Laos Calls For Gaza Cease Fire, Seeks Support at Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Uganda

Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Uganda (Photo: Pathet Lao Daily)

The Lao delegation, led by Laos’ Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Phoxay Khaykhamphithoune, attended the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit held in Kampala, Uganda from 19 to 20 January.

Themed “Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence,” the summit gathered ministers and high-ranking delegates from 120 Member States, 104 observer nations, and representatives from international organizations to reaffirm non-alignment principles and address global challenges through unity and cooperation.

The Non-Aligned Movement is a forum of 121 member countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It was founded with the view of advancing the interests of developing countries in the context of Cold War confrontations. After the United Nations, the NAM is the largest grouping of states worldwide.

Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda and Chair of the NAM, emphasized the Movement’s stance against unilateralism, expressing that the NAM will refuse to accept developed countries dictating terms to independent states. Museveni also stressed that nations should not be subjected to manipulation, lectures, or threats, highlighting the importance of autonomy and sovereignty for member states within the NAM framework, Xinhua reported.

“Our stand is that the world should concentrate on the common human problems — prosperity through trade, the advance of science and technology to deal with human problems, the environment, crime, and terrorism. The future is bright if we act right,” he said.

Discussions also centered on defining common perspectives and enhancing cooperation to address global challenges.

On behalf of the Lao delegation, Phoxay highlighted the progress of the non-alignment process amid changing international dynamics and underscored the importance of restraint to address geopolitical tensions, armed conflicts, sovereignty violations, and external interference.

“Laos is deeply concerned over the ongoing deteriorating security situation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” he said in his speech addressing the summit, according to the Vientiane Times.

Additionally, the Deputy Minister sought NAM members’ support for Laos’ assumption of the ASEAN presidency in 2024 to promote peace, security, stability, and sustainable development in the Southeast Asian region.

The summit concluded with the adoption of four crucial documents, including the Summit Outcome Document, the Kampala Declaration, the Ministerial Declaration on the Palestine Problem, and a document expressing gratitude to the host country. Notably, South Sudan was accepted as the 121st new member of the group.