Non-Aligned Movement and Multilateralism

After the end of Second World War which witnessed a massive genocide and supremacy of aligned groups over their counterparts, the third world countries formed the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) with the aim to keep themselves united and meet their developmental goals post-colonial era. The formation of the Non-Aligned Movement has a deep faith in the multilateral approach to the international relations and criticises all form of the unilateralism.

The movement which was started by five countries in 1961 including India, Indonesia, Egypt, Ghana and Yugoslavia was later aggrandised to constitute around 120 member countries and 17 observer countries. Till date the member nations have held 17 summits to make the movement stronger and fulfil the goals that were set by its founders.

Since its 50 years journey, the Non-Aligned Movement has gathered a strong majority of states aligned with its principles in spite their political, social, economic and cultural diversity. Its main focus was to follow its principles that were also famous with the name of “Ten principles of Bandung” which highlights the need to respect human rights, territorial integrity of all nations, non-interference into internal affair of another country, peaceful solution of all the international conflicts, promotion of mutual interests and establish equality among all the nations besides others.

The third world countries also called the “Global South” are very crucial to the world politics as well as for the global governance. As it comprises of great power and becoming a major centre for the economic growth, there are many security, health, population and other issues that affect the global environment. The developing countries constitute a major portion in the global institutions but very less attention was paid towards the multilateral policies and practices by the western media.

The head of states of the movement met in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for the 13th NAM summit and different crucial issues affecting their people were addressed. The need for the multilateral system of relations based on the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independences of the states was also highlighted in the summit. The heads of the states and government emphasised on the opportunities and challenges to the Non-Aligned Movement due to the dramatic evolution. The violent conflicts, foreign occupation, interference in the domestic affairs of states, policy of hegemony and domination, religious intolerance, ethnic strife and xenophobia were among the issues discussed in the summit which pose major and dangerous obstacles to harmonious coexistence among the states leading to its disintegration. In this context, the heads of state expressed their rejection in unilateralism and rather emphasised more on multilateralism.

The member nations reiterated on the importance of addressing these challenges by abiding the UN charter and the principles of the international law. The unilateral military actions made without proper authorisation of the UN Security Council and the threat of the military action against the sovereignty, integrity and independence of the member states which constitutes the violation of principle of non-intervention.

The importance to revitalise the international development co-operation and multilateral negotiations with a North-South or development orientation was also emphasised by the member states in the Summit.

There was a notable gap in between the developed and developing countries especially the least developed countries continue to lag behind from the other two. The economic under-development and social injustice constitute a source of conflicts with the growing international inequalities the democracy, stability and security cannot be maintained. This made the members to work in co-operation of all countries to establish an international system based on peace, equality, justice, democracy and full respect of all human rights. The solidarity among the member nations is essential for the movement in the light of threat from abroad through the act of aggression, threat to use force contrary to the principles of movement and the international law. With a large number of memberships and its common foreign policy, NAM remained active with equitable representation at the UN. Its members in the Security Council worked closely together are likely to enlist the Security Council’s normative authority to boost high priority initiative.

The global economy continues to be characterised by different levels of development while the developing countries confront problems to access capital and technology.

Many still struggle with the institutional transformation for integration to the world economy. However the developing countries have taken steps to integrate and liberalise into the world economy although, the gap between the rich and poor countries have not diminished.

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