Serbian FM Nikola Selakovic said on Tuesday the 60th anniversary summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) had sent out messages of peace, solidarity and a desire to work together on the basis of the principles of tolerance and mutual respect and with the aim of a better future for the world.
At the closing press conference of the summit, Selakovic said he was pleased Serbia had been given the honour of co-hosting the event despite its observer status in the organisation.
He added that Belgrade was proud to have hosted the first NAM conference 60 years ago.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Serbia has succeeded in organising an exceptional and successful conference – one of the largest multilateral conferences in the world, he said.
He said that, in spite of pessimistic expectations, Belgrade had managed to bring together 120 delegations of member and observer states as well as special guests, and added that this was a testimony to the respect the NAM commanded.
“From some other parts of the world that are not really represented in the movement, we saw caustic statements that the movement is obsolete. Would so many delegations have come, then? An extraordinarily strong energy of freedom-loving peoples and states committed to the UN Charter and the movement’s principles was being felt here,” Selakovic said.
He particularly thanked the presidents of Serbia and Azerbaijan, Aleksandar Vucic and Ilham Aliyev, for supporting the conference.
“It can be said the meeting was successful… Belgrade was the centre of the world over the past few days,” Selakovic said.
The movement is not obsolete, but fresher and younger than before, he said.
Responding to a remark by “someone from a neighbouring country” that he had never mentioned the former Yugoslav leader Tito, Selakovic said that, irrespective of internal squabbles, Tito had been one of the political geniuses of the 20th century.
“We are proud of that, as well as of the fact that he wanted to be buried in Belgrade even though he was not a Serb, and his descendants also live here,” Selakovic said.
He thanked the son of the former Egyptian leader Nasser, the daughter of the former Ghanaian president Nkrumah and Tito’s grandson for “making the conference even more successful.”