Algeria and the Non – Aligned Movement

Algeria has been a natural ally of the Non- Aligned Movement since the movement’s inception. As a newly independent ex-colony in the post World War II era, Algeria empathized with the aspirations of other newly independent states, most of which became members of the Non-Aligned Movement. The adherence of Algeria to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as well as its commitment towards its ideals and objectives dates back to the November 1954 Revolution. Algeria was associated right from the launch of the Afro-Asiatic Conferences of Solidarity. The lack of regional organizations with the ability to internationalize the Algerian question resulted in Algeria being actively involved in the historic Bandung conference of the Non-Aligned countries. The 1955 Bandung Asian-African Conference was a turning point in world history. For the first time representatives of the former colonized nations united forces and proposed alternatives to the world order dominated by the superpowers.
It was the first major grouping of the so-called Third World, a term indicating the willingness to take up position outside the two blocks of superpowers. The conference triggered solidarity movements among the peoples, countries, states and nations of Africa and Asia. It made possible the representation of African and Asian countries in the UN, and the recognition of the voice of colonized peoples in the world order. It accelerated the complete re-conquest of independence of Africa and Asia. It led to the Non-Aligned Movement between the two blocks of superpowers. It allowed the newly independent countries to lead a development based on their national, popular and sovereign interests. It contributed enormously to the prevention of a possible third world war and to the evolution of humanity, towards a more just and peaceful world.
The Algerian delegation that included Mr. Hocine Ait Ahmed, Mr. Mhamed Yazid, Mr. Hocine Lahouel and Mr. Chadli Mekki, seized this historical occasion in Bandung to reach Representatives of 29 States and 30 National Liberation Movements, attending the meeting, thus letting the world know about the Algerian people’s struggle and it’s just cause. Thus, even before its independence, Algeria brought its contribution to the Movement of the Non-Aligned, to defend its interests and to promote its principles. In the 1961 first ever NAM Summit at Belgrade, Benkhedda, the Algerian representative thanked the NAM member states for the support they extended to the country in fighting the injustices of colonialism. Between 1967 and 1973, Algeria spearheaded the efforts to transform the Non- Aligned Movement from an essentially neutral non partisan posture to an active positivist stance. Algeria made its support clear to the then anti-colonial movements in Africa, for the Vietnamese revolution, for the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and so on.
Algerian leader Boumedienne was of the opinion that it was economic development and cooperation among the countries of the global South which would unite them. He famously remarked: “If politics will divide, economics will unite us”. In 1973, Algeria played host to the fourth summit of the Non-Aligned Movement. The summit marked a watershed in the annals of the third world cooperation and laid the foundation for many future conferences and events. The Algiers Summit of 1973 established- following a proposal of Algeria, -the Coordination Office of the Non-Aligned, in New York. The body whose importance has been confirmed from year to year is entrusted with ensuring the continuity of the Movement’s Action between Summits and Ministerial Conferences.
Algerian foreign policy continued to be shaped by the principles of Non-Alignment in the next decades. In line with its multifaceted support to the people of Africa in their combat against colonialism and apartheid, Algiers hosted in 1981 a conference of the Non-Aligned on Namibia. Algeria took an active part in the reform and modernization process of the Movement, initiated during the Cartagena Summit in 1995 and the Havana Summit in 2006.
In 2014, Algiers organized the NAM ministerial meeting. The Algiers Conference of 2014 organized under the theme of “Enhanced Solidarity for Peace and Prosperity” outlined a message of hope and renewal, faithfully to the original spirit of Afro-Asian and Third World ideals that were cherished in the Bandung conference.
The Algiers conference also provided a new impulse to the Movement’s capacity of proposal and action on major international issues, in particular those relating to peace and security, development, human rights, environmental protection, and global governance. The Prime Minister of Algeria, representing President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, noted that terrorism, organized crimes and trafficking were threatening international peace and security. He said the international community was aware of these threats and had to cope with them in a coordinated manner; and it was extremely important for the NAM to continue its commitment for their eradication. He also emphasized the importance of coordination to reform the multilateral system so that the developing adapt to the current challenges of the global order.
Algeria has always played an important role in the Non-Aligned Movement since its membership at the Summit of Belgrade in 1961.
Prominent Algerian leaders such as Ben Bella and Boumedienn have influenced the Movement’s standing in the international order and the current Algerian position on prominent global issues adheres to their legacy and the principles enshrined by the Non-Aligned Movement.

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