Subject: Timor Membership in NAM Recommended

February 20 , 2003 16:10PM

SOM Recommends Membership Of Timor Leste, St Vincent And The Grenadines

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- Senior officials of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) have agreed to recommend Timor Leste and St Vincent and the Grenadines as members of the movement -- a move that will increase its membership to 116.

Foreign Ministry Secretary-General Datuk Ahmad Fuzi Abdul Razak said that consensus on NAM's newest members was reached during the first session of the NAM Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here Thursday morning.

The meeting also established the Political Committee as well as the Economic and Social Committee, headed by Ecuador and the Philippines respectively.

"We have also agreed, and this is the initiative of Malaysia, to prepare a statement on the situation in Iraq and Malaysia will take the lead in coordinating discussion on the issue.

"We hope we will be able to complete our work and submit the draft to the ministerial meeting and the Summit itself," he told a news conference here.

South Africa is chairing the committee that will prepare a statement on Palestine.

Ahmad Fuzi hoped that the officials would be able to finalise the statements on Iraq and Palestine, the Final Document and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration by 8pm tomorrow.

The Final Document would outline the grouping's common stand on various issues while the KL Declaration is expected to emphasise continuing the revitalisation of the 47-year-old movement.

"It is a tall order and it is hoped that they will not introduce new proposals (but) will focus more on those issues (at hand)," he said.

On the possibility of a shorter Final Document, Ahmad Fuzi said it was for practical purposes.

"(The present draft of) the Final Document contains more than 300 paragraphs. They are trying to reduce the number of paragraphs and the issues. If they come out with a document that long, nobody wants to read it," he said.

Ahmad Fuzi said the meeting also agreed on the list of 22 vice-chairman's posts for the 13th NAM Summit.


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