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Essays on National & International issues : Relevance of NAM Today
Friday, 27 July 2012 05:13



Relevance of NAM (Non-Aligned Movement) Today


Perhaps it is not an exaggeration to say that today we are living in an altogether new world--the end of communist regimes in Eastern Europe, 15 new republics in place of the erstwhile Soviet Union. a united Germany and a new Europe as a socio-economic and political entity. Some people argue that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) teas the product of cold war and bipolarism: and that since the cold tear is ended and the Soviet Union is no more, NAM has lost its relevance.


It is true that NAM was a child of the cold tear but during the three decades of its existence it has acquired a life of its own and should not be defined solely in terms of cold tsar politics. The movement assumed a dynamism of its own and became preoccupied with Third World issues other than purely cold war super power rivalry and confrontation.


According 'to some others NAM's task has, by and large. been accom plished. For instance, colonies have gained independence, apartheid is being dismantled. the cold war is ended. foreign bases are losing relevance and when alliances are disintegrating there is no more heed for non-alignment.


These people should understand that the main concern of NAM. both as a national policy of a large number of new states and as an international move ment. has been the liquidation of economic imperialism to secure economic growth and development. Besides, there are a number of issues which NAM has to take tip in the coming years, like the democratisation of international relations, especially of the UN Security Council, security for small and weak nations, disarmament, collective measures for achieving economic progress, lightening the debt burden of the developing world, halting the deteriorating terms of trade, the North-South dialogue, human rights, environmental issues, drug trafficking, international terrorism, ethnic and religious conflicts. nets international economic order. new international information and technological order, etc.


Secondly, those skeptics who think there is no need for Non-Align Move ment since alliances are losing their importance should keep in mind that despite numerous changes in the 350 gears old sovereign-state-system, including the most recent ones, the system has consistently maintained two standing features: Great power hegemony and the opposition of the overwhelming majority of other states to that hegemony. Hence, to the question of Non-alignment against whom the brief answer is: against the hegemonies or whoever is dominating the world.


There are others who think that NAM should be disbanded because its present performance is not as dynamic as it was in the 'last and it is characterised by slow response to today's deep and rapid changes on the international scene. They cite the example of NAM's poor response to the recent Gulf crisis. How ever, organisations do not become irrelevant simply because they have defects. The decisions about the relevance and rationale of old organisations should not he taken in haste since time changes everything. Hence, we should not have second thoughts about the relevance of NAM simply because of its poor re sponse to the Gulf crisis, just as we do not have about the UNO.


While delivering the Indira Gandhi Memorial Lecture to the Association of Indian Diplomats former President R. Venkararaman rightly remarked in this context that "Non-alignment is not an Ism. It cannot become out-dated any more than common sense can become outdated. The cold war has ended. That does not make the UNO charter irrelevant. Non-aligned counnies represent the will and voices of three-fourth of mankind. No nation, no group of nations can disregard the NAM. There must be something to it fix China to seek membership and Germany to get observer status of NAM.... From the Fifties through to the Eighties NAM spearheaded the struggle against colonialism and racialism. It must today raise its voice against the injustices and inequities of the emerging 21st century."


The Non-Aligned Movement is the largest peace movement in the world. But while dealing with NAM we should make a distinction between Non-align ment as an International movement and Non-alignment as a Foreign Policy choice. As an International movement it may have its shortcomings or it may not be perforating the role assigned to it but NAM as a Foreign Policy choice--an assertion of independence in foreign affairs-has always remained, still remains and will always remain valid and relevant. However. both are important and there cannot be any water-tight compartmentalisation between the two since the success of one is dependent upon the support of the other.


Relevance of NAM today

“Our approach to peace may then be called “neutrality” if such a nebulous word can be used to define a policy.”

-Vijayalakshmi Pandit, President, UN General Assembly (1953)


It was this telling statement that perhaps laid bare the fundamental flaw in her argument and defense of policies such as the Non Aligned Movement in her book “India’s Foreign Policy”. Not just that, her brother Jawaharlal Nehru’s mistake with respect to foreign policy was the dichotomous approach he took on it which he put down as “a choice between peace and the hydrogen bomb”. Nehru could still be excused on the grounds that perhaps India, which was making the first steps towards a recovery after two hundred years of British rule, could not possibly risk entering into a wrong alliance in a post World War ravaged scenario. However the world since 1945 has changed and hence it is time that our approach to it should change too.


