India, led by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, attended the 18th mid-term ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Baku, Azerbaijan. The two-day event starting April 5th was themed around the promotion of international peace and security for sustainable development. At the meeting, Ms Swaraj stressed on improved international cooperation in addressing the threats of terrorism as it posed the biggest challenge to international peace and security, in turn creating hurdles for attaining the sustainable development goals (SDG). She said that genuine global partnerships have to be forged if the SDGs are to be achieved. Financing for development is of utmost importance to NAM countries.

In her address to the gathering, Ms Swaraj said that global challenges such as nuclear arms race, armed conflicts, refugee flows, terrorism, poverty and worsening environmental degradation required more effective multilateral resolutions. India’s participation in NAM stems from the country’s strong belief in success of multilateral platforms in achieving effective resolutions to global challenges. At the summit, Ms Swaraj signed two agreements with the Government of Azerbaijan in relation to visa procedures and cooperation in training of diplomatic officials. The minister also met with representative of certain other NAM member nations on the sidelines of the summit. NAM has membership of around 120 states.

At the summit, India focussed on the need of effective actions to expand the share of renewable power in global energy mix in order to protect the environment. Last month, at the initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India along with France launched the International Solar Alliance (ISA), through which more than 60 countries have joined forces to promote greater use of solar energy which is vital for achieving the SDGs. The ISA aims to mobilise investments of over US$1 trillion to help instal more than 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity worldwide by 2030. At the NAM event, India also reiterated its commitment to the shared goal of global elimination of nuclear weapons, a real threat to development.