NAM and principles of Panchsheel/ Peaceful co-existence

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru coined the term ‘Non-Alignment’ during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The origin of the Non-aligned movement however can be traced to the Asia-Africa conference hosted in Bandung, Indonesia in April 1955. During this Conference, a 10-point ‘Declaration on Promotion of World Peace and Cooperation’, incorporating the principles of the United Nations Charter and five principles of Panchsheel recommended by Nehru, which were  unanimously adopted by the participating countries, most of which were newly independent.
The Communiqué of the Conference underscored the need for developing countries to loosen their economic dependence on the leading industrialized nations by providing technical assistance to one another through the exchange of experts and technical assistance for developmental projects, as well as the exchange of technological know-how and the establishment of regional training and research institutes.
The fundamental principles of NAM were based on the five rules of Panchsheel.
1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
2. Mutual non-aggression.
3. Mutual non-interference in each other’s affairs.
4. Equality and mutual benefit.
5. Peaceful co-existence.
NAM adheres to these above mentioned principles. The five principles of co-existence were incorporated in the list of basic guide lines for the NAM to deter from involvement of these newly independent countries into wars. Since some of the member countries were new to independence state sovereignty was of paramount importance. Thus the principle of ‘mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty’ was given vital importance. Witnessing the experience of wars, of death and destruction ‘mutual non-aggression’ was articulated as the second principle of Panchsheel. The essence of the newly won freedom entailed the will and the ability to shape the country’s future liberated after decades and sometimes centuries of domination and alien rule. The promise of ‘mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs’ is therefore an expression of a desire to carve out a future, free of external influence. The other two principles of Panchsheel i.e. ‘equal and mutual benefit ‘and ‘peaceful coexistence’ were integrated with the perspective of healthy bilateral relations which vital for the member countries.
The primary of objectives of the non-aligned countries focused on the support of self-determination, national independence and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of States; opposition to apartheid; non-adherence to multilateral military pacts and the independence of non-aligned countries from great power or block influences and rivalries; the struggle against imperialism in all its forms and manifestations; the struggle against colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, foreign occupation and domination; disarmament; non-interference into the internal affairs of States and peaceful coexistence among all nations; rejection of the use or threat of use of force in international relations; the strengthening of the United Nations; the democratization of international relations; socioeconomic development and the restructuring of the international economic system; as well as international cooperation on an equal footing. Since its inception, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has waged a ceaseless battle to ensure that peoples being oppressed by foreign occupation and domination can exercise their inalienable right to self-determination and independence.
The principles that would govern relations among large and small nations, known as the “Ten Principles of Bandung,” were proclaimed at that Conference. Such principles were adopted later as the main goals and objectives of the policy of non-alignment. The fulfillment of those principles became the essential criterion for Non-Aligned Movement membership; it is what was known as the “quintessence of the Movement” until the early 1990s.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries played a key role in the struggle for the establishment of a new international economic order that allowed all the peoples of the world to make use of their wealth and natural resources and provided a wide platform for a fundamental change in international economic relations and the full economic emancipation of the countries of the South. To this day, sixteen Summit Conferences of the Non-Aligned Movement have been held.
1.    Respect of fundamental human rights and of the objectives and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
2.    Respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.
3.    Recognition of the equality among all races and of the equality among all nations, both large and small.
4.    Non-intervention or non-interference into the internal affairs of another country.
5.    Respect of the right of every nation to defend itself, either individually or collectively, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
6.    A. Non-use of collective defense pacts to benefit the specific interests of any of the great powers.
B. Non-use of pressures by any country against other countries.
7.    Refraining from carrying out or threatening to carry out aggression, or from using force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.
8.    Peaceful solution of all international conflicts in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
9.    Promotion of mutual interests and of cooperation.
10.Respect of justice and of international obligations.
The mainspring of Panchsheel is multilateralism and mutual beneficence. Non-alignment itself is an embodiment of the principles of Panchsheel. The ideology of acceptance of Panchsheel was suggested by the then Indian Prime Minister. NAM has raised important issues in multilateral fora on matters related to disarmament, including: nonproliferation, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, NAM and UN fora, NPT related issues, nuclear weapons free zones, negative security assurances, and country specific issues. Now, fifty years later, in a world still searching for moral certainties and Panchsheel represents a moral compass. In the present day context the Movement not only remains focused on the above areas but also works towards the restructuring of the international economic order.

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