Govt Will Not Buy New Cars for G-77, Non-Aligned Movement Summits 2024

The government has resolved not to purchase new vehicles for the Non-Aligned Movement – NAM Summit slated for 15 – 20 January 2024 at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Speke Resort due to lack of funds but will mobilize fleets from across Ministries, Departments, and Agencies – MDAs.

This was contained in a progress report by John Mulimba, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs/Regional while addressing Members of Parliament during a plenary sitting chaired by Speaker Anita Among on Thursday.

Mulimba explained that due to resource constraints, the government through the Ministry of Works and Transport has inspected a total of 215,92 vehicles, out of which 1,543 have been found to be in good working condition and ready for the purpose.  

According to Mulimba, this time, however, the Government is required to purchase 30 vehicles, as part of the cooperation arrangement. The Ministry of Works will further inspect 1,543 fleets before the end of December 2023, and early January 2024, which will be supplemented by vehicles donated by bilateral partners, China and India to facilitate the movement of over 3,000 visitors.

In 2020, China donated 70 vehicles to Uganda and another 70 have been donated, and have arrived in the country. Mulimba revealed that India has equally donated 10 Executive Buses and five Ambulances which are expected to arrive in the country by the end of November 2023.

On accommodation, the Minister said so far the Uganda Tourism Board – UTB has already graded the first batch of 32 Hotels that have been visited, with a total of 6,248 rooms around Kampala and Entebbe while more facilities are pending grading.

The 19th Summit of NAM Heads of State and Government and the Third South Summit will be held back-to-back. It is divided into three segments, namely: 15 – 16 January (Senior Officials), 17 – 18 January (Ministers of Foreign Affairs), and 19 – 20 January (Heads of State and Government.

On the benefits from Uganda’s chairmanship of NAM, Group of G77 (G77), and China Summits, the Minister explained that the global event is expected to contribute to the promotion of Uganda’s national interests, through the enhanced positive image of the country over the medium to long term.

Bugweri County Member of Parliament, Abdu Katuntu, observed that by hosting such global gatherings, Uganda continues to enjoy the confidence of the international community citing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting – CHOGM in 2007 among others, and the forthcoming Commonwealth Speakers and Presiding Officers Conference slated for 3-6 January 2024.

Speaker Anita Among who chaired the plenary sitting said the update was informative to legislators who have been sceptical about the event. At its meeting held on 27 March 2023, the Cabinet approved a budget for the organization of the two Summits amounting to 3.594 Billion Shillings.

NAM was founded in 1961 at the First Summit held in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, out of a desire to avoid polarization of countries of the developing world during the Cold War era, between the pro-Soviet communist countries of the Warsaw Pact, and the pro-American capitalist countries belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – NATO.

The Movement was also intended to further promote the decolonization of Asian and African countries which were fighting for their independence. Currently, NAM is a forum of 120 Member States with 18 Observer countries and 10 Observer Organizations.

Immediately after the Summits, Uganda will assume the chairmanship of NAM for the period spanning three years from 2024 to 2027 and the Group of 77 and China, for 2024. Unlike other organizations, NAM has no formal organizational structure, constitution, or permanent secretariat.  

The activities of the Movement are mainly coordinated by the Permanent Representatives in New York, under what is called the Coordination Bureau, led by the Permanent Representative of the country holding the chairmanship. Other activities are carried out by five Missions where NAM has Chapters, namely: Geneva, Paris, Vienna (Berlin, for Uganda), Nairobi, and Addis Ababa.


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