Taking on this debate ideologically, there are two grounds on which one can make a case that the Non Aligned Movement of yesteryears has lost its relevance today.. The belief on which the cornerstone of the Non Aligned Movement was laid was the fact that all the founding nations (India, Indonesia, Yugoslavia and Egypt) needed the peace NAM offered them to develop after years of subjugation. However today, after more than six decades of independence, though not fully developed, we have made giant strides in many respects. Today with the second fastest growing economy, largest conventional armed forces, impeccable track record of democracy, higher literacy, higher living standards (as compared to 1947), if we have not developed enough to finally come out of our cocoon then when will we ever do?


Nature does not suffer a vacuum, power least of all. It is true that with even the United States and the Western World in decline, the world is increasingly becoming multi-polar. However the latter is also but a passing phase. The world cannot have so many equals. To quote Orwell, “there will always be some more equal than the others”. Sooner or later, some nation or the other will make a bid for the top spot and towards that end will try to undercut others in the race. Since India is definitely in that race, common sense dictates that it will ultimately be our alliances that will guarantee our security from over ambitious competitors. Hence alignment should no longer be an anathema to us.


The Rise of China

The Middle Kingdom is not shying away from acknowledging itself as perhaps the next global superpower in a post American world. The translation of its economic might into diplomatic and military clout has been steadily going on for some time. There is possibly one nation that can overtake China’s aspirations of leading the world. India too, is making leaps in the race to the top. China is fully aware of the threat posed by India. Hence systematic efforts to stymie the India story are on. A three pronged strategy that is being adopted by China to ensure that India does not reach a stage where she is too powerful to be contained comprises:


  • Denial – of India to any influential position such as the UN Security Council with the veto power.

  • Provocation – with frequent claims over Arunachal Pradesh, the stapled visa issue, etc.

  • Intimidation – with huge infrastructure buildup near the borders.

 

In fact, it is the belief of some Indian strategists that China will be attacking India within 2017. Their claims have somewhat been substantiated by a Wiki leaks disclosure that speaks of a report given by the Pentagon to the US Congress. The report states that China has been deploying nuclear capable CCS5- MRBM missiles near its borders with India. (The Indian Express, 25 August 2011) Now, though one can concede that it is not advisable to pander to the paranoia of war mongers, there is no harm in hoping for the best while preparing for the worst. And the latter means a realization that India needs alliances as she will not be able to withstand a Chinese blitzkrieg on her own. Russia may not be in her former glory days of the USSR but still wields enormous power. More importantly, Russia has been an all weather friend to India and we can safely trust her to get into an alliance with her as a possible safeguard against China. It was after all the Soviets alone who helped India withstand the pressure from Pakistan, US and China during the Bangladesh War. The US may not be best pleased with such a move but will also agree to have a similar understanding with us as containing China is their greater priority.


The fall of Pakistan

A nation state born of anti India sentiments will never completely get rid of it, irrespective of the concessions or confidence building measures we choose to make. At some point, we need to understand that the day Pakistan chooses to resolve all its problems with India will also be the day it will lose its legitimacy to exist anymore as a nation (ideologically). Today, Pakistan is on a downward spiral, its national fabric being torn to shreds by the fundamentalism and hate that it had hoped to use against India. As it continues on the path of self destruction, there will definitely be some more attempts to hold itself together by whipping up the specter of the old enemy – India. Pakistan may also in the future attack India and though inferior in its military capabilities, the nation can still damage us considerably. In other words, while we may emerge victorious we will certainly not emerge unscathed. Hence it becomes imperative to align with nations such as the United States that are capable of reigning in Pakistan.


The rise of regionalism

A country that hopes to wield global influence must begin with wielding regional influence. While India has maintained fairly good relations in its immediate and extended neighbourhood (exceptions: Pakistan and China), the zenith of those good relations will only be reached through an alliance that seeks to protect the interests of each by the others. It is time for India to not just have ‘cordial relations’ but build credible and long term alliances with countries such as Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Mongolia, Burma, Bhutan, Thailand ,etc.


The Changing Role of Foreign Policy

India, in the Nehruvian days, could afford to allow its foreign policy to be an instrument that would highlight its moral position in the world. However today the scene has changed and India’s foreign policy is increasingly becoming a path to secure her energy interests. India’s growth story also rests on her capabilities to continue finding cheap and reliable energy suppliers and thus it is time to abandon the moral grandstanding on non alignment in favour of a pragmatic and well crafted alliance that seeks to promote national interests at all costs. So while one may still debate on who to align with, one can no longer tarry on the need to have an alliance. In a nutshell, the death knell of non alignment has been sounded. Is India listening?


