Modern World History

Non Aligned Movement

The Non – Aligned Movement is a movement represented by 115 members belonging to the developing countries. The movement has its origin in the Asia – Africa conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The meeting was convened upon the invitation of the Prime Ministers of Burma, SriLanka, India, Indonesia and Pakistan and brought together leaders of 29 states which were formerly colonies from the two continents of Africa and Asia to discuss common concerns and to develop joint policies in international relations. The conference was led by Indian PM Nehru along with Sokarno and Nasser. The third world leaders shared their similar problems of resisting the pressures of the major powers, maintaining their independence and opposing colonialism and neo colonialism. The term non-alignment as coined by V.K Krishna Menon in 1953 remarks at UN. It was used by Nehru in 1954 speech in Colombo, SriLanka. In his speech Nehru described the five pillars to be used as guide for sino-Indian relations which were first put forth by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai.Called Panchsheel ( five restraints) these principals would later serve as the basis of the Non –Aligned Movement. The five principals were :

  • Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  • Mutual non –aggression
  • Mutual non interferene in domestic affairs
  • Equality and mutual benefit
  • Peaceful co-existence

The conference held in 1955 at Bandung was a significant where participating nations declared their desire not be involved in the Cold War and adopted a declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation which included Nehru’s five principales .Six years after Bandung an initiative of Yugoslav president Tito led to the first Conference of Heads of State or Goverment of Non-Aligned Countries which was held in Septem 1961 in Belgrade. The term non aligned movement appears first in the fifth conference in 1976 where participating countries are denoted as members of the movement.

  • Respect for the fundamental human rights and for the purpose and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Respect for the sovereighty and territorial integrity of all nations.
  • Recognition of the movements for national independence
  • Recognition of the equality of all races and of the equality of all nations large and small.
  • Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country.
  • Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself singly or collectively in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.
  • Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
  • Promotion of mutual interests and cooperation.
  • Respect for justice and international obligations.

It is generally seen that the NAM was a product of the cold war era and is no longer relevant today.After the end of the cold war NAM is politically more relevant and economically more viable than ever before. The movement was basically about charting an independent path and not to be taken granted by either of the blocs. NAM rejected blind adherence. The emergence of the unipolar world in the post cold war era has made more relevant now there are no checks and balances that were provided eariler by the competing powers.Large group of countries like NAM can provide the check in the current world system. NAM is economically more viable today. In the Cold War era most of the countries were dependent on two blocs for economic aid.This dependence was often compromised the political independence. Now NAM countries are financially much stronger and the self-reliance goal of the South is within reach now.South as emerged as an important player on the world economic stage in terms of GDP, saving, investment, exports, foreign exchange reserves ,financial assets at home and abroad.However this will be possible only if the South can work together as a bloc in the vital areas such as trade,finance,investment ,energy technology and designing of development strategy.

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