New Delhi, Sep 15 (IANS) Vice President Hamid Ansari on Thursday left for Venezuela where he will attend the Non-Aligned Summit being held on September 17-18.
“Reaffirming the solidarity of the developing world. VP Ansari departs for Venezuela to attend the 17th NAM Summit,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.
This will be the first time after 1979 that the Indian Prime Minister won’t be attending a NAM Summit.
Ansari will lead the Indian delegation at the 17th NAM Summit being held at the Venezuelan island of Margarita. .
The Summit will be preceded by deliberations at the ministerial and senior official levels.
Last month, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez visited New Delhi and extended an official invitation to India to attend the Summit.
The year’s Summit is expected to bring together leaders from the 120 developing countries that are members of NAM.
India, one of the founding members of the Movement, hosted the 7th NAM Summit in 1983 in New Delhi. The last NAM Summit was hosted by Iran in 2012.
NAM today comprises 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and two from Europe.
There are 17 countries and 10 international organisations that are observers at NAM, which came into being 55 years ago when leaders of 25 developing countries met at the 1961 Belgrade Conference.
“The Summit is expected to deliberate on issues of contemporary relevance and concern such as terrorism, UN reform, the situation in West Asia, threats to peace and security, UN peacekeeping operations, climate change, sustainable development, economic governance, South-South cooperation, refugees and migrants, and nuclear disarmament,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
It said that NAM was also an important forum for interaction with partner countries across continents, including from Africa, CARICOM, small island developing states (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs), with whom India has longstanding development partnerships in a spirit of South-South cooperation.
“NAM continues to represent space for action in pursuance of the collective interests of the developing world, along with the G-77, especially on subjects such as the reform of the global economic system and disarmament,” the statement said.