The Non-Aligned Movement(NAM) emerged after the Second World War. After the Second World War, the world was divided into two blocs—the capitalist bloc led by the USA and the socialist bloc led by USSR. Many Asian and African nations who had become independent after the Second World War refused to join either of the blocs and followed the policy of non-alignment.
Meaning of Non-Alignment
Non-alignment was an international policy in which many Asian and African nations refused to align themselves with any of the blocs. These countries aimed at promoting international peace, harmony, and cooperation. Main features of NAM:
- Not to join any powerful military bloc
- Opposed to any kind of military alliances such as NATO, SEATO, Warsaw Pact
- Freedom to take independent decisions related to country’s foreign policy
- To participate in world affairs
- To judge issues on merit .
Evolution of NAM
- At the New Delhi Conference held in March 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru highlighted upon the dangers posed by the hostility between the two power blocs and stressed upon the need for the Asian countries to work for maintaining world peace. Division of the world into two main blocs increased the race of armaments among Western and Eastern European countries which disturbed world peace several times.
- Another summit was held in 1949 at New Delhi. This conference was attended by 19 countries who asked the immediate withdrawal of Dutch troops from Indonesia.
- In 1954, India and China signed an agreement which contained the ‘Panchsheel’ or five principles of peace co-existence. These principles later became the guidelines of NAM.
First Non-Aligned Movement Summit
- The first summit of NAM took place in September 1961 at Belgrade in Yugoslavia.
- It was attended by 25 countries. Cyprus was the only European country which attended the session.
- The Conference was presided by Prime Minister Nehru of India, President Tito of Yugoslavia and President Nasser of Egypt. They are known as the founding fathers of NAM.
- Various issues related to world peace were discussed in the first summit. They discussed the German blockade, the issue of China’s representation in the UN and the issue of apartheid in South Africa. Imperialism was declared as the threat to world peace.
Objectives of NAM
- Not to join any power bloc or any military alliance
- To eliminate all those causes which may lead to a war
- To oppose colonialism, imperialism and racial discrimination
- To encourage countries to maintain friendly relations with each other
- To stress on peaceful settlement of international disputes
- To oppose the use of nuclear weapons in war
- To work towards strengthening UNO
- To protect human rights and to protect the environment
- To build a new international economic order based on equity, equality and justice
Achievements of NAM
- NAM helped reduce the tension between two power blocs and played an important role in bringing the Cold War to an end.
- It opposed the race of armaments which existed among various countries during the Cold War.
- It supported and promoted international peace, justice and freedom.
- It advocated a new international economic order which was based on greater economic cooperation and justice.
Future of NAM
- Although NAM lost its importance after the end of the Cold War in 1991, it still stands for securing international peace and security.
- However, NAM could not take substantial measures when Afghanistan was invaded by Russia in 1979 or when Iraq was invaded by US-led coalition forces.
- With the emergence of neo-colonialism (use of economic, political, cultural or other pressure to influence former colonies), many newly independent nations were unable to take concrete decisions in the economic fields because of the pressure exerted by the powerful nations and organisations such as the World Bank, WTO and IMF.
- Under such circumstances, NAM came forward to help these countries in trying to assert their economic rights.
- USA has emerged as a powerful nation. NAM has immense potentialities and experience to prevent the domination of USA over countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Thus, NAM remains an important and powerful force which aims at achieving international peace, disarmament and economic development.