In a joint venture, the government of Uganda and businessman Sudhir Ruparelia are building a contemporary Convention Centre at Commonwealth Speke Resort Munyonyo to host the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in January 2024.
Some of the amazing features in the $40 million (Shs140 billion) project were revealed during a Tuesday press briefing and tour where we learnt that the construction will include a 3,500-seat ultra-modern auditorium, a suspended restaurant overlooking Lake Victoria, and additional presidential suites with smaller conference rooms for sideline meetings during the NAM summit.
Mr. Sudhir provided the land and technical supervision of the project, with Finance Minister Matia Kasaija saying the government lacked enough money to build its own convention centre on its land.
“It is an urgent project, and a lot of money is needed which will be difficult for the government [to muster at short notice]. [The] government does not have all the money. There are many things we have to do; so, if we find a partner, it is easier,” the Minister said earlier adding: “We are undertaking the project in partnership with Sudhir. [The government puts in] and Sudhir puts in money. If we go together in business, when it starts to make money, we share the profits.”
The Commonwealth Speke Resort Munyonyo is a private, five-star resort owned by Sudhir’s Ruparelia Group, and often hosts major government and international events.
NAM is an International organization consisting of 120 countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It aims at creating dialogue for a peaceful and Prosperous world in a just and equitable order. It is the largest grouping of Member states worldwide after the United Nations (UN).
The basic concept for the organisation originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia. The first NAM Summit Conference took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in September 1961.
It has an official membership of 120 States as of April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan). There are 17 countries and 10 international organizations that are 7 Observers at NAM. Uganda has been endorsed to officially Chair the organisation on behalf of Africa for the period from 2023 – 2026.
NAM operates on the ten (10) Bandung principles, including respect for the sovereignty, equality and territorial integrity of all states; rejection of the possibility of an unconstitutional change of government, as well as external attempts to change the regime of government; the preservation of the inalienable right for each state is free, without interference from outside, to determine its political, social, economic and cultural system; refusal from7 aggression and direct or indirect use of force; non-application of any unilateral economic, political or military measures.
NAM holds Summits, Foreign Ministers level7 conferences, and meetings in New York at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the NAM member countries during the sessions of the UN General Assembly, Meetings of the NAM Coordination Bureau, activities of the Chairman and “Troika”, meetings of sectoral ministers of NAM members countries (ministers of labor, health, information), topical thematic meetings.
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