Is the Non-Aligned Movement Still Relevant?

Non alignment, as the word says, means a decision of not associating yourself with any of the groups. Those people who follow non alignment remain neutral and do not support any of the groups in conflict, wether those debates are over land ownership or oil, they support the ideals of soverignty.


But the question remains- Is NAM a relevant body today?

Nihal Rodrigo, a former secretary-general of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) feels that NAM has still got its own important role to play, though the body is not as important as it was considered before. The very purpose of giving birth to NAM was to fight the bi-polar ideology that existed during the civil war. The group has got its own political significance.


Ever since its inception in April 1955, the chairmanship has been rotated every 3 years among the third world countries as well as some of the developing countries including India.


There is lot of division and conflict on various economic and political issues within the body itself; seldom do the members totally agree on any matter. The body does not force upon its members any rules and regulations of the body.


NAM today, is starting to lose its importance due to its inefficiency in utilizing its influence on the member countries. On the world stage because the movement does not account for any major economic power they are not really holding any clout.


Their power, if any, comes from being consumers of product and services. To become more of a world leading organization, the movement must focus on correcting the efficiencies in each member country’s social and economic issues. They also must do research and have concrete evidence that they can use when dealing with other international bodies and countries.


The movement must show themselves to be a unified force or else they will not be taken seriously.


Relevance of NAM in the? Unipolar world? Nilava Nandi 20 November, 2008Was the non-alignment movement relevant only in a bi-polar world? Is it not relevant now that the world has become unipolar? It is believed so. But the fact of the matter is that the policy of non-alignment continues to be relevant even today.


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS in many realms of politics and the emergence of contemporary approaches in political science have left the students of international relations confused about the so-called unipolar world. This situation has many implications for international relations especially for the foreign policy of a nation. One of them is the repeated relevance of the non-alignment policy to the multitude of states of the non-aligned movement.


Because the policy emerged in the context of a bipolar world in the late 1940s, when the Cold War was in vogue, many related to the policy only in a bipolar context. But when the Cold War started ebbing in the 1970s with the first wave of détente some writers started questioning the relevance of non-alignment policy. The mistake was realised in the 1980s. But from 1988 onwards, a mistake was inadvertently committed by some of the writers with the arrival of a new détente between superpowers. We were told that in the changed context, non-alignment had no continuing relevance.


The fact of the matter is that the non-alignment policy was not completely related to a bipolar world and the Cold War between superpowers and the blocks they led. It just happened that non-alignment flowered in the post World War phase, after 350 years of struggle by small / weak states against the hegemony of great powers since the arrival of sovereign states in the middle of the 17th century in Europe. Therefore, whatever the world is – bipolar, multi-polar or unipolar, non-alignment as a foreign policy of the small / weak states will continue to remain valid. In other words, the policy will last as long as the sovereign nation states exist.


It seems pointless for a person to question today the continuing relevance of the policy which has become integral to the functioning of sovereign nation-states. The jaded question of the time is non-alignment with whom? The answer is non-alignment with the hegemony of great powers. It may be difficult to practise in a unipolar world but the policy as such does not cease to be pertinent.

As long as the functioning of sovereign nation-states is corrupted by power politics, ie as long as the system operates contrary to the theory that states are sovereign, independent and equal, the policy of non-alignment will remain valid and effective in international relations irrespective of periodical, marginal changes in the system.


The great tragedy (and of NAM too) is that it has been brought about by one member of the NAM (Iraq) through blatant violation of the UN Charter as well as NAM norms against a fellow member of both (Kuwait). It is a fact that the extant multi-lateralism is pretty weak but the community of states will not abandon them. They have survived bi-polarism and now they will survive unipolarism. After the tremendous progress made in the development of international law and international organisations, it seems unthinkable that they would permit the revival of the hegemony of one or more superpowers over the rest of the states.


