Non- Aligned Movement which came into existence as a collaboration of countries to stand against any formation of alliance and hostility against each other has changed over the years, modifying and making changes to itself adapting to the current world and its norms. At present the issue which concerns the non aligned members is the presence of a threatening nuclear war, making nuclear disarmament a pressing priority. With the increasing and continuing possession of thousands of nuclear weapons by a small but growing number of states; the nuclear-weapon ambitions of additional states and the possibility of non-states gaining access to fissile material for the purpose of making nuclear explosives has caused a state of alarm in NAM, pressing for immediate measures to mitigate the looming threat that can soon spiral out of control.
The world treaty of non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (NPT) which has also been one of the core principles of the Non-aligned movement has become a priority with NAM due to the recent developments in the escalating arms race.
The treaty talks about non-proliferation, disarmament and peaceful use of the fissile materials. Nuclear disarmament being an essential point of focus with quite an aversion to non-proliferation NAM has contributed to this treaty in a major way since its inception in 1970, following its extension in 1995 and continuing till date. Its influence stems from its commitment, expertise and ingenuity which have played a major role in the disarmament principles furthering the cause of the policy.
Apart from the preceding three programmes that bind the policy, Article IV of the NPT which wasn’t a part of the policy earlier recognises not only the immutable right of states parties to develop and use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes but also requires them to assist with the fullest possible exchange of equipment, materials and scientific and technological information for the peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
This section was drafted at the request of non-nuclear-weapon states, emphasizing the needs of developing countries safekeeping their essentials. With NAM gaining prominence in the picture there has been a marked difference in the 1961 Belgrade Declaration and the recent 2011 Bali Declaration. Though both identify ‘disarmament’ as an imperative and urgent task, the Bali declaration also reveals its concern for international security and peace making peaceful nuclear use as a part of its deal unlike the Belgrade Declaration.
At present NAM and its members are aiming to bring an end to the nuclear disarmament stalemate, particularly between United States of America and Russia. The Non-Aligned Movement has long argued to eliminate nuclear weapons in totality, posing it as the only absolute guarantee that will remove any lingering threat of use of nuclear weapons in future.
NAM which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011 has survived with the changing world and still remains true to its original identity retaining much of its elements that built its blocks. It continues to focus on security of its members, protecting and defending the global South in its struggle for equality and social justice, and not only safeguarding but also advancing and strengthening the economic and political interests of the developing nations, absolute nuclear disarmament being a part of this endeavour.