organization. They further called for the reform of the Security Council, in order to transform it into a more democratic, effective, efficient, transparent and representative body, and in line with contemporary geo-political realities.
  2. Selection and Appointment of the Secretary General of the United Nations: They underlined the central role that corresponds to the General Assembly in the process of selection and appointment of the Secretary General of the United Nations, while reaffirming the need for greater transparency and inclusiveness in the current process of selection.
  3. Peacekeeping Operations: They reaffirmed that peacekeeping operations must be carried out with strict adherence to the principles and purposes enshrined in the Charter, and emphasized that respect of the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of States, as well as non-intervention in internal affairs, are key elements of the joint efforts in the promotion of international peace and security. In this regard, they reiterated that the respect to the basic principles of peacekeeping; namely, consent of the parties, impartiality, and non-use of force except in self-defence, is essential.
  4. Sustainable Development Goals: They reiterated their will to work towards the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the need to fulfil the Agenda’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals and its 169 targets for all nations and peoples, and for all sectors of society, in an integrated and indivisible manner. They reiterated that ending poverty and hunger is the greatest global challenge. They reaffirmed all the principles recognized in the Agenda, particularly the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities. They further underlined the importance of developed countries fulfilling their commitments regarding the provision of finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries, in order to ensure the global realization of SDGs.


They also reiterated their support to strengthening the multilateral trading system so as to provide an enabling environment for development, by ensuring a level playing field for developing countries in international trade. They reaffirmed their determination to move forward within the framework of the Doha Development Agenda, taking into account the developmental needs of developing countries. They further underlined the importance of increasing Aid for Trade and capacity building.


  1. Promotion of Education, Science and Technology for Development: They reaffirmed their commitment to combat illiteracy while noting that education is an inalienable human right. They stressed that the use of science and technology is essential to address the development challenges. Hence, the transfer of technology from developed countries, on favorable terms, is crucial to ensure the sustainable development, for the benefit of all peoples of the world.
  2. Climate Change: They reaffirmed that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of their times and expressed profound alarm that emissions of greenhouse gases continue to rise globally. They expressed concern about the increased adverse impacts of climate change, particularly on developing countries. They reiterated the concerns and particularities of all developing countries, based on the provisions of the UNFCCC, particularly in relation to the implementation of the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities, and in light of the historic responsibilities of developed countries. Hence, they urged the developed countries to fulfill their commitments of providing finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries.
  3. Economic Governance: They reaffirmed that the reform of the international financial architecture requires the democratization of the decision-making institutions of Bretton Woods (IMF and World Bank). Therefore, it is necessary to widen and strengthen the level of participation of developing countries in the international decision and economic law making processes and in the governanceof a new world economic order. In this regard, they urged for transparent and more open multilateral development banks and international finance organizations or agencies. They expressed concern on the negative impact that tax havens can have on the world economy, in particular on developing countries.
  4. South-South Cooperation: They reiterated that South-South Cooperation is an important element of international cooperation for the sustainable development of their peoples, as a complement and not as a substitute to the North-South Cooperation, which allows for the transfer of appropriate technologies, in favourable conditions and preferential terms. In this regard, they reaffirmed that South-South Cooperation is an expression of solidarity and cooperation among the peoples and countries of the South, which contributes to their national wellbeing, guided by the principles of respect for sovereignty, national ownership and independence, equality, non-conditionality, non-interference in the internal affairs, and mutual benefit.
  5. International Solidarity: They recognized that the response of the international community to pandemics that constitute a threat to public health and to various natural disasters is an example to follow in terms of solidarity and international cooperation. In this sense, they highlighted the efforts of the international community to counter and eradicate the spread of various pandemics, among them Ebola, as well as for confronting the aftermath of natural disasters around the world.
  6. Refugees and Migrants: They acknowledged the acute humanitarian emergencies resulting from the high number of refugees, mainly due to the conflicts created in the territories of the different Member States of the Movement. They further stressed the importance of translating political statements into tangible support to countries affected the most by this phenomenon as well as, the need to assist the host countries and communities. They also acknowledged the historical contribution of international migration to nations and they reaffirmed the responsibility of Governments to safeguard and protect the rights of migrants in accordance with international and domestic laws.
  7. Youth, Women, Peace and Security: They recognized the important role that youth and women play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts, as well as in peacekeeping and peacebuilding efforts. In this regard, they underscored the need to achieve full gender equality and the empowerment of women.
  8. New World Information and Communication Order: They emphasized the need for information and communication strategies to be deeply rooted in historical and cultural processes and called on the media of developed countries to respect developing countries in the formulation of their opinions, models and perspectives with a view to enhancing the dialogue among civilizations. They also reiterated their deep concern on the use of media as a tool for hostile propaganda against developing countries aimed at undermining their governments and stressed the need to promote alternative, free, pluralistic and responsible media and communication sources, that reflect the realities and interests of the peoples of the developing world.




The above is a summary made by the South Bulletin of the NAM Summit Declaration.  As it is a summary, some of the points in the original have not been included.   For a full appreciation or understanding of the NAM Summit, a reading of the full Declaration is needed.  



South Bulletin 1 November 2016
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