Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as an idea was developed by three world-leaders:Nehru of India, Tito of Yugoslavia and Naseer of Egypt. In the beginning NAM consisted of 25 members in1961; it has now expanded to include 115 developing countries which constitute nearly two thirds of the United Nations. The Non-Aligned Movement was born out of a desire not to become involved in the East-West ideological confrontation and instead focused on important matters that lay in hand, national independence struggles, the alleviation of poverty and economic development of under-developed and developing nations. These principles were adopted at the founding non-aligned summit in 1961.
The 10th summit in Jakarta in 1992 adopted the Jakrata Declaration laid out the future direction and priorities of the Movement. In the past, NAM was purely a political Movement; today economic co-operation between member states is given priority. Problems like the increasing population ,unemployment, foreign dept. and poverty are identified as the priorities. Another topic that needs to be addressed by the NAM member states is ‘Climate Change’.
Climate change is increasingly recognized as the driver of change to the world’s biodiversity, ecosystems and oceans. It is one of the most important global problems with unique characteristics. Among the developing countries, the less developed countries are especially vulnerable because a large share of their economic is in climate-sensitive sectors and their adaptive capacity is low due to limited human, financial and natural resources and institutional and technical capacity. As has been repeatedly addressed, the third world nations will be the first to face adversity due to our changing natural environment. Costal nations like Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bangladesh and seven out of ten countries in the African continent will be submerged due to the rising sea level and changing climate.
In the year 2009, NAM member states presented themselves as an outspoken critic of any legislation that wouldn’t cap carbon dioxide emissions and establish a national program for trading pollution allowances. On 25 May 2011 at NAM’s 50th Anniversary meeting in
Bali, the United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon called on the Non-Aligned Movement compromising of more than 100 countries to assist in “urgent global action” to combat the threat posed by climate change. The UN secretary General urged the Non- Aligned countries to come to a resolution on the future of the Kyoto protocol and on ways to engage the NAM member states in an emerging global framework.
The UN Secretary General further called the NAM Member States to curb emissions and strengthen climate resilience. According to the UN Secretary General, it was in the best interests for developing countries if NAM worked in support of the United Nations in areas of energy access, energy efficiency and clean efficiency.
On 27th September 2013, President of the UN general Assembly Dr. John Ashe said that against a backdrop of increasing impact of climate change, inequality between and among countries and more than a billion people living in extreme poverty, the cooperation between NAM countries-founded on a virtue of solidarity was imperative for improving the socio-economic development for their citizens. The Non Aligned Movement should play a more constructive role with regard to climate change as members from the Non-Aligned world are most vulnerable from threats emanating due to the phenomenon. The World Bank has made a list of the main five threats arising from the climate change: droughts, floods, storms, rising sea levels, and agricultural products deficit. Not surprisingly, members of NAM have topped the list of the 12 countries at the highest risk. NAM must pursue an effective policy to reduce the hazards of climate change within a multilateral framework, as environment policy is not an isolated object and cooperation between developing countries in this regards will result in positive spillover effects in achieving the other Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and providing the basis for livelihoods, health and security, particularly for the poor.