REMARKS BY DR. FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, AT THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE XIII CONFERENCE OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT. KUALA LUMPUR, FEBRUARY 25, 2003.

 

Esteemed Dr. Mahatir bin Mohamad,

Chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement;

Heads of State or Gobernment;

Delegates and guests:

 

On behalf of the Government and the people of Cuba, I would like to express my appreciation to the participants in this gathering for the confidence showed in naming my country to host the next Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement. It is a great honor, for greater than our modest contribution to the common cause, and we will not fail you.

We firmly believe that the necessary process toward the revitalization of our Movement, that we are all set to undertake, will enable us to recover the dynamism and strength required to take up the challenges and dangers of todayís world. The Non-Aligned shall claim back its role in the international arena as its work is stepped up by Dr. Mahatir bin Mohamad, the talented and resourceful Prime Minister of Malaysia, a well-known, respected and admired leader.

Dr. Mahattirís glory and prestige were enhanced when in the face of the grave crisis that hit Southeast Asia, he envisioned new avenues and audaciously challenged hateful procedures and fearsome institutions. Today, largely thanks to his creativity, his character and his most able leadership, Malaysia is perceived by all as an admirable nation.

As for Cuba, we are willing to work with all of you for the consolidation of NAMís actions both inside and outside the United Nations mechanisms, and to strive for peace, justice, equal opportunities, and respect for the principles consecrated in the International Law, which have always been the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. Together we shall strive for development and against an international financial and economic orden heedless of our needs that submits us all to increasing poverty and dependence.

In the pursuit of such goals, Cuba is committed to promote cooperation and coordinate efforts with all nations and it will not fail to offer its selfless and altruistic solidarity to other peoples that have suffered under colonialism and the most ruthless exploitation.

Our next conference in Havana, in the year 2006, shall prove that NAM has again become an effective force in the international arena. Today, NAM is more necessary than ever. If in the past, when there was a struggle between two superpowers, we fought to occupy a worthy place in the world, today we should fight off the risk of unipolar hegemonism and work for the only viable, endurable and acceptable way to survive, that is, for a multilateral world to prevail where peace, freedom, development and progress can be realized by all.

Our peoples need it and we cannot fail them. Finally, I would like to reassure all participants in the XIII Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement of Cubaís gratitude and unrestrained commitment.

Thant you, very much.