Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the High-Level Commemorative Meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the First Conference of Non-Aligned Countries, Belgrade, October 11, 2021
President Ilham Aliyev,
President Aleksandar Vucic,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to express gratitude to the President of Azerbaijan and the President of Serbia for organising this anniversary event, as well as to all members of the Non-Aligned Movement for their unanimous decision to grant observer status to Russia.
I have been instructed to read out a message to the participants in this meeting from President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin:
“I cordially welcome you on the occasion of the opening of the High-Level Commemorative Meeting dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Non-Aligned Movement plays a very significant role in international affairs, consistently upholds the principles of unconditional equality of all nations, respect for their sovereignty and legitimate interests. It supports a constructive multilateral dialogue in strict accordance with the spirit and letter of the UN Charter.
Today, with the global situation growing more and more turbulent as humanity confronts a growing number of threats and challenges, the positive potential of the Non-Aligned Movement is especially important. This influential and respected organisation is actively involved in resolving crises and makes a significant contribution to collective efforts to build a more democratic and stable world order, and to strengthen trust and mutual understanding between members of the international community.
Russia has been recently granted observer status with the Non-Aligned Movement. This, undoubtedly, creates new opportunities for interaction in addressing current issues on the regional and global agenda, to ensure security and sustainable development worldwide.
I sincerely wish you success in your work and all the best. Vladimir Putin.”
I hope that today’s meeting in hospitable Belgrade, like the first Non-Aligned Summit held in the same city in 1961, will send a clear signal on behalf of the majority of countries about there being no alternative to interstate dialogue based on the principles of equality and conducted with an eye to effectively solving numerous problems of the modern era with the central and coordinating role of the United Nations.
Russia, like the members of the Non-Aligned Movement, regards the continuing attacks on the UN Charter as destructive and dangerous. The same goes for the attempts to replace the UN-centric architecture with non-inclusive concepts like the “rules-based order,” which is actually based on double standards and threatens to take us back to the era of neo-colonial bloc politics and divides. I am confident that by its united action the Non-Aligned Movement can oppose these attempts with success and to defend the ideals enshrined in the UN Charter.
The mutually respectful cooperation between Russia and Non-Aligned Movement members, including at the UN General Assembly, clearly confirms the consonance of our positions on key global issues from opposition to illegitimate unilateral sanctions to the fight against terrorism and the protection of human rights.
I hope that Russia’s obtaining observer status will help to enhance the effectiveness of our joint work, mutual support and coordination of actions in defence of the principles of international law in the interests of bringing more democracy into international relations.
Thank you for your time.