NAM’s relevance today in ‘Mitigating Cultural Differences’

Since the end of cold war scholars have been of the opinion that NAM’s relevance ceased with the approaching 1990’s and dying cold war, as it had served its purpose of avoiding another war along with safeguarding then nations who no more wanted to be ruled and handled by other nations. Statesmen have even gone to the extent to call NAM in the contemporary times lacking vision and real issues. However, many non-aligned countries claim that the international peace and preservation along with various other monumental feats in maintaining harmony and serenity has been the result of their long hard work and continues to be so. Also having donned a novel role and structure, modifying work methods to keep itself focused on present issues and realities. It also believes that with the end of the cold war and emergence of uni-polarity needs the movement to promote multilateralism while continuing to safeguard the interests of developing countries.

Non-aligned movement continues to struggle hard to prove its worth by striving to work for the following contemporary issues including, setting up a New International Order through UN, restructuring and democratization of the UN, strengthening of the UNCTAD and UNIDO, coordinating with the G-77 and stressing South-South Cooperation, cooperating in areas of food cooperation, population, trade and investment, ensuring equitable international flow of trade and transfer of technology, working for non-proliferation and nuclear weapon free world, combating terrorism, extremism and racism, fighting poverty, drug trafficking and environmental degradation, and, opposing interventionism and imposition of economic conditions on developing countries.

Along with these the movement continues to add members to its alignment every year, which makes it responsible to not only promote but also encourage cultural cooperation and respect for cultural diversity among its member states to further the expression within the individual countries as well. It has continuously kept it on its priority list with organising several ministerial meetings with Ministers of Culture and Officers in charge of cultural policies of each member state to accomplish the same. The meetings have found a positive outcome with member states agreeing for the need to protect cultural diversity as its duty to mankind, also as a pressing need of the century to promote respect for pluralism so to bring about seamless integration based on cultural development.

To bring this to effect NAM has developed a plan of action in accordance with its own diversity.
1. Cultural heritage and diversity
Within this the minsters administered several recommendations for its member states to help them cherish the diverse cultural heritage of each nation and within.
· Devise and put into operation plans and programs to make the inventory, evaluation, dissemination, recovery, maintenance, rehabilitation, preservation and use of the national cultural heritage.
· In protecting the cultural diversity, avoid prejudiced or privileged treatments, as they are damaging to the principles of equity.
· Resort to all accessible media in order to spread this diversity and make it known both at the national and international level.
· Promote multilingualism, in as much as it implies the acknowledgement of the right and duty of each country in the world to both make itself understood and understand others.
· Encourage the trade of information on the compilation, restoration, social use, distribution and conservation of the cultural heritage of their countries.

2. Education and tolerance
Realising that education is the process through which this intention can be achieved and disseminated across, laid down recommendations for this as well.
· Plan and employ cultural and educational policies that associate the educational system with the social and cultural setting, based in specific programs related to the culture of each people.
· Plan and execute educational policies which proclaim the principles of respect for others and tolerance for differences, specially addressed to boys and girls, and youth.
· Devise and put into practice education policies so to beat the idea of culture as fine arts, and that of creativity as artistic inspiration. Promoting wider dimensions of culture and creativity will pave the way to cultural development for different human groups in all ranges of age.

3. Communications and globalization
To promote dialogue and reduce growing negativity of media, Governments should design and implement policies to:
· Ensuring all citizens democratic and participatory access to information and the media.
· Make utmost use of the mass communication industry to propagate the pluralism of member countries.
· In the era of globalization, pursue a leading role for the media as culture promoters, by means of a redefinition of the communicator individual in the light of culture.
· Launch marketing and information drives and campaigns.

4. Planning and cultural development
The Ministers and officers in charge of cultural policies recommended that governments:
· Assume culture as a matter of State within their development plans and programs, acknowledging cultural development and cultural rights as fundamental concepts.
· Find appropriate ways and means to achieve balance between development and the preservation of the cultural heritage.
· Introduce legislation aimed to promote, disseminate and respect cultural rights.

Non-Aligned Movement according to many may have lost its appeal but under the wraps of its collaboration it continues to work for the entire globe in order to maintain peace and harmony while, continuing to take measures to raise the global living standards.

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