“The preservation of peace…It is in the pursuit of this policy that we have chosen the path of nonalignment in any military or like pact of alliance.”
– Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
The Non-Aligned Movement which boasts of 120 nations as its members which significantly is 55 percent of the world’s population came when developing countries formed a pact to join together and refused to comply with the western powers during the cold war. As of now the NAM is an organization with little influence on the political happenings of the sphere, that is now changing. Europe isn’t as powerful as it used to be and everyone is fighting a war against terror and economies have taken a hit, developing nations as visualized by Nehru the first prime minister of India hold the key to the future. The other explanation of the NAM was it being an organization that gave a voice to the people of who did not have a global voice, global being America and other European voices.
The Non-Aligned Movement was formed in 1960 in the path opened by the Bandung Conference of 1955.
The Members of this movement have little in common, except the fact that they all support peace and cooperation. With the happenings in the Middle East and Israel, the world is at a tumultuous stage, countries at loggerheads with each other, this movement more than ever is significant, the call for peace is a call that cannot be ignored. In the last few months with tensions escalating between Russia and America a second cold war was in the works, it would have impacted world economy in a lot of ways but its isn’t reminiscent of the cold war that prompted the NAM.
The five principles laid down by late Chinese Premier and was enforced by other greats of the NAM movement are mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non- interference in domestic affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful co-existence. These timeless principles dictate the NAM and the countries, when global issues arise out of issues that belie these principles the countries need to have a closer look and should attempt to work on them.
The one obvious red flag is a few member countries of the NAM, who haven’t been exactly pro-peace. America never missed a chance to attack ‘rogue countries” who posed a threat, with some of these countries being NAM members. What NAM means to each country is obviously of importance, if this non-alignment is a way of opposing western powers then the mission of the movement has certainly been amiss. Jawaharlal Nehru a key figure in the movement outlined very clearly what this movement should mean to all member countries he spoke about progress through peace and “a deliberate policy of friendship,” and also the positive aspect of peace. This movement is not a rebel movement, it was about standing up for peace. Today we need this movement back, and with the right ideals and principles. Peace is now about standing together, global cooperation.
This global cooperation and call for peace has been witnessed at the 17th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), When the head of the South African diplomacy stressed on the “growing” solidarity of members that strengthen the common will of NAM countries to achieve peace, development and prosperity.
For all the naysayers of the NAM, one statement neatly sums up the significance of NAM, Benin’s President Yayi Boni said during the 16th summit that NAM is not against any specific country or government, and called on NAM members to forget about their differences and become “one political voice.”All this dictates that the key to global peace lies with the Non-Aligned movement, the very movement that sought to protect developing countries and give it a voice.