Second Open Letter to KL NAM Summit on another Five Points to make NAM relevant again so that it could begin the process of revitalisation

Second Open Letter
to 114 Heads of State or Government or Delegation to the 13th Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Kuala Lumpur
by Lim Kit Siang

(Petaling Jaya,  Tuesday):



Heads of State or Government or Delegation,
13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit,
Kuala Lumpur

Dear Head of State or Government or Delegation,

Re: Another Five Points for consideration by 13th NAM Summit to make NAM relevant again so that it can begin the process of revitalisation

Further to my Open Letter yesterday asking the 13th NAM Summit to address five issues which will go a long way to make NAM relevant again to the hopes and dreams of their peoples in the 116 member nations, so that NAM can begin the process of revitalization in deed and not just in word, this is a Second Open Letter on another five points with the same objective.

In his message, the United Nations Secretary-General had rightly reminded NAM delegates that the current focus on the looming war in Iraq should not distract countries from effectively confronting the political, economic, social, environmental and other challenges in every region.

This is also the reason for the submission of Ten Points to the 13th NAM Summit in my two Open Letters to make NAM relevant again as the issues canvassed are intimately related to the quality of life of the majority of mankind from the NAM member countries and the character of the international society and order in the 21st century..

The further Five Points, making a total of Ten Points to Make NAM Relevant Again, are:


6. Full participation of NGOs in shaping NAM agenda, policies and directions

One of the biggest flaws of the 13th NAM Summit, as with all other NAM summits, is the lack of a parallel NGOs conference to allow for input by civil society organizations to qualitatively participate in the NAM processes to shape NAM agenda, policies and directions - as has become the norm in all major international conferences.

7. Rule of Law and Independence of Judiciary

Most of the "rogue" states in the world where the independence of the judiciary system is elusive and the rule of law non-existent are to be found in NAM.

In Swaziland, the entire Court of Appeal resigned recently and plunged the country into a judicial crisis after the Prime Minister publicly announced that he would ignore its judgment. In another scandalous case, the Attorney-General told high court judges in his country that they would be fired if they did not drop the case of a mother suing the palace for the return of her teenage daughter, allegedly abducted to become the tenth wife of Swaziland's King Mswati III.

NAM should set up a mechanism to protect and promote the rule of law and independence of the judiciary.

8. Establish a NAM Election Commission

NAM should establish an Election Commission to monitor the holding of elections in NAM countries to ensure the holding of free, fair and clean elections and a meaningful functioning of the democratic process and system of government.

9. International Mother Language Day

NAM should encourage the observance of the International Mother Language Day on February 21 among its member nations and support UNESCO to enact a Declaration on Linguistic Rights and Linguistic Diversity to uphold linguistic diversity and respect for personal rights, entrenching three important principles:

  • Language, as an expression of the identity of every person, is an inalienable right.
  • Public authorities shall base their linguistic policy on respect for linguistic rights, promotion of the conditions that favour the exercising of these rights and the preservation of linguistic diversity, both within the State and in the international arena.
  • Everyone has the right to recognition of and respect for his or her language, to identify himself or herself as a member of his or her linguistic community, to use his or her language in relating to and associating with other people, in private and in public, in order to maintain and develop his or her own culture.

NAM should encourage all member countries to provide constitutional guarantee, including through a constitutional amendment, of no discrimination on ground of language to their citizens..

10. Bridging the digital divide and ensuring free flow of information

Concrete measures must be adopted to bridge the digital divide between the information-rich and information-poor countries, as well as to ensure the free flow of information to the peoples of NAM countries.

The sacrifice of the lives of Malaysians by denying their right to information about the worst dengue epidemic in the nation's history, resulting in unprecedented death toll from dengue, in order to ensure the success of the 13th NAM Summit in Kuala Lumpur cannot be in line with the NAM concept of a new information order, and raises the fundamental question whether NAM Summits and international conferences are people-friendly or hostile.

It is hoped that these Ten Proposals will help in the start of the revitalization of NAM after its 13th Summit in Kuala Lumpur.

Yours sincerely,

Lim Kit Siang
National Chairman
Democratic Action Party Malaysia



* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman