The prime minister and senior officials of the RGOB including the minister-in charge of foreign affairs Khandu Wangchuk have left for Tehran, Iran to attend the 16th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit.
While at the Summit, Lyonchhen and the Bhutanese delegation will take the opportunity to discuss Bhutan’s candidature for non permanent membership in the UNSC with NAM Members and Observer States.
However Countries like the Republic of South Korea and Cambodia are also members of NAM which means these countries also might discuss their candidatures.
The 16th NAM summit was preceded with the ministerial meeting of the foreign ministers on 28th and 29th August and the senior government officials meeting from 26th to 27th August.
The Bhutanese delegates for the ministerial meeting will be led by the minister-in-charge for foreign affairs Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk while the senior government officials meeting will be led by the permanent representative of Bhutan to the United Nations in Geneva ambassador Daw Penjo from 26th to 27th August.
The theme for the 16th summit is ‘lasting peace through joint global governance’. Initially towards 1964 there was a wide spread condemnation of western colonization and retention of foreign military installation which shifted the focus away from essentially political issues to the advocacy of solutions to global economic and other problems.
However the movement’s main objective and goal is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of Non-aligned countries”. It is the largest grouping of States outside the United Nations.
The NAM was initially formed by the initiative of the former president of Yugoslavia Joseph Broz Tito in 1961 who was also awarded the Bangladesh Liberation War Honor alongside his majesty the third king Jigmi Dorj Wangchuck and others earlier this year by the Bangladesh people.
Currently the NAM consists about 115 members and 17 observer states which include the People’s Republic of China. Bhutan joined the organization in 1973.
At the 16th Summit, Iran assumes the rotating Presidency of the Non Aligned Movement for the next three years. Around 107 delegates will attend the meeting.
Lyonpo Khandu Wangchuk expressed his happiness over Iran hosting the NAM summit, while adding NAM was the second most important global alliance after the United Nations which plays a very influential role in the global arena.
The movement has however received continuous criticism on its dormant activities.
The last NAM summit was held in Egypt in 2009.