Source: New York Times
“We meet today, in one of the most important moments of our contemporary history, after Egypt’s revolution; after the peaceful revolution of the Egyptian people whose beginning started years before but was crystalized on the 25th of January, 2011…. Egyptians were able, thanks to God first and then to their solidarity and unity, to overcome a difficult transitional phase with many changes. The unity of the people, the unity of action, the unity of goals, the strength of performance, the peacefulness of this revolution, the joining of the people and the military and the unity between Egypt’s proud military and its people with its long history of struggle and jihad and fighting all kinds of oppression and colonization in this event. … And maybe the start of the Nonaligned Movement was also with an active participation on the part of Egypt … as Abdel Nasser expressed the will of the people in breaking the foreign hegemony over the will of the rising populations at the time. The Egyptian revolution on the 25th of January represented the cornerstone in the Arab Spring movement. The Tunisian revolution preceded it with a few days, and then the revolutions of Libya and Yemen followed it, and now the revolution of Syria on the oppressive regime there.
“…Now Egypt is a civil state in all the meaning of the world. Now, Egypt is the national, constitutional, democratic, modern state whose children are completely taking the helm of its affairs through their will.
“…Now we are all facing grave challenges confronted by our member states. The Palestinian and Syrian people are currently struggling with impressive valiance in calling for freedom, justice and human dignity. And the current international system is being exposed to many tests. … And also, some of our countries are facing unprecedented foreign and domestic threats; and the signs of discrimination, racism, intolerance and systematic international terrorism are increasing on the international arena; and the problem of climatic change is exacerbating; and the suffering of some of our developing countries regarding poverty and endemic diseases is increasing.
“… The fate of the Nonaligned Movement is to play a pivotal role in these critical moments. The foundation of the movement came in the prime of the cold war and in the light of the struggle of colonized peoples at the time to acquire its independence and sovereignty. And it has established its 10 principles as pillars to protect the political and economic interests, and if you will, you may even say the social, cultural and religious interests of the peoples of its countries. In spite of the change in the political map, and consequently the features of the relationship between countries, and even the entire international formation, the movement has kept its fundamentals and its compass hasn’t changed, and it has never deviated from the main principles of its founding. On the contrary, this movement, with this collective entity, was able to protect the interests of the developing, recently independent states, and it managed to create an international umbrella … this entity succeeded in creating a broad international umbrella that established new legitimacy for its countries’ foreign policy … a legitimacy that allowed for newly independent states at the time to see beacon of a new goal based on the principles of positive neutrality, preventing polarized alliances and establishing the correct concept of independence.
“…We raise the slogan of ‘towards a more just world’ … Could this slogan materialize and turn into reality? This is what we pursue, and this is what we insist on, and this is what we all move towards with determination to all be an active party to the international system and its management … The new Egypt, after the blessed revolution of the 25th of January 2011, is seeking a just international system that brings the developing countries from the realm of poverty, subordination and marginalization, to the realm of prosperity, leadership and power, and real participation in the international affairs, which won’t be accomplished without reaching an international belief in the necessity of enforcing the principles of democracy in the international system, and pluralism in its structure, its political structure. It’s no longer acceptable at all to respect the foundations of democracy on the level of the state and to ignore them on the international level, between states. And it’s also no longer acceptable to observe the principles of pluralism and put them aside in the field of international relations. And from here, and with these meanings, and with this will, and with this conscious look to the future, Egypt believes that one of the core pillars of this new … international system that we want mainly lies in enhancing the contribution of developing countries in managing and reforming the institutions of global governance to guarantee the fairness of participation in decision making and framing the directions on the international arenas politically, economically and socially.
“The first step of accomplishing this goal is comprehensively reforming and broadening the Security Council; reforming and broadening the Security Council comprehensively to be more representative of the established international system in the 21st century rather than a reflection of how things used to be … during the past century … It’s no longer acceptable, for example, to continue the historic injustice done to Africa, with no representation in the permanent membership category in the Security Council, and only weak representation in the nonpermanent membership category, even though many of the issues on the agenda of the Council concern the states of the African continent.
In parallel, we must also activate the General Assembly of the United Nations and increase its contribution to the issues of international peace and security in its capacity as the more representative apparatus of the countries of the world and the peoples; and the more expressive institution of the views of the international community. We have witnessed during the past months many examples of the importance of this body’s taking a more active role when the Security Council’s hands were tied because of the veto power that prevents viable solutions to these problems. The last of these crises, which has been and still is rending the hearts of all of us: the Syrian crisis.
