Politics, Security Problems Dominate NAM Meeting
Paul Ejime

DURBAN, S.Africa (PANA) -August 30: Political and security issues, including the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo and global disarmament, especially the situation in Asia, continued Sunday to dominate the preparatory meeting of the 12th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in this South African port city.

Delegates told PANA that the meeting of Ambassadors/senior officials which opened Saturday to prepare the agenda for the summit starting Wednesday, were dealing with these issues of concern to the 113-member movement, set up some 38 years ago to protect the interests of developing countries of the South.

They say that the crisis in Congo, where President Laurent Kabila is facing a rebellion that is assuming a regional dimension is high on the agenda, with South Africa trying to broker peace.

NAM is known to be strictly opposed to nuclear proliferation and the situation in Asia involving nuclear tests by India and Pakistan is also engaging the attention meeting, according to summit spokesman, Adul Minty of the South African foreign ministry.

Terrorism is also said to be high on the cards, with a final declaration expected to feature NAM's usual condemnation.

In this regard, delegates consider the latest statement by the US and Britain agreeing to the trial in a neutral country of Libyan suspects accused of the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight over Lockerbie in Scotland as a great relief to NAM member Libya, which has been under UN sanctions since 1992 over the bombing.

On the economic front, the implications for globalisation is being discussed with South Africa said to be making a case for an unprecedented ''Global Central Bank'' to stem currency crisis affecting both developed and developing economies.

There is also the problem of globalisation and world trade inequalities propagated by the World Trade Organisation, and how this could be corrected.

Minty noted that on many of these issues, some countries were holding strong positions. He said substantive progress was being made to cover sufficient grounds in the final statements for adoption by the foreign ministers and their leaders.