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REMARKS AT THE SIXTEENTH SUMMIT OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT

Tehran, 30 August 2012

Your Excellency Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Your Excellency Mr. Mohamed Morsy, President of the Arab Republic of Egypt,
Your Majesties, Highnesses, Excellencies,
Your Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

May peace and the mercy and blessings of God be upon you.

First and foremost, I should like to greet the people and Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and wish them every success in chairing the sixteenth session of the Non-Aligned Movement. I commend the Arab Republic of Egypt for leading and revitalizing the Movement since taking the chair three years ago, in July 2009.

Your peoples are looking forward to the outcomes of the Summit. I sincerely wish you progress and prosperity in your endeavours to achieve development, genuine democracy and human rights while strengthening relations with other world States in accordance with the founding principles of the Movement.

I hope that those States that have recently joined the Movement will achieve their objectives in joining.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As President of the General Assembly and a citizen of Qatar which is a member of the Movement, it is a particular honour for me to address this Summit. This is a sensitive time not only for developing States, but also for developed States and the United Nations, which needs to asserts its credibility before its people.

We live in a world that is more closely connected than ever before. Events in the far East are felt in the westernmost State. The situation of the developed States of the North has a profound effect on those of the South. We are all affected by the current social, economic, environmental and man-made political and security issues.

The Charter of the United Nations sets forth the terms and principles underlying international relations. Responsibility for preserving global stability rests with Member States.

Those realities place a great responsibility on the States members of the Non-Aligned Movement. The changes in the global situation since its establishment fifty years ago make that responsibility all the greater. Member States call for the United Nations to be reformed on the grounds that sixty-six years have passed since its inception; but it is also right for those Member States, two thirds of which are represented here, to endeavour to reform and modernize their own to cope with the time and fulfil the aspirations of their people as well. Your role in that process is fundamental.

You are the largest group with which I have worked as President of the General Assembly, the largest political group, and the one most closely involved in tackling the global challenges that affect some of your countries in particular. Such crises threaten democracy, development and international peace and security.

You will be asking yourselves how to interact with the new international order as it now stands. I believe that it would be appropriate to examine your role from two standpoints: first, how you relate to one in fulfilling your objectives and, second, how you relate to the other international groups. This high-level meeting provides an opportunity for such a review.

Reform is necessary and crucial to the realization of good governance. There could be no better evidence than the geopolitical changes that have occurred in Arab States members of the Non-Aligned Movement. We could hardly have imagined such radical changes at the last Summit. They place a great responsibility on the shoulders of the new leaders, who are attending today's meeting in the wake of the struggle and resulting change pushed through by the peoples, which prevailed over the forces of injustice, repression and corruption.

As President of the General Assembly, I wish those new ambitious leaders every success in fulfilling their peoples' aspirations. I am prepared to work with them for a better future.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we discuss the values of justice and human rights, anyone who considers the founding principles of the Non-Aligned Movement can only feel pain and sadness at the human losses sustained by the Syrian people for over a year as a result of the crisis unfolding in that country.
A peaceful resolution requires dialogue leading to a democratic life chosen by the Syrian people.

The General Assembly has adopted two resolutions proposing a solution to the Syrian crisis. The Joint Special Envoy of the United Nations and the League of Arab States to Syria, Kofi Annan, performed admirably before leaving his post.  We must learn from his efforts and work to ensure the success of the new Joint Special Envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi.

All parties in Syria and abroad must cooperate to resolve the crisis peacefully and save the country's human and economic resources.

Any reasonable person should seek to learn from the events of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I expect that the Non-Aligned Movement will play a role of the utmost importance in the revitalization of the General Assembly and United Nations reform more generally, including reform of the Security Council to reflect the new world order. I see that process as a key priority in my presidency of the Assembly. I chose United Nations reform and revitalization as one of the four main areas of focus that I set out on taking office, areas that cover the range of the Organization's work. The others are the peaceful settlement of disputes, improving disaster prevention and response, and sustainable development and global prosperity.

A strong and effective General Assembly can strengthen the United Nations as it works to achieve its purposes under the Charter, each organ of the Organization fulfilling its tasks in a balanced manner.

I commend the rich and varied activity of the Non-Aligned Movement, which can help to promote a safer and more stable global environment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

With regard to the question of Palestine, the only peace that can be realized in the Middle East is peace based on justice and international legitimacy in an independent Palestinian State on the Palestinian land that has been occupied since 1967.

Here, I should like to note the capacity of the General Assembly to support the Palestinian people and its readiness to increase the level of that people's representation at the General Assembly, should the Palestinian leadership so decide.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I should like to take this opportunity to emphasize the importance of the issue of the Alliance of Civilizations as one of the focuses for strengthening global stability and mutual understanding between the peoples of the world and for spreading the culture of dialogue and acceptance of the other. This is what we need in order to address the roots of many local and regional conflicts. There is no question but that the support of the obvious political weight represented by the Non-Aligned Movement for the efforts exerted by the Alliance will increase the likelihood of its success.

As you know, the issue of mediation is one of the main areas which I chose for world leaders to focus discussion on in September 2011 in the course of the high-level segment of the United Nations General Assembly. On 23 May 2012 I held a high-level debate on the pivotal issue of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, namely, the role of mediation in settling international conflicts.

Once again, I should like to express the honour I feel in addressing you today and to thank you for supporting the important activities that I have arranged, which include the High-Level Thematic Debate on the State of the World Economy, which was held on 17 and 18 May 2012, the high-level thematic debate on the road to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that was held in Rio de Janeiro on 22 May 2012, and the adoption of the outcome document of Rio +20 at the beginning of this month.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Charter emphasizes the importance of mediation in the peaceful resolution of disputes, and the importance of refraining from the use or threat of use of force. Here, I can only reiterate the importance of resolving the Iranian nuclear issue by peaceful means and in accordance with international law.

Iran has the right, just as other States Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, to use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, in accordance with international law which regulates this right and governs the obligations associated with it. With regard to this issue, there is a need for good faith to be demonstrated in order to build confidence between all the regional and international parties.
It is of the utmost importance that the security and stability of the Gulf region should be maintained if the stability of the world as a whole is to be preserved. Commitment by the Gulf States to the principle of good-neighbourliness will strengthen the maintenance of international peace and security.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is beyond question that the effort to achieve security, development and well-being means that the international family to which we all belong must cooperate and firmly entrench the values of partnership based on justice and equilibrium. The Non-Aligned Movement in all its variety and with all its political weight is a fundamental partner in strengthening and activating that framework and in efforts to achieve our lofty goal of making the world more secured and prosperous.

I wish you every success in your work and every success for the sixteenth session of the Movement.

Thank you.

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