Indian Prime Minister will the Non Alignment Meeting (NAM) for the second time running and in his place Indian Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu will represent India at the 19th Non Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25th & 26th of October.
Mr. Modi’s absence can be seen as a move away from the 60 year-old organization that India was a founding member of, by the NDA government. In the last NAM which was held in 2016, India was represented by then Vice-President Hamid Ansari at the NAM summit in Venezuela.
“Long-held assumptions and alignments rooted in the legacies of colonialism and the ideology of the Cold War are making way for new configurations and partnerships,” External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said in a statement at the NAM ministerial meet in Baku. However, he also claimed that “India remains committed to the principles and objectives of the Non Aligned Movement, including our long-standing solidarity and support for the Palestinian cause.”
When asked about Mr. Modi’s absence at the 120-member movement as a downgrade on the Indian representation in the organization, Mr. Jaishankar denied such reports.
“It may not be possible for PM [Modi] to attend all multilateral events, given the huge demands on his time,” said a senior official, pointing to the fact that in the past, Prime Ministers attended the UN General Assembly regularly as well, but PM Modi has not followed that trend either and attended the General Assembly only on three occasions.
S.Jaishankar also stressed on the fact that the NAM summit must take bold decisions to fight terrorism “collectively” and “across all fronts”, and advocated the finalisation of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) that India had proposed in 1996.