Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime minister and one of the founding figures of the Non-Aligned Movement famously remarked in 1956 that : “ 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”. As the largest collective organisation representing the interests of the developing world, NAM, since its inception has held the highest regards for the principles of 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. The common belief in world peace and cooperation is a factor that binds all Member States. Throughout its history, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has played a fundamental role in the preservation of world peace and security.
Final Declaration of the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held at Island of Margarita in Venezuela echoed the above mentioned principles. NAM Member states reiterated their commitment towards the promotion peaceful settlement of disputes, in accordance with Article 2 and Chapter VI of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as with the UN Resolution 26/25 of 24 October 1970 and international law, in order to contribute to achieve said objective and to save future generations from the scourge of war and military conflict. UN Resolution 26/25 of 24 October 1970 calls upon states to comply in good faith with their obligations under the generally recognized principles and rules of international law with respect to the maintenance of international peace and security.
The resolution further urges States to co-operate with one another, irrespective of the differences in their political, economic and social systems, in the various spheres of international relations, in order to maintain international peace and security and to promote international economic stability and progress, the general welfare of nations and international co-operation free from discrimination based on such differences. NAM has further reaffirmed that the rule of law is essential to maintain international peace and security as well as achieving socioeconomic development.
At the 17th NAM Summit, Member States further affirmed that resolution of conflicts and the subsequent establishment of a firm and lasting peace requires a holistic approach that addresses the structural causes of conflicts, in order to realize the three pillars of the United Nations: peace and security, development and human rights.
Member State of NAM have also reaffirmed their determination to continue opposing any attempt aimed at the partial or total disruption of the national unity or territorial integrity of a State as well as their commitment for the respect of the sovereignty, the sovereign equality of States, the non-intervention in the internal affairs of States, the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the abstention from the threat or use of force, in accordance with UN Charter.
India, one of the prominent founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement, has resolved to act for Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development in the world. At the 17th NAM Summit, Indian Vice President Hamid Ansari stated that three issues – Peace, Sovereignty and Solidarity for Development comprised the theme of the NAM Summit meeting and also emphatically stressed the point that the core issue of sustainable development was not possible unless there were sustainable conditions of peace in societies. India’s views were shared by many other Member States. The Vice President of Nepal in his address at the 17th NAM Summit pressed Nepal’s unwavering faith in the fundamental principles and ideals of the NAM and stated that the movement constitutes one of the guiding principles of Nepal’s foreign policy. The Nepal Vice President referred to NAM as voice for peace, justice and equality among the NAM member states.
As the voice of developing countries, NAM continues to strive for the maintenance of international peace and security. Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in his closing address aptly summed up the above objectives and goals of the Non-Aligned Movement in these words “Here is written the history of the struggle of humanity of the peoples from the South for their right to peace”