Minister for Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali led the Nepali delegation to the 18thMid-Term Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on 5 April 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Minister Gyawali attended the opening session of the conference which was addressed by Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In the first plenary that followed, Nepal was elected, by acclamation, as a Vice-Chair of the Ministerial Conference representing the Asia-Pacific region. After the presentation of the report of the Senior Officials Meeting held on 3-4 April 2018, the plenary held the interactive debate on “Promoting international peace and security for sustainable development”.
Participating at the debate, Minister Gyawali, highlighted the continued relevance of the NAM’s principles and underscored the significance of solidarity among NAM countries.
He also emphasized the importance of sharing of each other’s best practices and resources to deal with conflicts and achieve sustainable development. He also expressed Nepal’s readiness to share its experience of uniquely successful peace process.
As Vice-Chair, Minister Gyawali also presided over a part of the afternoon session of the interactive dialogue today itself.
In the course of the day, he also held several bilateral meetings. Minister Gyawali paid a courtesy call on President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. During the meeting, prospects of closer relations between Nepal and Azerbaijan on bilateral and multilateral fronts were discussed, among other matters of mutual interest.
Also, on the sidelines of the Ministerial Conference, the Minister met with Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Chair of the ongoing NAM Ministerial Conference; Jorge Arreaza Montserrat, Minister of People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the current Chair of the NAM and Maria Fernanda Espinosa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Ecuador. During these meetings, matters of mutual interests including the strengthening of solidarity among the NAM members were discussed.
Foreign minister Minister held a bilateral meeting with Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey during which views were exchanged on various areas of bilateral cooperation including air connectivity, tourism, trade, hydropower and newly established Technology Bank for least developed countries (LDCs). Moreover, Turkey is a co-Chair of the Group of Friends of the LDCs and an observer of NAM.
During these meetings, accompanying the Minister were Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations, Surendra Thapa, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations in New York and Jit Bahadur Karkee, Section Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministerial Conference was preceded by the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 4-5 April 2018. Durga Prasad Bhattarai, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nepal to the United Nations in New York, led the Nepali Delegation to the SOM. At the beginning of the SOM, Ambassador Bhattarai was elected as Chair of the Economic and Social Committee established by the SOM.
According to a press release issued by Permanent Mission of Nepal to the United Nations, New York, the Mid-Term Ministerial Conference will end tomorrow with the adoption of the “Baku Declaration” and “Baku Document” among others. The extensive preparatory negotiations on these documents held over the several months in New York.