SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt:
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Wednesday said the relevance of the Non-Alignment Movement (NAM has)
"never been greater than today" and called for greater solidarity
among members in tackling global challenges, including the financial
crisis, energy security, climate change and the UN reforms.
"History has shown that non-alignment
is an idea that evolves but does not fade. We must take it forward,
harnessing it to meet the challenges of today," Manmohan Singh said
on the opening day of the 15th NAM summit that is attended by 118
leaders from developing countries.
Invoking the words of India's first
prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru at the first NAM conference in 1961,
Manmohan Singh said: "The power of nations assembled here is not
military power or economic power, nevertheless it is power."
Nehru, along with Gamal Abdel Nasser
of Egypt and Marshal Tito of then Yugsoslavia, were prime movers in
shaping the NAM, founded at the 1955 Bandung conference.
Underlining the importance of NAM in
addressing contemporary global problems, Manmohan Singh said the
15th NAM summit was being held amid the world's worst economic
crisis in living memory.
The NAM has "a great stake in ensuring
that steps planned to revive the global economy take into account
the concerns of developing countries," he said.
"These include the challenges of food
security, energy security, the environment and the reform of
institutions of global governance," he said.
Manmohan Singh's reiteration of faith
in NAM, which proudly flaunted equidistance from the Cold War
superpowers, the US and the then USSR, has lost its relevance in
today's unipolar world
He also made a strong pitch for
reforms of global bodies, saying developing countries must be "fully
represented in the decision-making levels of international
Apparently setting the tone for what
he is likely to take up with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza
Gilani during their meeting on Thursday, Dr. Singh said that in
recent years terrorists have become "more sophisticated, more
organized and more daring".
Dr. Singh said that terror infrastructures in any part of the world
must and should be dismantled. He was indirectly referring to the
number of times India has been subjected to terror strikes in the
recent past, the alleged export of terror from Pakistani soil, and
in particular to the Mumbai terror attacks of November 2008 in which
more than 180 persons had been killed and more than 300 had been
maimed by terrorists from Pakistan.
"Terrorists and those who aid and abet
them must be brought to justice. The infrastructure of terrorism
must be dismantled and there should be no safe havens for terrorists
because they do not represent any cause, group or religion. It is
time we agree on a comprehensive convention on international
terrorism," the Prime Minister said.