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‘We should promote trade amongst ourselves,’ – Museveni urges member states at NAM Summit

President Museveni delivering his remarks at the closure of the NAM Summit on Saturday, 20th January, 2024 at Speke Resort Convention Center, Munyonyo.

President Yoweri Museveni Saturday emphasized the need to promote trade among the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) member countries, saying that it’s a crucial factor in creating affluence and shared prosperity.

“Since we are members of the same group of countries with similar interests, we should promote trade amongst ourselves because when I buy from you, I’m supporting your prosperity and when you buy from me, you are supporting my prosperity,” Mr Museveni said.

The President who was speaking at the closure of the NAM Summit 2024 at Speke Resort Convention Centre in Munyonyo also reiterated the importance of following the Bandung principles, particularly the value of humility.

“In my closing remarks at the NAM 2024 summit this evening, I reiterated the importance of following the Bandung principles, particularly the value of humility. I stressed the need to recognise that there are multiple valid perspectives and ways of doing things which must be respected.”

According to the President, NAM has the capacity to solve a lot of problems if member countries cooperate among themselves.

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“Remember we have been saying that wealth comes from producing goods and services and selling them. Now that means three things; number one is investment to produce the goods or services and we can cooperate here. Those people with surplus capital can invest in our countries and we produce goods and services which means that the NAM governments must create a conducive atmosphere for investments to take place,” he said.

“Now once you produce a good or a service, then the next challenge is who buys what you have produced. Somebody must buy it and in big quantities so that you continue expanding, that is why there’s an internal market, like in Uganda here we are a population of 46 million people but the internal market of Uganda is not enough, that is why we need the regional market; integration in the East Africa and Africa so that we can deal with the issue of the market regionally and internationally.”

President Museveni however noted the producer of a good or a service cannot be linked with the consumer with infrastructure.

“You need infrastructure, you need roads, the railway etc. to link the producer and a consumer. All these are areas of opportunities for all our NAM countries and the Group of 77 who account for 80 percent of the population of the world.”

President Museveni also stressed that the Secretariats of NAM and G-77 should bring ideas of how they can promote and expand interstate trade among member countries.

On the other hand, the President disclosed that as NAM member states, they aim at achieving affluence for the whole world.

He advised that in order to do that, members should follow the Bandung principles which start with humility; by being humble and not to think that what they think is the only way of doing things.

“This will be the first time, if it is achieved in the coming years, that the whole world is affluent. Until 1980, the only affluent part of the world was Western Europe, North America and Japan, the rest of the world were in poverty. In the last 40 years, we have seen the spread of affluence to some other countries like China and what we are aiming at is affluence for the whole world. We may not achieve it in a short time, but we should have it on the radar screen as our aim,” he said.

“I’m glad that we are all here and we seem to be in the right way, unlike the other people who are full of themselves and think that the only way is the way they think.”

On his part, the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, H.E Antonio Guterres congratulated Uganda upon assuming the chairmanship of NAM.

He however expressed concern over the ongoing conflicts and wars in the different regions of the world that have affected the globe negatively.

He specifically pointed out the conflicts in Sudan and Gaza, before calling for immediate ceasefire and unconditional release of hostages.

“We must do all we can to stop this war (Israel and Palestine) from spiraling over all the regions. The refusal to accept the two states solution for Israelis and Palestinians and oppressing the Palestinian people is unacceptable. This will prolong the conflict and it will become a major threat to security and emboldened extremism everywhere,” H.E Guterres said.

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“The right of the Palestinian people to be with their own state must be recognised by all,” he added.

The NAM Heads of State and Government summit that closed on Saturday, January 20, 2024 has been taking place in Uganda since 15th January at Speke Resort Convention Center, Munyonyo.



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