Non-Aligned Movement striving for social development

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) came into existence during the first conference of Heads of State of non-aligned countries that took place in Belgrade in September 1961. Representing newly-independent developing countries, the movement and its policies can be directly linked to the decolonisation process with the initial years of political engagement in world affairs characterised by anti-imperialist slogans and the denunciation of colonialism, apartheid and racism.

The movement since its inception has always believed in promoting the rule of law and respect for it at all levels which will ensure the maintenance of international peace and security, achieving socioeconomic development. The movement emphasizes that it is necessary for developing countries to work hand in hand to reach a target reform of global financial and economic governance and structural design in order to establish an even-handed, clear and autonomous international system.

The aspirations of this type need sustained economic growth in developing countries to achieve their aims which are essentially eradication of poverty, food, health, education, employment, housing and social integration.

The members of the Non-Aligned movement committed themselves to these goals in the Copenhagen summit. The Cartagena summit was marked by affirmation towards the achievement of these goals, inclusion of effective international cooperation was also included in the proclamation. The leaders of various states also recalled the commitment by the world leaders during the World Social Summit that the eradication of poverty requires decisive national and international cooperation.

The eradication of poverty more than its ethical dilemma for a nation is a social and economic imperative and can only be achieved through a multi-dimensional approach which combines programs targeted to meet the basic needs of all and ensure access of all opportunities, resources and protection of everyone. Nationally governments need to substantially increase public expenditure for social development, developed countries and international organizations need to assist in providing both the required financial and technological resources. The leaders stressed that such an investment would underline solidarity and increase equity, productivity and welfare.

Community services need to ensure full participation in social sector, the leaders promised to tackle these problems with modern services which increases wider coverage and ensures a better quality of resources. Social development is the first step towards progress, which ensure better conditions of equity, economic productivity, social solidarity and political participation, the greatest priority shall still be given to the more vulnerable social strata and to the least developed countries.

These goals if achieved would lead to better employment opportunities, the social strategy should further emphasize the development of human resources in order to take full advantage of opportunities. The leaders reiterated that education should be one of the foundations to achieve social and economic development. The leaders also declared that such development policies should incorporate social security systems which include health services and improving the efficiency of social security programs for the most vulnerable group. A healthy habitat is indispensable for the improvement of the standard of living of each member states population. There should be adequate public services, disaster prevention and response mechanisms.

The heads of various governments renewed their commitment to promote social integration and attain economic stability, ensure the promotion of justice and defense of all human rights and the propagation of values of democracy and the spirit of solidarity. It was further called on all states to endorse the principles of United Nations and following its guidelines urged nations to define terrorism and to differentiate it from the struggle for national liberation and to ensure effective measures for concerted action.

The sanctity of freedom of speech and the right to self-determination. In this context it was also stressed that movements of people struggling against colonial or alien domination and foreign occupation did not constitute terrorism.

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