Uganda is set to chair the Global South Association of 120 countries after hosting the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit in Kampala in January 2024.
President Yoweri Museveni will take over from Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev to lead the second-biggest group of countries after the United Nations.
Uganda will chair the group from 2024 to 2026 and the summit is scheduled for January 15 to 20, officials said.
The Non-Aligned Movement Summit was founded in 1961 under the banner of anti-colonial, anti-imperial, and non-alignedism, and several leaders from developing countries attended the Non-Aligned Movement Summit.
There are fears that some rogue countries like North Korea will send representatives to the meeting.
The focus will be on the North Korean delegation given its latest activities in the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea plans to use the Non-Aligned Movement Summit only as a venue for propaganda of the North Korean regime and has no will to play a sincere role as a member of the international community.
North Korea is continuing to conduct intercontinental ballistic missile tests and nuclear tests and has recently continued to undermine peace in the international community such as defining the Republic of Korea as the main enemy and threatening to devastate it if the opportunity arises
In addition, North Korea has been the main culprit in sickening Africa by using diplomats to smuggle ivory and rhino horns in the past.
In the second half of 2023, North Korea withdrew its embassy to major African countries such as Uganda, Guinea, Senegal, and Angola, showing a behavior of weakening diplomatic relations with African countries.
On the other hand, the size and rank of the North Korean delegation attending the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Uganda have been significantly reduced compared to the past, which symbolizes a decline in North Korea’s interest in this summit and member states and a reduction in diplomatic business, officials said.
In the last summit, North Korea sent Kim Yong-Nam and Choe Ryong-Hae, the chairman of the Standing Committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, as the head of the delegation at the 17th and 18th Summit of the
Non-Aligned Movement in Venezuela and Azerbaijan, respectively.
“It is a desperate and disrespectful measure, not only to Uganda but also to Africa and the Non-Aligned Movement’s Member States, to attend this meeting after closing the Ugandan embassy just three months before the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement,” said an official aware of the plans.
An official said they don’t know the number of those to attend the meeting from North Korea.
The Non-Aligned Movement, founded in 1961 at the height of the Cold War between the West and East, has a membership of 120 countries — 53 from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and two from Europe.
Officials said the focus of the summit would be on bringing together leaders from around the world to address pressing global issues and foster cooperation among member nations.
The organizers assured the international community that Uganda was secure despite the recent travel advisories by the US and UK embassies over threats of terrorism in the country.
Kampala city is undergoing a facelift as many roads are undergoing repair, causing massive traffic gridlocks in the past couple of weeks.
This is one of the biggest global meetings Uganda is hosting after the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007.
According to President Museveni, Uganda was picked because of its neutrality on international issues as it did during the vote on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the 11th Emergency Session of the UN General Assembly, 31
African countries voted to endorse a resolution asserting the ‘Principles of the Charter of the UN’ seeking a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in Ukraine.”
In the vote in which 141 member states supported, seven voted against and 32 abstained, Uganda, abstained.
Uganda will also host the G77 + China conference from January 20 to 23, 2024, a day after hosting the NAM, according to ICT and National Guidance Minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi, who added that hosting the two events shows how Uganda commands respect and trust on the global scene.
Under the theme “Leaving no one behind”, the group that brings together developing countries that are members of the United Nations will be attended by China.
The South Summit is the supreme decision-making body of the Group of 77.
Many see the Kampala summit themed Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence, as a reflection of Africa’s growing influence on the international scene, and the summit will foster discussion, and debate on shared interests at a time the world is facing challenges of emerging power centers, away from the traditional global blocs.