Nepal and the Non – Aligned Movement

Nepal, a small but geo-strategic country in South Asia has based its foreign policy on the basic principles of the Non-Aligned Movement. The fundamental objective of the foreign policy is to enhance the dignity of Nepal in the international arena by maintaining the sovereignty, integrity and independence of the country. The foreign policy of Nepal is guided by the abiding faith in the United Nations and policy of non-alignment.
The basic principles guiding the foreign policy of the country include mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty; non-interference in each other’s internal affairs; respect for mutual equality; non-aggression; and the peaceful settlement of dispute and cooperation for mutual benefit.
In the post World War II era, Nepal’s presence in the Non-Aligned movement went a long way for asserting the sovereign status of the country in the global order. In the early 1950s, many countries were not very sure about whether Nepal was a truly sovereign and independent country.
This was reflected in the reservations encountered when Nepal first applied for membership of the United Nations in 1953. So King Mahendra as well as other Nepali leaders made widespread international recognition of Nepal’s independence and sovereignty as the prime focus of Nepal’s foreign policy in the late 1950s and 1960s.
King Mahendra’s participation at the Afro–Asian Conference, in Bandung, Indonesia in April 1955, was Nepal’s first foray into the international arena. Nepal participated in the conference of the Non-Aligned countries held in 1955 in Bangdung, Indonesia and has also been working for the promotion of the five principles of Panchasheel adopted by the conference. Nepal is one of the founding members of the movement.
This was followed by Nepal’s admission as a member of the UN in December 1955. Thereafter, Nepal used the Summits of the Non-aligned Movement as important forums for asserting its status as a truly sovereign and independent country. Nepal’s active participation in the Ministerial and Summit-level meetings of the non-aligned movement allowed Nepali leaders to rub shoulders with diplomats and politicians from many countries with whom Nepal had not even established diplomatic relations.
Nepal has always championed and defended the core values of the non-aligned movement. Nepal as an active member of the NAM has robustly contributed in all its Summit meetings and other forums since its foundation with the objective of giving vitality to this organization.
At the 17th Ministerial Meeting of NAM held at Algiers in 2014, Nepal was represented by its foreign minister. In the conference, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Pandey voiced Nepal’s concerns with stronger emphasis on greater and effective unity and solidarity among the NAM member countries ‘on all outstanding issues and problems’, and called for a cohesive approach to make the Non-Acligned Movement more effective and dynamic.
This has been the consistent position and stance of Nepal ever since it joined the organization. In principle, Nepal’s policy and position have remained unchanged on NAM’s relevance and the need for making this movement more meaningful, vibrant and effective in tackling a wide range of problems and issues that the worlds, in general, and the developing world, in particular, are facing.
The great importance Nepal attaches to NAM can be gleaned from its foreign policy, which is based on the ideals and principles of the UN Charter and the Non-aligned Movement Moreover, Nepal has also expressed a desire to support the initiatives of the Non-Aligned Movement to combat abject poverty, violation of human rights, the culture of violence and impunity, excessive militarization, and degradation of the environment.

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