Heads of State or Government or Delegation,
13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit,
Dear Head of State or Government or
Re: Another Five Points for consideration by 13th NAM Summit to
make NAM relevant again so that it can begin the process of
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
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
NAM should encourage all member countries to
provide constitutional guarantee, including through a constitutional
amendment, of no discrimination on ground of language to their
10. Bridging the digital divide and ensuring free flow of
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.
Lim Kit Siang
Democratic Action Party Malaysia