New Delhi: In a significant development, Prime minister Narendra Modi will participate in a video conference meeting of non-alignment movement (NAM) on COVID-19 crisis. The meeting will take place at around 4.30 pm IST. Besides PM Modi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will also present in the virtual meet. Also Read - Coronavirus Cases in India Cross 1.9 Lakh-mark; Delhi Seals Border With UP, Haryana For 1 Week | Key Developments
This is the first time PM Modi is taking part in a NAM meeting. In 2016 and 2019, he had skipped the summit. Modi is expected to outline India’s Covid-19 strategy in a statement at the meeting. Pakistan, too, would be participating in the NAM virtual summit. The country will be represented by President Arif Alvi. Also Read - Imran Khan Says it Was 'Mistake' to Enforce Strict Lockdown Even as COVID-19 Cases Cross 72,000-mark
The meeting will be chaired by Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, current chairman of NAM. The title of the summit is “We stand together against COVID-19”. Also Read - Coronavirus in Maharashtra: 2361 Cases, 76 Deaths in 24 Hours; Total Tally Crosses 70,000-mark
“We hope that the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group’s Summit will make a significant contribution to the mobilization of NAM member states in the fight against coronavirus, strengthening of solidarity and multilateralism,” Hikmat Hajiyev, Head of the Department for Foreign Policy Affairs of Azerbaijan’s Presidential Administration said as quoted by Azerbaijan State News Agency or azertac.
Non-Aligned Movement is an idea that emerged in 1950 and the initiative was led by the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser and Present of erstwhile Yugoslav Josip Broz Tito.
NAM is the second-largest platform globally in terms of country member ship after the UN. While it currently has 120 member states, 17 states which are observers in the last few years the grouping has lost the main rationale of the existence of remaining equidistant to 2 powers–US and Soviet Union, after the disintegration of the latter.
(With inputs from Siddhant Sibal, Zee Media)