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Penyampai : DATO' SERI DR. MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD
Tajuk : THE CLOSING SESSION OF THE XIII CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERNMENT OF THE NON ALIGNED MOVEMENT
Lokasi : PUTRA WORLD TRADE CENTRE, KUALA LUMPUR
Tarikh : 25-02-2003
 
I am pleased that the XIII NAM summit has come to a successful conclusion today. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks and gratitude to all the heads of state and government for their kind attendance at this summit meeting and for their active participation in our deliberations. Their constructive views and suggestions have been of immense value to our meeting and to me personally.

2. I would also like to thank the Ministers, who in their interactive sessions, had generated many constructive ideas and suggestions on how best to improve our Movement and to make it more effective and efficient.

3. We have had an extremely useful exchange of views, covering many subjects of importance to NAM, particularly pertaining to the theme of the summit. We have had the opportunity to take stock of the state of our affairs and to begin the process of formulating appropriate strategies for the future of our Movement.

4. We have made an objective and hard-headed analysis of our contemporary world as well as of our Movement. We are mindful that the world we live in today is unipolar in character and is vastly different from the multi-polar world of the founders of our Movement.

5. It is clear that the relevance of NAM should no longer be questioned. Indeed, the Movement has become even more relevant today, for the protection and promotion of the interests of the countries of the south. It embodies our hopes and aspirations for economic prosperity in a world that is peaceful, secure and just.

6. It is also clear that the well-being of the world will be better served by a strong multilateral system, revolving around a United Nations that is more representative and democratic, than a unilateral system based on the dominance of one power, however benign that power may be. In this regard, we are resolved to give strong and sustained support to the United Nations, for its future is linked with that of the Non-Aligned Movement and multilateralism. 7. We have also noted the new challenges facing the Movement. Among them is the threat of international terrorism. We must play our part in the international effort to combat this menace.

8. Another is globalisation and the efforts towards integration of the developing countries into the new political, economic and human global order that is equitable, just and democratic.

9. Yet another is the revolution in the information and communications technology that is rapidly changing the world and widening the digital divide between the developed and developing world.

10. In the face of all these challenges, it is clearly in our interest to strengthen our unity and cohesion and speak with one voice on issues of vital importance to us. While we do not need to be confrontational in our approach, there is also no need to be subservient or defensive in our relations with the developed countries.

11. All of these and other challenges require appropriate and urgent responses, clear and pragmatic strategies, and well-coordinated actions. Our overall approach is a sound one and is consistent with the principles of justice and democracy. we must strengthen our unity and solidarity and expand our cooperation in the political, economic, social, cultural, scientific and technical fields.

12. I am particularly gratified that we have adopted the "Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Revitalisation of the Non-Aligned Movement". The declaration constitutes an important blue-print for our collective action. It provides clear guiding principles and practical action plans, which will assist us in charting our course in the coming years. We hope that with its revitalisation, our Movement would be more pro-active and responsive to the concerns and needs of member states.

13. Although it is not a part of the NAM process I would like us to note that the First-Ladies also held a meeting to express among other things their opposition to war as an instrument for achieving political objectives.

14. Each and every NAM member has an important responsibility and role to play in the revitalisation of the Movement.

15. I am confident that with a new sense of awareness of the continued relevance of NAM and the challenges confronting it, we shall rise to the occasion. As the new chairman of NAM, Malaysia looks forward to working very closely with the other members to further enhance the Movement's international profile and increase its political and economic "clout" in global affairs.

16. In formally assuming the heavy responsibility of the chair of the Movement, today, Malaysia trusts that it will have the full and unstinted support of each and every member of NAM. Once again, on behalf of Malaysia, express our deep gratitude to the membership of the Non-Aligned Movement for the honour accorded to Malaysia and the confidence reposed in us to lead the Movement for the next three, hopefully, fulfilling years.

17. Last but not least, allow me to thank all those involved in making this summit a success. To all the heads of State and Government who have flown in from all corners of the world, I would like to record my warmest feelings of gratitude for your presence and the ideas that you have contributed. To all other dignitaries and delegates, I would like to thank you for your cooperation and the flexibility shown during the course of negotiations. Last but by no means least, I would like to thank members of the secretariat, interpreters, documentation officers and other supporting staff, the Royal Malaysian Police and Armed Forces and other Malaysian Government departments and agencies for their roles in facilitating the smooth and efficient running of this six-day event.

18. With these words, I now declare the XIII Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement closed.

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