To understand this story you need to first recognize that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a coalition, named during the Cold War when countries chose sides between the West and the U.S.S.R.. This group continues to wield an outsized influence, particularly in General Assembly and ECOSOC committees–where majoritarian voting dominates–and so this alliance of countries has the numbers to call the shots.
And so, Egypt’s new president makes a trip to Tehran with an unexpected message that doesn’t make his hosts very happy:
Mr. Morsi, Egypt’s new Islamist president, whose decision to accept Iran’s invitation to attend the meeting was considered a major victory by the Iranians, likened the uprising in Syria to the revolutions that swept away longtime leaders in North Africa like Mr. Morsi’s own predecessor in Egypt, Hosni Mubarak.
“The Syrian people are fighting with courage, looking for freedom and human dignity,” Mr. Morsi said, suggesting that all parties at the gathering shared responsibility for the bloodshed. “We must all be fully aware that this will not stop unless we act.”
Mr. Morsi, pointedly, did not mention unrest in Bahrain, possibly to avoid offending Saudi Arabia, which has helped Bahrain’s monarchy suppress the uprising.
With the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, sitting beside him, Mr. Morsi delivered a stinging rebuke of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria, whom Mr. Ahmadinejad and other Iranian leaders have staunchly defended throughout the conflict.