Relevance of Non-alignment Movement in 21st Century

In the contemporary international circumstances non-alignment or to put it more precisely its role and usefulness in general has become a highly controversial issue, certainly more so than earlier. Thus, the movement is passing through a critical period in its life. It finds itself today at the crossroad and seems to be finding it difficult to comprehend the path it has to rake. It is trying to find its identity, reorient its perception and endeavor to determine the role it has to play in the changed context of international relations. This has resulted in a heated debate about the validity and contemporary relevance of NAM and non-alignment as foreign policy behavior in this post cold war “unipolar world”. Expressions of doubt about its relevance and efficacy have assumed extra vigor after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Socialist Block. Its traditional critics gleefully pronounced that non-alignment buried under the debris of Berlin wall and the exercises of the NAM are no more than flogging on the dead horse. According to the critics, NAM is no longer relevant because of the changed international environment. It is engaged that the policy of Non-alignment had some utility in the period of cold war bipolarity, because it was child of cold war in the reaction of certain countries to the cold war. The two main contenders for political ascendancy had almost reached the point of extermination. It was the desire to preserved independence as distinct from merely formal sovereignty, which led some nation to resist absorption into one or the other power blocks. Presently the international system is no longer bipolar and the clod war is over, so what is its relevance today is a great question. In spite all these above statement regarding its irrelevant, the relevance of NAM in international affairs is unquestionable. As a mater of fact, the policy of Non-Alignment was not wholly related to a bipolar world and the clod war between the two supper power and the block they lead. It just happened that the Non-Alignment flowered in the immediate post-world war. Therefore, whatever the world is bi-polar or multipolar or unipolar, non-alignment as a foreign policy choice option of the small Third World countries will remain valid. In other words the policy will last as long as the sovereign nation system last.


It is readily admitted that some member of the NAM have not exactly confirmed either to policy or to the criteria of membership. They have also not complied with the recommendation appeals of NAM. This certainly does not affect the continuing validity of the Non-Alignment in the same way that the UN Charter and United Nation are not invalidated by the sins of omissions and commissions of the organization its 192 members sates. As in the case of UN, the objectives of NAM are largely of a long-term nature.


The declaration of the Jakarta Summit conference 1992 assured, NAM has contributed to the ending of bipolar in the world and to the elimination of the cold war. These new developments have in fact fully vindicated the validity and relevance of Non-Alignment. They affirmed NAM’s role is ensuring” its full participation in the building of the new world order”. No wonder, then that the membership of the NAM has more than quadrupled from about 25 states in 19961 to 118 today.


As a matter of fact, although Non-Alignment had emerged as new, additional foreign policy behaviors in the years of the cold war and the bipolar world, its continued relevance had little to do with either of the context. It is significant that the relevance of the policy was reaffirmed by the Non-Alignment minister conference held in Accra in 1991. It was again made clear at the Non-Alignment summit conference held in Jakarta in Sept. 1992 and more recently at Durban, 1998, Kulalampur 2003, Havana, 2006, Sharm-el-Sheikh Egypt 2009.


It is very true that humanity survived amidst the conflicts in the Stone Age, the Iron Age, in Gun Powder Age and also in the Age of Warships, and Bombers Plane, but there could be no hope of survival in the age of nuclear bombs. Therefore, war could no longer be treated as politics by other means as war in the 21st century would not leave behind any survivors, victors or vanquished. So, NAM is then a pioneer nuclear destruction. Although a threat of a war “a nuclear war has certainly disappeared with the end of the cold war, yet the number of nuclear powers have increased. The world is still divided between the nuclear have and the have-nots. But NAM from the very beginning and even in more recently meets at Havana in 2006 and Sharm-el-Sheikh Egypt 2009 demanded for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons within a time bound framework as well as asserted for the right over peaceful use of nuclear power. The movement also stood opposed to the treaties on WMD (Weapon of Mass Destructions) which were not universal in nature.


The relevance of NAM continues as it looks after the interest of all Third World countries for which the movement was created. The beginning of the Non-Alignment can be traced to Afro-Asian resurgence a reaction against European colonial systems and prior to that in the struggle of underdeveloped countries against the hegemony of grate European powers since the birth of nation state system. These oppressed, suppressed, and dominated states struggled hard for freedom from the colonialism, imperialism and great power domination to choose their own path in the internal development and external policies. That is why they accorded a high place to international peace, security and cooperation. It was a coincident that just when theses countries begin to gain independence, they found themselves in bipolar worlds. Seeking membership of either block meant compromised on newly owned freedom by sovereign states, as well as an increased in international tensions, which is turned threatened the prospects of development- socio-economic and political.


