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A GROUP of 17 countries, including Palestine, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Iran, announced the establishment of the Group of Friends in Defence of the Charter of the United Nations earlier this week.
Initially declared in a concept note in March, the international alliance aims to “preserve, promote and defend” the UN Charter in the name of multilateralism, which it says “is currently under an unprecedented attack, which, in turn, threatens global peace and security.”
This attack includes the unilateral withdrawals from global treaties and the imposition of crippling economic sanctions, the group said, as it seeks to counter the domination of the UN by the United States.
“We seize this opportunity to reaffirm that the Charter of the United Nations and its purposes and principles remain timeless, universal, and that they are all indispensable for preserving and promoting international peace and security, the rule of law, economic development and social progress, as well as all human rights for all,” the coalition said.
The UN Charter, the foundational document of the world body, declares in its first article that one of the organisation’s goals is “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms.”
The signatories said that the charter remains a “true act of faith that still today fills us with hope in the best of humanity,” having for the past 75 years served as a code of conduct governing international relations based on respect for the sovereignty of states, self-determination and non-interference.
“We invite those members of the international community that are committed to an effective and inclusive multilateralism, with the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and with the values of dialogue, tolerance and solidarity, to consider joining the group of friends,” a statement said.
The initial signatories are Algeria, Angola, Belarus, Bolivia, Cambodia, China, Cuba, North Korea, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Iran, Laos, Nicaragua, the state of Palestine, Russia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Syria and Venezuela.
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