Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has also highlighted the danger of fake news

Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan has expressed his concern that terrorism and its promoters continue to spread their tentacles unchecked, while fake news are wreaking havoc on social cohesion and collective security.

“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,” Muraleedharan said in his statement at the 75th UN General Assembly ministerial meeting of the Non Aligned Movement on Friday.

He said, “Humanitarian emergencies are straining capacities. Cyber security threats and the uneven impact of frontier technologies are causing turbulence. Development concerns remain paramount for the vast majority of the world’s population.”

Thanking Azerbaijan President Aliyev for taking initiative to establish the NAM Contact Group and Task Force in response to COVID-19 and proposing the convening of a special UN General Assembly virtual session on COVID-19, the Union Minister said, “We must work to reduce the socio-economic impact of this pandemic on the most vulnerable sections of our society.”

He said 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.

Talking about the consequence of the pandemic on the poor countries of the world, he said, “It is the people of our countries that stand to be hardest hit by this pandemic and its consequences. Just as this disease does not respect borders, our fight against it must be coordinated to be effective.”

Reminding the international community about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that he had conveyed to the NAM leaders during his virtual participation of the Movement’s summit, Muraleedharan said, the Prime Minister had emphasized the importance of a coordinated, inclusive and equitable response by the world to this crisis.

“Just a few days ago, at the General Debate of the 75th UNGA, he (Prime Minister Modi) assured the world that India’s immense vaccine production and delivery capacity will be used to help all humanity in fighting the crisis,” the Union Minister said.

“This is a manifestation of the approach that will guide India as it takes up its responsibilities of non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council in 2021-22, and Presidency of the G20 in 2022: deploying our rich developmental experience for the peace and welfare of humanity, treating the world as one family,” he added.

He said NAM has the potential to take the lead in addressing the primary issues of our 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,” the Union Minister said.

Categorically maintaining that NAM platform should not be used for venting bilateral grievances as they will rather weaken the Movement than strengthening it, he said, “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. 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.

“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 added.

“We live in times when more, and not less, collaborative efforts are needed. The NAM has a glorious past. However, how the future will judge us will depend on how we perform in addressing the defining challenges of our era,” the Union Minister said.