The 18th Mid-term Ministerial Conference of the Non- Aligned Movement focused on the theme, ‘Promoting international peace and security for sustainable development’.
In the Baku Declaration, ministers identified ending poverty and hunger as the “greatest global challenge” and indispensable to achieving sustainable development.
The Declaration calls for action on the SDGs, climate change, migration and a number of other issues related to peace and development.
7 April 2018: The 18th Mid-term Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) adopted the Baku Declaration, which reaffirms the importance of multilateralism and reiterates countries commitment to full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Conference focused on the theme, ‘Promoting international peace and security for sustainable development’.
The NAM Conference convened in Baku, Azerbaijan, from 5-6 April. A senior officials meeting took place from 3-4 April.
In opening remarks, the President of the UN General Assembly (UNGA), Miroslav Lajcak, highlighted the SDGs as tools for conflict prevention and peace. He said, “at the heart of every SDG lies a chance to eradicate a root cause of conflict.” Lajcak explained that sustainable development both helps and benefits from conflict prevention and cautioned that the outbreak or recurrence of conflict can destroy development gains. He concluded by underscoring the importance of the multilateral system in achieving peace and sustainable development.
In the Baku Declaration, ministers call for further coordination to build a fair, inclusive, transparent and effective system of global governance and address challenges and risks stemming from global security threats, extreme poverty, contagious diseases, climate change, environmental hazards and migration, among other challenges and risks. The Declaration reiterates South-South cooperation as an expression of cooperation and solidarity among the peoples and countries of the South.
On the UN, ministers reaffirm their support to multilateralism with the UN at its core and reiterate their call for strengthening and modernizing the UN and revitalizing the UNGA and strengthening its authority “as the most democratic, accountable, universal and representative body” of the UN, including in the area of international peace and security. Ministers further call for reforming the UN Security Council “in line with contemporary geo-political realities.”
On the 2030 Agenda, ministers reiterate their commitment to leave no one behind and to achieve all 17 SDGs in “an integrated and indivisible manner.” The Declaration identifies ending poverty and hunger in all its forms and dimensions as the “greatest global challenge” and indispensable to achieving sustainable development. Ministers reaffirm the principle of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR) and underline the importance of developed countries fulfilling commitments on finance, transfer of appropriate technology and capacity building to developing countries to realize the SDGs.
On climate change, the Declaration reaffirms climate change as a significant challenge and expresses concerns about the impacts of climate change, particularly on developing countries’ efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development. Ministers reiterate the importance of CBDR in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and urge developed countries to fulfill their commitments on finance, technology and capacity building. Ministers welcome the International Solar Alliance as a “tangible contribution” towards SDG 13 (climate action) and SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy).
On migration, ministers welcome the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and underline the importance of “constructive engagement” in intergovernmental negotiations on the adoption of a Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. Ministers acknowledge the historical contribution of international migration to nations and reaffirm the responsibility of governments to safeguard and protect the rights of migrants.
Ministers commended the role of UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Alliance of Civilizations in promoting intercultural dialogue. The Baku Declaration addresses a number of other issues, including trade negotiations, peacekeeping operations, disarmament, transnational organized crime, the Palestinian territory and media.