The Guiding Principles of External Affairs of NAM

The Non- Aligned Movement strives for an international order marked by peaceful co-existence, where there is respect for the international law and international legal instruments. The movement strives for achieving a peaceful and prosperous world as well as a just and equitable world order based on the UN Charter and international law. Towards achieving this objective, NAM has identified guiding principles for the conduct of external relation for its member state. These guiding principles of external relations derive from three major sources: ‘Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the UN”, the “Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security”, and the declaration “on the Enhancement of Effectiveness of the Principles of Refraining from the Threat or Use of Force in International Relations”.

As regards the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in accordance with the Charter of the UN”, it itself was highly influenced by NAM’s five principles that of peaceful co-existence; mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty; non-aggression; non-interference in domestic affairs and equality and mutual benefit. In the General Assembly Resolution 2625 (XXV) adopted on 24 October 1970, it was insisted upon the progressive development and codification of the following principles: 1) The principle that States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations; 2) The principle that States shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered; 3) The duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdiction of any State, in accordance with the Charter; 4)The duty of States to co-operate with one another in accordance with the Charter; 5)The principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; 6)The principle of sovereign equality of States; and 7)The principle that States shall fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the Charter. It can be commented that the principles outlined in this resolution borrowed directly from the founding vision of Non-Aligned Movement, transcending the original scope at the time of NAM formulation. Another major guiding bloc in NAM’s conduct of external affairs is the Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security. Resolution 2734 (XXV) on Declaration on the Strengthening of International Security adopted by the General Assembly on 16 December 1970 mentions that States shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations; the principle that States shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered; the duty not to intervene in matters within the domestic jurisdIction of any State, in accordance with the Charter; the duty of States to cooperate with one another in accordance with the Charter; the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples; the principle of sovereign equality of States; and the principle that States shall fulfil in good faith the obligations assumed by them in accordance with the Charter.

NAM member states insisted on a strong concern at the growing resort to unilateralism and in this context, the Algiers Ministerial Document of 2014 underlined that multilateralism and multilaterally agreed solutions, in accordance with the UN Charter, provide the only sustainable method of addressing international security issues.

The third pillar on which NAM member states conduct their external relation is the Principle of Refraining from the Threat or Use of Force in International Relations. The UN General Assembly Declaration of 18 November 1987 on Enhancement of the Effectiveness of the Principle of Refraining from the Threat or Use of Force in International Relations mentions that States have a common interest in promoting a stable and equitable world economic environment as an essential basis for world peace and that, to that end, they should strengthen international co-operation for development and work towards a new international economic order. The Declaration further reaffirms the commitment of States to the basic principle of the sovereign equality of States. In keeping with these principles, NAM states thause of force against the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of a country constitute acts of aggression and blatant violations of the principles of the UN Charter, including non-interference in the internal affairs of States.

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