The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral. The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia. Subsequently, a preparatory meeting for the First NAM Summit Conference was held in Cairo, Egypt from 5-12 June 1961. Since its inception, the Movement therefore attempted to create an independent path in world politics that would not result in Member States becoming pawns in the struggles between the major powers. This resulted in a large part of its history being influenced by the global tension of the Cold War between the two super powers.
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 are ‘equal and mutual benefit’ and ‘peaceful coexistence’, which were integrated with the perspective of healthy bilateral relations that was vital for the member countries.
NAM has always maintained the right to call for independent and decolonized states without being subjugated under powerful nations. One of the primary 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; 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.“During its nearly 50 years of existence, the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries has gathered a growing number of States and liberation movements which in spite of their ideological, political, economic, social and cultural diversity have accepted its founding principles and primary objectives and shown their readiness to realize them. Historically, the non-aligned countries have shown their ability to overcome their differences and found a common ground for action that leads to cooperation and the upholding of their shared values.
The same virtue was upheld by the former Chairperson of NAM during an annual meet of the UN; Hossein Dehqani outlined the views of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) on decolonization especially in Puerto Rico. He made the remarks in the annual meeting of the UN special committee on decolonization. He stressed the rights of Puerto Rican nation to gain independence based on UN Resolution 1514 in 1960. NAM urges the US government to speed up the process of decolonization for Puerto Rico, which has been going on for 39 years now. The US should allow the colonized people of Puerto Rico to enjoy their inalienable right for self-rule and independence was an opinion maintained by the NAM head.
The primary condition that led to the emergence of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, that is, non-alignment from antagonistic blocks, has not lost its validity with the end of the Cold War. The demise of one of the blocks has not done away with the pressing problems of the world. On the contrary, renewed strategic interests bent on domination grow stronger and, even; acquire new and more dangerous dimensions for underdeveloped countries. Thus, sticking to its objectives NAM has always supported the virtue of freedom and right to development of every region big or small.