“… Since the start of the Nonaligned Movement, the Palestinian cause has been on the top of its priorities and it will remain so until a just and comprehensive solution is reached that guarantees that legitimate rights not be subject to alteration for only the Palestinian people: the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and establishing a state on their land with the will of all their children inside and outside the Palestinian land. And today, brothers, we’re asked to continue standing up for this right and providing the political support … and other kinds of support required to accomplish recognition for the Palestinian state in the United Nations as a state with full membership, and illuminating the suffering of this people, especially its prisoners … from the difficult conditions imposed by the occupation that contradict all the norms and principles of international law and human values and human rights … in addition to divine law stipulating that all people must be free in their lands and not tyrannized. … I’d like to praise the declaration produced by the ministerial meeting of the coordination bureau in Sharm el Sheik last May regarding the Palestinian prisoners, which highlighted the unfortunate conditions of the Palestinian captives in the Israeli prisons and detention centers and that the movement is in solidarity with their honorable struggle and their resistance to occupation. And for its part, Egypt will support any Palestinian move in the General Assembly or the Security Council to join the United Nations. … We will continue sponsoring the Palestinian reconciliation to support the unity of Palestine. And from here, I encourage the Palestinian brothers with their different approaches to complete their reconciliation and to move towards fulfilling recent agreements, disregarding narrow frictions among themselves, to be able to concentrate on their real cause: to resist the occupation and to free themselves from it. And I can’t ignore the most recent Israeli measure of preventing some of ministers from the movement’s states from entering Ramallah to take part in the emergency ministerial meeting of the committee of Palestine and Palestinian lands on the 5th of August, which was condemned by Egypt and the states of the movement.
… Our solidarity with the children of beloved Syria against an oppressive regime that has lost its legitimacy is a moral duty as much as a political and strategic necessity that stems from our belief in a coming future for the free proud Syria. And we must all offer our complete, undiminished support for the struggle for freedom and justice in Syria, and to translate our sympathy into a clear political vision that supports peaceful transition to a democratic government reflecting the desires of the Syrian people for freedom, justice and equality — and, at the same time, protects Syria from entering into the realm of civil war or falling into the abyss of division and sectarian conflict.
From here comes the importance of uniting the opposition so as to secure the interests of the entire spectrum of the Syrian society — without division or discrimination — and protect the regional unity and peace of this sister state and this beloved people. And Egypt on its part is completely ready to cooperate with all parties in seeking to prevent bloodshed and to agree on the principles based on which the new free Syria will rise to inaugurate a time of building and growth dreamed by every Syrian loyal to his homeland, people, family and history. Egypt has presented its initiative in this regard in the Mecca conference last Ramadan and it is calling on the acting parties to take the necessary steps to find the suitable solution out of this crisis suffered by the Syrian people. The bloodshed in Syria is in our hands … and we must realize that this … cannot stop without an active intervention from all of us. …
“…We are all facing other additional challenges that require us to continue enhancing and deepening the relationships of cooperation between our states to realize our people’s common aspirations. In spite of the pivotal role of the Nonaligned Movement … in revising the treaty on the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons … to empty the region, the whole region, of nuclear weapons and all weapons of mass destruction … we’re still facing serious challenges to accomplish these goals … all the countries of the Middle East region joined the treaty except for Israel. And on the same front, we must also preserve our fixed position, which is also Egypt’s position with you; the fixed position of holding on to the right to the peaceful use of nuclear energy while fully respecting the international commitments imposed by the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons treaty. …
“And on the social and economic levels, we must also continue … the coordination between the Nonaligned Movement, the group of 77 and China to realize the common goals of the developing countries in different fields in a way that enhances cooperation between the countries of the south on the one hand, and to continue the dialogue with its international partners and others on the other hand. And we must also focus on accomplishing the achievements that have been made in meeting the goals of the millennium … and creating the required balance and preserving the rules of international interaction in the field of sustainable development, and providing an international atmosphere that supports comprehensive economic and social development, in addition to intensifying the attention given to the causes of the youth to realize their aspirations towards a better future, and continuing the efforts of empowering women and preventing all forms of discrimination against them.