ISLAMABAD   -  Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi yesterday said the COVID-19 pandemic revalidated the importance of Non-Aligned Movement’s founding principles rooted in solidarity, international cooperation and respect for multilateralism.

Participating in an online ministerial meeting of NAM - hosted by Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, the current Chairman of NAM, the Foreign Minister emphasized on strengthening of NAM’s shared values with practical actions, and offered concrete ideas in that regard. 

He called for strict adherence to the principles and purposes of the UN Charter and addressing the existing and emerging challenges to peace and security, especially the root causes of conflicts such as foreign occupation and suppression of fundamental rights.

The meeting focussed on the theme of “Bandung+65: More Relevant, United and Effective NAM against Emerging Global Challenges, including COVID-19” to mark the 65th anniversary of the adoption of NAM’s founding principles.

In his video statement, the Foreign Minister reiterated deep concern at the continued denial of the inalienable right to self-determination to the people of IIOJK, guaranteed to them under several UN Security Council resolutions. He added that the “legitimate freedom struggle of the people of Jammu and Kashmir is being brutally suppressed”.

The Foreign Minister noted the inextricable link between peace and development which necessitated concerted action to help developing countries in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

He recalled Prime Minister Imran Khan’s “Global Initiative on Debt Relief” aimed at creating increased fiscal space and financial relief for low - and middle-income countries in overcoming the adverse impact of COVID-19.

 Expressing deep concern on the deteriorating security situation in Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Foreign Minister expressed solidarity with the brotherly nation of Azerbaijan and supported Azerbaijan’s position which is in line with the several UN Security Council resolutions.