Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan
Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan

NAM countries must work to reduce the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable sections: Muraleedharan

ANI | Updated: Oct 09, 2020 23:25 IST

New Delhi [India], October 9 (ANI): NAM countries must work to reduce the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on the most vulnerable sections of society, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Friday.
In his statement at the 75th United Nations General Assembly Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement, Muraleedharan said that the strength of the NAM "family lies in its diversity", its shared developmental experience, and its youthful populations brimming with hope and aspirations.
"Today, as we contend with yet another grave challenge, it is these very principles of solidarity and cooperation that will guide the way. COVID-19 has reminded us of our interconnectedness, and dependence on each other. We cannot fight this adversary alone," he said.
He called for a coordinated fight against the pandemic.
"We must work to reduce the socio-economic impact of this pandemic on the most vulnerable sections of our society. NAM's unique tradition of promoting South-South cooperation can provide a way out as societies look to rebuild and regenerate in the wake of this crisis," he said.
"This was also the key message that Prime Minister Modi conveyed to the Movement when he participated in the Online Summit of the NAM Contact Group in response to COVID-19 held in May this year. Just a few days ago, at the General Debate of the 75th UNGA, he assured the world that India's immense vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting the crisis," he added.
The minister said the pandemic is not the only pressing challenge and the theme of the meeting and declaration today "compels us to introspect on how NAM can more effectively counter global threats which surpass our individual capacities".
"Terrorism and their enablers continue to spread their tentacles unabated. Misinformation and fake news are wreaking havoc on social cohesion and collective security. Climate change has become an existential threat, especially to the most vulnerable SIDS countries. Humanitarian emergencies are straining capacities. Cybersecurity threats and the uneven impact of frontier technologies are causing turbulence. Development concerns remain paramount for the vast majority of the world's population," he said.
Muraleedharan said if the movement is reduced for venting bilateral grievances, it will soon become a weak and irrelevant entity.
"On the other hand, if we take up issues that divide rather than unite us, reducing our Movement to a platform for venting bilateral grievances or for embarrassing fellow Members, we will soon become a weak and irrelevant entity, with no say at all in global decision making. Individual members must stop and think before raising issues that are not on the agenda and which find no resonance in the wider membership," he said.
The minister NAM never was and never can be a platform for pursuits aimed at undermining the territorial integrity of a state by another state.
He said NAM has the potential to take the lead in addressing the primary issues of the present times that demand global cooperation.
"When we stand together and speak in one voice, for instance in our Movement's steadfast commitment to the cause of Palestine, we can and do have a decisive influence on global outcomes - we can be a force for good," he said.
The minister said this year also marks the 65th anniversary of the landmark Bandung Conference that resulted in the adoption of the founding principles of the Non-Aligned Movement.
"The 65th anniversary is a good time to reflect. Even as we call for effective and reformed multilateralism, we need to introspect, reform and revitalize the current arrangements of our own Movement, to enable us to pursue a focused, positive and transformative agenda going forward," he said. (ANI)