President Mahinda Rajapaksa left for Tehran yesterday to attend the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Governments of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).
The President is scheduled to address the Non-Aligned Movement Summit on 30 August and hold several bilateral meetings with leaders of various countries on the sideline of the summit during the course of his stay.
IRNA yesterday reported that a 50-member high-powered delegation, including the Foreign Minister, Petroleum Minister, a business delegation and a group of media persons would accompany the President.
Under the theme of ‘Lasting Peace through Joint Global Governance,’ a wide range of political, social economic issues is expected to be discussed at the event. Among key topics are plans to draw up a new peace resolution to solve the crisis in Syria, nuclear disarmaments and human right violations.
The Non-Aligned Movement represents two thirds of UN member states and heads of states and governments of some 100 countries are scheduled to attend the event. Included in the line-up are over 30 heads of states and governments, nine vice presidents and two parliament speakers. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is also expected at the summit.
Held every three years in a member state, the 15th NAM Summit was held in Egypt in July 2009, with the signing of Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration, an over 100-page final document. At the 16th summit, Iran will be taking over the organisation’s rotating presidency from Egypt for the period 2012 to 2015.
Sri Lanka was among 25 participants to attend the first-ever NAM Summit in Bangalore. The fifth NAM summit was held in Sri Lanka in 1976 under the leadership of late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike.