Speech by Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere Chairman of the South Commission (South Center) at the Non Aligned Movement Summit, 1-6 September 1992, Jakarta, Indonesia
Dear Chairman and Friends. By the time the South Center has finished its main tasks, the Northern conflict of East-West has finally finished. That said, it should be noted that the resolution between the Cold War participants was not done for the sake of bring piece in the future world and allowing peace and justice worldwide. On the contrary, it has led to the general economic and political collapse of the Eastern Hemisphere in the North. In addition, some member states have disintegrated — and, unfortunately, bordering on the founding member of our movement.
These episodes led to two extreme and significant impacts to all nations of the South. First, they have added to the importance of developing nations building a national self-reliance system and increasing their economic integration at all levels.
There was not enough money in the North for all the Grants, loans or even foreign direct investment that the South countries as a whole were hoping for (and certainly competing). And now, such limited resources as the North African market economies are willing to use abroad are being diverted, and will be directed more towards meeting the greater demand by the countries in the old Soviet Union and East of Europe more than the developing nations in the Southern hemisphere.
We must face these challenges: promises can be made, but in reality transfers to the South will decrease of course. And as you know fellow Gentlemen in this Non Aligned Movement Summit, the South is now transferring its capital to the North, for a loan account only! Continuing with economic policies that maintain or even increase our dependence on the North is a road to disasters. We have to intentionally fully concentrate our efforts in developing independence on our national and economic affairs as the highest priority.
In addition, the powerful nations of the west now rationalizes that their Cold War victor is an automatic pass (and undeniable force) to push their ideas about economy and politics all over the regions of the South. These rich nations exercise control via their international funds and commercial institutions, and in certain cases using embargos that actually interfere with politics, and in the end the North forces countries in the South to abide with their procedures.
Increasing ‘terms’ have been imposed on Grants, Loans, and even common trade relations of developing countries; The extension of conditions is used to force us to adopt Western political systems, especially in the definition of ‘Human Rights’, and the national economic management policies mandated by Western countries. At the same time the protection of diversity is increasing in the North, and our fragility of disunity is being used to suppress our proposals in international dialogues and even in the South-North bilateral dialogue.
The reality is that the widening gap in income and technology capabilities between the North-South is being used by the North side against our development strategies, our political structures, our economic policies, and our defense forces. Additionally, the dialogue of North-South of affairs involving governing of the world – which calls for equality among nations and conduct of mutual respect – is highly being suppressed by the super nations’ powerful forces and authoritarian confrontation against various states of the South.
Dear Chairperson, a lot of countries in the South are in the agreement with believed ideas of the super nations in the North, some actually think that in the current modern world, their citizen’s demands will be satisfied if they agree with the superpowers. Few countries still adhere to their own philosophies in governance. But our membership of the Non Aligned Movement has nothing to do with those ideologies, political philosophies, or real decisions.
Being a member can easily be defined as we are all demanding for justice and responsibility, for all our nations and citizens to have the freedom to make decisions by themselves regarding policies of economy and politics in the context of the benefits they see for themselves. That right is the only ideology that unites us in the Unified Movement; Defending the right of our nations to formulate their domestic and international policies has always been its primary purpose. For Southern countries, the freedom is defined as there are no countries that are controlling policies of any other countries; the principles of this movement are created basing on this aspect and nothing else.
And our equality of freedom in a free world desperately needs to be guaranteed and protected as there is now one Mighty Force, and one dominant Northern region, as it was when there were two regions and the ‘Non Aligned Movement’ that did not exist and considered itself a claim to independence.
The Southern Movement and Non Aligned Movement Summits are highly needed generally to be able to inquire and resolve issues of rights involving Southern countries and their people. During this time, the Non Aligned Movement is already available, but when it comes to negotiations it is the United Nations – Group 77.
Why then is there a Non Aligned Movement Summit that is no longer needed? Every leader in this Hall is aware of the pressures exerted by his or her experience of intentional pressure and unintentional pressure – sometimes even threats – that the Southern Governments have experienced from the governments and institutions of the North. Every Southern Consultant at the Uruguay Round Table, at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), – even in the Security Council itself – is now or in the near future subjected to a ‘vote as we will or otherwise’ by some nations in the north that are powerful.
I humbly urge the Honorable Members that instead of letting this Movement die, expand it and strengthen it. Now that we are not fighting against a divided North, nor under pressure from East or West, let us invite all Southern nations to join us so that together we can have a Southern Movement. all. Why should we restrain ourselves for political reasons in the process of initiating this Movement? All Southern countries have the same goal which is to be able to develop ourselves as free from foreign domination. Let us all try to work together for one goal.
In this context I am happy that China has been given a state of observing. Like many Southerners, i have the highest expectations of a strong South and China as a full member of this Movement. It is important for Southern countries to remember that the end of the Cold War means that the separated North is now turning into the united North. There is no secular reason why the end of the separation between the rich should lead to the disunity of the poor.
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