(Belgrade, 11 October 2021) Today Monday 11 October 2021, the Honourable Mark Brantley, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis addressed the High-level Meeting of the Non-Aligned Summit in Belgrade, Serbia:
– It is my distinct honor as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis to address this august body on this the 60th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement.
– First let me extend congratulations to His Excellency Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and current chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement for his stellar leadership and willingness to preside for an additional year particularly at this critical moment in our history.
– Let me also convey my gratitude to the Government of the Republic of Serbia for the warmth and hospitality extended to my delegation and the excellent arrangements made for us thus far in this historic city of Belgrade.
– History tells us that just over 60 years ago our world sat on the turbulent crossroads of a cold war, most of our member states struggled against colonialism and aggression; we fought for our freedom, our rights, our sovereignty. Thanks to the visionary leadership of the founding fathers of the Non-Aligned Movement who saw the critical importance of international peace and security for a viable future, and the need for an alternative approach to global affairs, the initial cornerstone of this movement was laid, uniting our countries under the core principles of Bandung.
– Throughout its history, this movement has successfully navigated the varying geopolitical issues and challenges of its time. However, 60 years later our world has approached another crossroad with new and emerging challenges which demand the collective strength, cooperation and urgent attention of our movement.
– Mr. Chair, the presence of this large gathering of member states even as we continue to brave the unprecedented ravages of the global Covid 19 pandemic, is testament to the high importance attached to the work of the Non-Aligned Movement and confidence in its ability to bring about transformative and practical changes in our approach to tackling the threats of this 21st century.
– As small island developing states, Saint Kitts and Nevis and our Caribbean region continue to confront numerous challenges that jeopardize our development agenda. The global pandemic has exposed the inherent weaknesses of our health and socio-economic architecture, and it has considerably eroded our post-independence gains. When we consider this and add to it the existential threat of climate change, limited access to concessionary financing, de-risking of correspondent banking services and the escalating cost of food and commodities, we quickly recognize that every sector of our Caribbean civilization is being adversely affected.
– While these challenges are not unique to my country and our region, they demonstrate the similarities in our struggles as developing countries in an increasingly complex and multi-polar world.
– From its inception, multilateralism has been the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement, recognizing the value of unifying our resources to confront common challenges. Today, 60 years on, this movement is stronger than ever, and is better positioned to effect meaningful change. Alone we may be small and voiceless, but together our collective voices can reverberate and create a beautiful symphony for change.
– Mr. Chair, my country remains committed to the Bandung principles, and looks forward to our increased future engagements as we work together to achieve our goal of securing peace, progress and prosperity for all Nations and for all humanity.