Tuesday, July 14, 2009



SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AFP) – Developing world leaders head to Egypt on Wednesday for a Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit that is set to be overshadowed by talks between nuclear rivals India and Pakistan. Prime Ministers Yousuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan and Manmohan Singh of India are to meet at the summit venue in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Thursday, amid hopes of a resumption of peace talks between the arch-foes, who have fought three wars.

Relations between the two worsened dramatically after last year's bombings in the Indian commercial capital Mumbai which killed 166 people and were blamed by New Delhi on the banned Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The Mumbai siege left in tatters a fragile peace process launched in 2004 to resolve all outstanding issues of conflict between the neighbours, including a territorial dispute over Kashmir.
India, along with host Egypt, is one of the founding members of the NAM, the largest grouping of countries outside of the United Nations, aimed at giving a voice to the developing world. Founded in 1955, NAM counts some 118 member states that represent around 56 percent of the global population. NAM states consider themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

Set up during the Cold War, the movement sought to distance itself from both the Western and Soviet blocs but today its raison d'etre is questioned after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the ensuing shift in power politics. This year, Egypt will replace Cuba at the helm of the movement. The two-day summit, held under the banner "International Solidarity for Peace and Development," aims for a "new international order... in which nations (are not judged) by their size or military and economic capabilities," Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said at a preparatory meeting. NAM groups 53 states from Africa, 38 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean, and just one from Europe -- the former Soviet republic of Belarus. The movement has 16 observer countries and nine observer organisations.

Prabhupada: Cold war and hot war, they say. When there is fire that is hot war, and there is diplomacy and politics, that is cold war. So war is going on. Sometimes it is hot, sometimes it is cold. There is no peace.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada
"Conversations: Garden Discussion on Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 16
New Vrindaban - June 26, 1976"

At the time of Mahārāja Yudhisthira, there were no different nations, although there were different subordinate states. The whole world was united, and the supreme head, being a trained king like Yudhisthira, kept all the inhabitants free from anxiety, diseases and excessive heat and cold. They were not only economically well-to-do, but also physically fit and undisturbed by supernatural power, by enmity from other living beings and by disturbance of bodily and mental agonies. There is a proverb in Bengali that a bad king spoils the kingdom and a bad housewife spoils the family. This truth is applicable here also.

Srila A.C. BV Swami Prabhupada:
"The Srimad Bhagavatam - Purport in Canto 1 - Chapter 10 - Verse 6"

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