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Museveni stresses developing countries’ priorities at NAM

Museveni stresses developing countries’ priorities at NAM

Museveni lauds Uganda’s development model at NAM Summit (Courtesy photo)

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, in his capacity as the current Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), delivered a thought-provoking address at the 19th NAM Summit in Kampala. The summit, which convened heads of state and government from NAM member countries, aimed to foster unity, address global challenges, and promote the principles set forth by the Bandung Conference in 1955.

President Museveni welcomed dignitaries, including President IIham Heydar Oghlu Aliyev of Azerbaijan and the heads of state and government from NAM member countries. He underscored the historical significance of NAM, tracing its roots back to the Bandung Conference in 1955, where leaders such as Sukarno, Nehru, Nasser, and Chou En Lai laid the foundation for the movement.

The president highlighted the emergence of NAM as a response to the polarized world of the 20th century, divided between capitalist Western countries and communist Eastern countries.

Museveni, a self-identified “third generation” anti-colonial fighter, emphasized the importance of studying political economy to understand the forces that led to Africa’s colonization.

Science, technology, and societal progress

Museveni delved into the role of science and technology in societal development. He emphasized the unique capabilities of humans, with a superior brain, dexterous hands, and bipedalism, enabling the invention of tools and the advancement of society. The president argued that societies advancing in science and technology pave the way for positive social change.

However, he also noted that, as society progressed, a new form of oppression emerged – oppression by fellow humans. Drawing on the insights of Karl Marx, Museveni explored the various forms of oppression, including wars, slavery, imperialism, and colonialism, driven by greed and unnecessary exploitation.

“We should distinctly outline priorities that favor developing countries by upholding unity, solidarity, and collective coordination among our member states.”

Lessons from history and contemporary challenges

President Museveni cited historical examples, such as the Ottomans blocking the Silk Road and European explorers finding alternative routes. He criticized the exploitation and oppression resulting from European colonialism, emphasizing the negative consequences of such actions on Africa, the Americas, and Asia.

The president expressed disdain for the “philosophical, ideological, and strategic shallowness” of some global actors, calling for the respect of freedom for all. He urged against manipulation, lectures, and threats, advocating for leading by example.

NAM Principles and Uganda’s Development Model: Museveni reiterated the Bandung principles that NAM was founded upon, emphasizing respect for human rights, sovereignty, equality, non-intervention, and peaceful resolution of disputes.

He praised the success of Uganda’s development model, combining free-market ideas with selective state intervention, resulting in sustained economic growth over the past 37 years.

Global unity and future prospects

In conclusion, Museveni urged NAM to use its strength to influence global transformation positively. He emphasized the need for unity, solidarity, and collective coordination among member states, especially in negotiations for the Pact of the Future at the upcoming UN Summit in September 2024.

President Museveni assured full support for the Coordinating Bureau of NAM, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing developing countries in the pursuit of a better common future.

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