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I am leaving today to attend the XVI NAM Summit in Tehran at the invitation of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
India is a founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement. During the entire period of the Cold War and its ideological and military confrontation across the Iron Curtain, the Non-Aligned Movement constituted a voice of reason and sanity. Our grouping, while avoiding entanglement in a destructive and wasteful confrontation so as to be able to purse economic and social development, was nevertheless at the forefront of promoting mutual understanding and lessening of tensions. I will emphasize at the Summit that those original wellsprings of our Movement continue to remain relevant, especially in a world where the global economy remains in crisis and the geo-political landscape continues to be transformed in uncertain and unpredictable ways.
There is widespread recognition that the outdated structures of global governance have not been able to keep pace with contemporary political and economic challenges. Many of these challenges, such as the worsening situation in Syria, a persistent global economic slowdown, and other new and emerging threats, require credible trans-national action. The theme of the XVI NAM Summit – Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance – is thus extremely relevant. I will stress that our Movement should provide a strong political impetus to the ongoing efforts to reform and democratize global governance structures, which are critical to tackle these challenges more effectively.
The diversity and size of membership of NAM presents a tremendous potential for collaboration and cooperation amongst us to resolve shared developmental challenges. It is important that our Movement catalyzes such opportunities for mutual benefit. India will continue with its contributions in these endeavours of South-South cooperation.
During my visit to Tehran, I will also hold bilateral meetings with the Iranian leadership and with leaders of various other NAM countries participating in the Summit. I look forward to the opportunity to review our respective bilateral relations with these countries. I also look forward to exchanging views on regional and global issues with many of my counterparts.