Non-Aligned Movement Striving for South-South Cooperation

The success of Non-aligned movement had to do with the multilateral agreements which by and larger were ignored by the UN, dominated by western developed nations. Its inception had brought in various policies and multilateral cooperation in areas of concern like apartheid related issues, marginalization, and concerns of hunger, poverty and economic imbalance in Southern countries. The Non-aligned movement here played a major role in bringing moderate amount of success in matters concerning these issues and also various ideological conflicts.
Since the developing and least developed countries are majorly situated in the southern hemisphere of the globe, hence the cooperation between these countries in various fields is seen as a South-South Cooperation or Dialogue. And amidst the growing neo-colonialism, competitive developed nations who are trying to become the supreme power the south-south cooperation is becoming an important agenda among the developing countries in economic and other fields. Non-aligned movement since its inception has promoted this cooperation as a viable strategy for developing countries for their collective self-reliance and progress.

NAM had always had the dream of collective self-reliance among developing countries but included it as an important agenda of NAM in 1970’s circling out reasons for such cooperation making it a desirable option for developing countries:
1. The developed countries and developing countries being on a different scale of development process, have different priorities, needs and development concerns from each other. Hence, needing a collective approach to deal with the problems and issues of global economic order, which affect them.
2. The developing countries, situated nearly at the same scale of development process have many commonalities to share. These similarities emerge from their common experience of colonialism and economic exploitation. They all share the common problems of poor economic infrastructure, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty hunger, lack of technology’ and so on. Thus, a common past, a common present and a common future bring them together for cooperation and common approach to development issues.
3. After the World War II, the developing countries tried to move on the path of self-reliance in order to reduce their dependence on their colonial masters. Since the goal of self-reliance was difficult to be realized at individual level, they opted for the goal of collective self-reliance. South-South Cooperation was promoted to realize this objective.
4. As the signs of economic interdependence among nations became more pronounced after the World War II, the UN, NAM and other international bodies pleaded for development assistance from developed countries to developing and poor countries. Such assistance was provided in the name of Official Development Assistance (ODA) by the developed countries, which was to be 0.7 percent of their GDP; Similarly, in 1974, the Un General Assembly passed the resolution of New International economic Order or NIEO, which aimed to establish a global economic order based on the principle of equity, fairness and justice in favour of developing countries. However, the progress towards NIE0 and the ODA was tardy. Moreover, the ODA and transfer of technology from rich countries to poor countries were riddled with many terms and conditions not suitable to developing countries. Thus, as a way out of this impasse, the idea of South-South Cooperation was viewed as a better option and a viable choice.

India has been a chief exponent of South-South cooperation on both collective as well as on an individual level strengthening the process. At the collective level it has been continuously on with the agenda to make the dream of South-South cooperation a reality playing a leading role in various conferences organized by NAM for the same purpose to promote the process of cooperation among developing countries.

On the individual level, it has taken various measures for cooperation among developing and under-developed countries, which includes its launching of Indian Technological and Economic Cooperation programme in 1964. Also since it receives development assistance from rich countries it also offers the same to poor LDC (Least developed countries), along with concession in trade duties, scholarship to students from such countries and also launching many human resource development programmes in these countries. In conclusion one can see the idea of South-South cooperation having travelled a long way but is still lagging behind when it comes to a collective effort which needs to be initiated on a larger scale, much like India to bring a continued and greater difference in the future. However, globalisation has affected the nature of economic engagement among nations along with a marked change in the domestic and external economic policies of developing and LCD nations which presents both opportunities as well as challenges to the south-south cooperation which NAM strives to achieve in totality.

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