NAM’s Principled Position on Peaceful Settlement of Disputes

“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.” Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister and prominent advocate of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), delivered a well-known speech in 1956 explaining why developing countries should follow the non-alignment course Since its founding the movement has played an important role in maintaining international peace and security, moving the world away from policies that resulted from the Cold War.
In keeping with NAM’s objective of establishing an international order based on peace, the movement has thus adopted a principled position on concerning peaceful settlement of disputes, and non – use or threat of use of force. NAM’s principled position regards as incumbent upon all States to defend, preserve and promote the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the principles of international law, in particular pacific settlement of disputes and the non-use or threat of use of force. In this regards, NAM fully respects the basic principle of the UN Charter which states that all States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the UN.
The Movement has stressed that the UN Charter contains sufficient provisions regarding the use of force to maintain and preserve international peace and security, and that achieving this goal by the Security Council should be strictly done in full conformity with the relevant Charter provisions, in particular with those outlined in Chapter VII. Chapter VII of the United Nations Charter sets out the UN Security Council’s powers to maintain peace.
It allows the Council to “determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression” and to take military and nonmilitary action to “restore international peace and security”. Article 43 in the Chapter VII states that “all Members of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the maintenance of international peace and security, undertake to make available to the Security Council, on its call and in accordance with a special agreement or agreements, armed forces, assistance, and facilities, including rights of passage, necessary for the purpose of maintaining international peace and security.”. The Movement also affirms that in addition, and consistent with the practice of the UN and international law, as pronounced by the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Article 51 of the UN Charter is restrictive and should not be rewritten or re interpreted.
NAM has also expressed serious concern at the victimization of innocent civilians in instances where force has been employed or sanctions have been imposed, including those authorized by the Security Council. In the spirit of the UN Charter, NAM has called on all States to advance the principle of the non-use of force and peaceful settlement of disputes as a means of achieving collective security rather than the threat of force or use of force, bearing in mind “that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest” as stipulated in the UN Charter.
NAM has urged the countries to follow the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes. It may be mentioned here that the Manila Declaration on the Peaceful Settlement of International Disputes was negotiated in 1982 on the initiative of NAM Member States (Egypt, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Romania, Sierra Leone, and Tunisia). For the first time, a normative text developed a comprehensive plan and a consolidation of the legal framework of peaceful settlement of international disputes.
The Manila Declaration builds upon and promotes general international law, the Charter of the United Nations, in particular Article 33, and other international instruments such as the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
The preamble underlines the fact that the Charter of the United Nations embodies an essential framework and the means for the peaceful settlement of international disputes. It further reiterates the principle of non-intervention and refers to the aforementioned Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States. The one thing that links all the diverse member states together in the Non-Aligned Movement is the shared and common belief is the establishing of world peace and cooperation The Non-Aligned movement holds relevance even in a post Cold War era as the very scenario that prompted the birth of the ideology of non-alignment is just as solid as ever, thereby giving a voice to the developing world, so as to promote world peace and cooperation.

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