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What Museveni’s NAM chairmanship means for Uganda

President Museveni taking over from H.E Ilham Aliyev, the President of Azerbaijan after becoming the new chairperson of NAM summit in Kampala on January 19, 2024.

Kampala, (UG): President Yoweri Museveni Friday assumed the chairmanship of the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) for the next three years.

The meeting of the Heads of State and Government currently sitting at Speke Resort Hotel Munyonyo is also expected to adopt the outcomes of the four-day deliberations by senior officials and ministers.

At the summit, Mr Museveni was accompanied by the First Lady, Janet Museveni, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Jeje Odongo, and Mr Henry Okello Oryem, State Minister for Foreign Affairs, among others.

In his opening remarks, President Museveni said the formation of NAM 61 years ago was a “necessary antidote to the irrational polarisation of the world between the capitalist western countries and the communist mainly eastern countries.”

“When you are out there, you may get stereotypes that we have no food, but we are dying from food here. Those images you see are not representative of all of Africa. I’m very glad to have this presence of many people so we can interact with you,” he said.

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“We are not impressed and cannot be part of the morbid and sickly bigotry of illogical thinking of this or that. That if you don’t believe this, I will attack you. This earth has been here for 3 billion years, now you come within 20 years and you think what you think is the only right thing! You must be sick. You must not impose your narrow unideological orientation on others,” Mr Museveni said.

President Museveni rallied NAM members to clearly define priorities that favour developing countries and drive on the strength of numbers to influence positions at platforms like the United Nations.

President of the 78th United Nations General Assembly, Mr Dennis Francis, tasked the NAM to exert its influence to bring to an end Israel’s war on Palestine.

“I renew the demand for an immediate humanitarian cease fire and release of all hostages,” he said.

The heads of state and government are expected to adopt two documents; the Kampala Final Document and the Political Declaration on Palestine that have been prepared by Senior Officials and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

The Ministers yesterday adopted the Final Document after lengthy deliberations and rope-pulling over the Israeli war on Gaza. The China-South Sea conflict is also said to have taken the delegates some back and forth to agree upon.

Mr Adonia Ayebare, Uganda’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations who chaired the Political Committee of the Senior Officials however told the media the members had reached a consensus and adopted the documents in record time.

The summit will also feature addresses by the President of the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, while representatives of the Regional Groups; African Region, Asia-Pacific Region, Latin America the Caribbean Region, and European Region will raise key concerns about their respective regions.

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The 19th Summit running under the theme, “Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence,” and closes today, Saturday January 20, 2024.

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