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Govt Allows Free Visas for NAM, G77+China Summit Delegates :: Uganda Radionetwork

Govt Allows Free Visas for NAM, G77+China Summit Delegates

The government notes the importance of the two summits to the tourism industry as the country as an investment destination, hence the suspension of visa fees
Advance teams of delegations to the twin summits undergo briefing on protocol in Kampala
Uganda has provisionally waived visa fee for all the 120 countries expected to participate in the 19th Non-Aligned Movement Summit and the 134 due at the G77+China meeting in Kampala next month.

This is aimed at easing travel to and within Uganda for the expected guests and ensure as many as possible attend, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The government notes the importance of the two summits to the tourism industry as the country as an investment destination.

"In this regard, gratis visas will be granted to all Members of Official Delegations," said Vincent Waiswa Bagiire, the Permanent Secretary.

The effort will also see visa applications processed online for those countries with no visa arrangements with Uganda.

This requires diplomatic missions of the participating countries to compile the lists of delegates for the arrangements to be done in time, according to Bagiire, as he addressed advance teams for the delegations in Kampala. 

With exactly five weeksremaining to the start of the Summits, the briefing was specifically intended to cover operational and logistical issues related to the Summits.

Ordinarily, a Ugandan visa costs 50 dollars or about 188,000 shillings. 

Usually, it is a requirement to complete the visa application form and pay the "Uganda visa on arrival fee"  before the travel document can be issued. 

The 19th Non-Aligned Movement and the Third South summits are scheduled to take place at the Commonwealth Resort, Munyonyo.

The PS also advised the advance teams to move around and identify accommodation facilities suitable for their delegates. 

"The accommodation at the Summit venue is not sufficient to accommodate all delegations. Accordingly, a number of hotelshave been identified for use during the Summit," he said adding that only a few vehicles will be allowed into the venue. 

Accordingly, the Government has made arrangements to provide shuttle transport for Delegates, between designated hotels and central locations and the Venue. 

The government of China has so far provided the government of Uganda 140 SUVs for the transportation of very very important persons (VVIPs), according to Lucy Nakyobe, the chief executive officer of the organising committee for the two events. 

The 19th Summit of Non-Aligned Movement Heads of State and Government, a forum of 120 member states will take place from January 15 to 20  while the South Summit of the G77+China will convene from 21 to 23 at the same venue. 

The Non-Aligned Movement was founded in 1961 with the view to advancing interests of developing countries in the context of the Cold War, the member-states being those with no formal preference of a side in the East-West confrontation.

Currently, it is the second largest intergovernmental membership organisation after the UN which is also made up of 60 percent members from NAM.

All but two African nations, South Sudan and Saharawi, are members of NAM, while 36 are from Asia, two (Azerbaijan and Belarus) from Europe while Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu from Oceania make the other members.

NAM also has 20 Observer member-states and 10 organisations, including the UN. 

On the other hand, The Third South Summit of the G77+China will convene under the theme, ‘Leaving No One Behind’, seeking to bring a "new dynamic to the cooperation among its 134 member States.

It aims to boost South-South cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, sustainable development, climate change, poverty eradication, and digital economy, among other areas. 

The Second South Summit convened in Doha, Qatar, in 2005, while the First South Summit took place in Havana, Cuba, in 2000, following a continental rotational basis. 

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