In a resounding denouncement echoing through the hallowed halls of the 19th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), member states rose united against Israel’s military campaign on Gaza. The pivotal moment occurred as President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, with a mantle of leadership bestowed upon him, orchestrated the passage of the 47-article Kampala Declaration. The forum, encompassing 120 nations steadfastly positioned outside the orbit of major power blocs, bared its collective conscience on Saturday, January 20, 2024.
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With deliberate precision, the declaration etched a powerful narrative, condemning the illegal Israeli military aggression on the Gaza Strip. The ink of diplomacy flowed, denouncing the indiscriminate attacks targeting Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure. The document resonated with a plea for an immediate and lasting humanitarian ceasefire, echoing the urgent need for compassion in the besieged strip.
NAM’s Declaration Echoes for Israel’s Compliance and Full Withdrawal
The hallowed words of the declaration demanded a return to the pre-1967 borders, setting the stage for a two-state solution. The vision articulated embraced the aspiration of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state, its destiny intertwined with the ancient alleys of East Jerusalem.
The summit, akin to a crescendo in diplomatic orchestration, underscored its unwavering support for the State of Palestine’s rightful entry into the United Nations. A call resounded through the chambers of global governance for Palestine to assume its rightful place on the international stage, a poignant moment in the ongoing struggle for recognition and justice.
The declaration, a testament to the NAM’s moral compass, castigated all measures by Israel to alter the legal, physical, and demographic status of the Occupied Syrian Golan. It demanded, with a resonance that could not be ignored, Israel’s compliance with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions. The climax of the narrative stood tall, an insistence for a full withdrawal from the Syrian Golan to the borders etched in the sands of time on 4 June 1967.
Africa’s Quest for Equality and Justice
The 19th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) took a resolute stance against historical injustices inflicted upon Africa too. A watershed moment unfolded as the declaration, sculpted with diplomatic finesse, unfurled its commitment to rectifying past wrongs. The assembly unequivocally rallied behind the call for increased representation for Africa in the reformed Security Council, aligning itself with the principled African Common Position as enshrined in the Ezulwini Consensus and the Sirte Declaration.
With a solemn pledge etched into the diplomatic fabric, the summit embraced a commitment to uphold and propagate respect for the foundational pillars of the United Nations charter. The essence of international law was woven into the declaration, with a deliberate emphasis on the sacred principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference, and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
‘Cruellest Genocidal Act’ – Said Leaders
In a stark denouncement that reverberated through diplomatic corridors, Cuba’s Vice President, Salvador Valdes Mesa, declared on a somber Friday, “Since October 7, 2023, we have witnessed one of the cruellest genocidal acts ever to be recorded by history.” The gravity of his words hung heavy, challenging the claimed civility of Western nations engaged in what he termed as an egregious assault.
Mesa’s impassioned plea echoed a question that resonated with moral urgency, “How can the Western countries, who claim to be so civilized, justify the murder of women and children in Gaza, the indiscriminate bombings of hospitals and schools, and deprivation of access to safe water and food?” His words, an indictment of conscience, cut through the diplomatic rhetoric, laying bare the human toll of the ongoing conflict.
As the conference unfurled its proceedings on a consequential Monday, the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, painted a vision of hope. He articulated a desire for the conference to stand “in solidarity with the Palestinian people,” acknowledging the steadfast support that has been a beacon since the beginning. Mansour cast a compelling narrative, rallying nations to continue their support until the tragic chapter finds closure, and the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people are realized.
Mansour outlined three imperatives for action—a call for an immediate ceasefire, urgent humanitarian assistance in Gaza, and a resolute stance against the crime of mass displacement, preventing a second Nakba. The urgency in his voice mirrored the stark reality on the ground, where lives were hanging in the balance amid the relentless onslaught.
A Defiant Call for Israel’s Accountability
The grim statistics laid bare by Mansour painted a haunting tableau of the toll exacted by Israel’s war on Gaza: 25,105 Palestinians killed, 62,681 wounded, with a staggering 70 percent of the victims being women and children. The numbers, more than mere statistics, were a shocking testament to the human tragedy unfolding before the eyes of the international community.
Toll of Israel’s War on Gaza
- Total Palestinians Killed: 25,105
- Total Palestinians Wounded: 62,681
- Women and Children Victims: 70% of total casualties
In a searing rebuke of the United Nations, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa took the stage, highlighting the inadequacy of the UN Security Council in maintaining international peace and security. His call for an immediate and comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza reverberated with a conviction that rose above bureaucratic inertia. Ramaphosa, citing the worsening situation, disclosed South Africa’s appeal to the International Court of Justice—a plea for provisional measures to halt Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, echoing allegations of genocide.
The climax of condemnation resounded in the words of Algerian President Abdelmajid Tebboune, delivered by Premier Nadir Larbaoui. Tebboune’s unequivocal demand for Israel to be held accountable for crimes against Palestinians marked the end of an era characterized by impunity. His words, etched in the collective conscience, proclaimed that the era of unaccountability had met its decisive end.
In this diplomatic theater, where words carried the weight of lives and justice, the summit stood at a precipice. The declarations, a symphony of condemnation, solidarity, and urgent pleas, were more than mere rhetoric—they were a testament to the collective responsibility of nations to safeguard the sanctity of human life and hold perpetrators accountable.