The concept ‘Third World’ is important to form an understanding of what is meant by the ‘spirit of Bandung’ or Non-Alignment, which formed in the Belgrade Conference in 1961 where NAM was formed. The concept ‘Third World’ has both a materialistic and an cultural meaning. In materialistic terms, Marc argues that “if the affluent industrial countries of the modern world are grouped into those of the ‘West’ and those of the ‘East’, … then the poor countries constitute a ‘Third World’ whose small command over resources distinguishes them from both”.


The cultural meaning of the term “stressed the importance of the formation of a Third World consciousness, formed by common ideas, and an awareness of a common history, in relation to the West. Thus, in some accounts the Third World has existed because it provided an identity that was important to those both inside and outside its borders”. (9) Richard Wright, a black American novelist, who attended the Bandung Conference described it as “vibrant, vital, a coalition of the dispossessed”.(10) The two meanings are best illustrated in the 1952 article by , Alfred Sauvy, in which he coined the term ‘Third World’. Sauvy wrote: “The Third World has, like the Third Estate, been ignored and despised and it too wants to be something”. (11) Just like the Third Estate during the French Revolution, he saw the decolonised states as “ignored, exploited, scorned”, but eager to carve out an independent role for themselves. (12).


Although the term Third World has lost currency since the 1970s when other terms, such as ‘underdeveloped countries’, ‘developing countries’, and ‘South’ or ‘Global South’, became more widely used, revisiting the term conveys a sense of the conceptual foundations on which non-alignment rests. Nehru, then Prime Minister of India and a respected statesman, had also attended the Congress of Oppressed Nations in Brussels in 1927. As his brainchild, in essence non-alignment means the pursuit of equality in world affairs through pooling the diplomatic resources of Third World states in international forums. Equality should here be understood in political-economic terms. Equality for colonised or oppressed people and states translated into the right to self-determination and this dominated the agenda in the first decade of NAM’s existence. NAM was, for example, a front of political solidarity by supporting liberation struggles and making abstinence from military pacts or alliances a criterion of membership. (13) Inherent in a foreign policy orientation of non-alignment was a post-colonial claim to the rights of statehood awarded to independent states in the Westphalian system, and the mutual respect embodied by multilateralism as proclaimed in the UN Charter.


For most Third World states the framework of national development in the 1950s and 1960s was largely provided by modernization theory. The latter presumed that modernised Western liberal democracy was the end-state of development. Rostow famously elaborated on the stages through which a traditional society needed to pass to become a modern economy and Lipset linked economic development to democracy and Western education. The focus on endogenous factors to explain a world economy skewed in favour of the West came under attack during the Cairo conference in 1964, when delegates emphasised exogenous factors, for example, the structure of dependent relationships between rich and poor countries (also captured by the term neo-colonialism) that ‘underdevelops’ the Third World. NAM would become, as Amin notes, “the trade union for economic claims with respect to the North” in the 1970s. He summarizes the components of this political-economy of non-alignment as follow:


  • a will to develop the productive forces and to diversify production, especially through industrialization;

  • a determination that the national state should have leadership and control of the process;

  • a belief that technical models are ‘neutral’, though requiring control, and that there is no alternative but to reproduce them;

  • a belief that the development process mainly requires not popular initiative but only popular support for state action;

  • a belief that the process does not fundamentally clash with trade participation in the world capitalist system, even if it brings temporary conflicts with it.

NAM’s efforts to bring about a New International Economic Order (NIEO) based on this ideology of development during the 1970s were especially exerted in the UN. The struggle for global equity through independent national development was, due to the Cold War emphasis on ‘high politics’ (security issues), relegated to a secondary position. Nevertheless, NAM together with the Group of 77 (G77–largely made up of NAM members) succeeded to keep Third World issues on the agenda in most UN forums and agencies due to their numerical strength. In the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), NAM and the G77 promoted the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO) to rectify the perceived imbalances in information and communication flows between the North and the South.


In the UN General Assembly NAM played a significant role in transferring the permanent seat in the UNSC previously filled by the Republic of China (Taiwan) to mainland China, as well as to garner support for other national independence struggles. Wiese argues that although it was not NAM’s original intention to become caught up in the Cold War, the movement soon realized that it could bring its political leverage to bear in international forums to gain more influence for developing countries.


Here Non-Alignment with its emphasis on independent, judgment, independent decision making and independent actions provided them with a suitable alternative foreign postulates. Thus, cold war as dominant theme of post-second world war international relations certainly influenced and shaped the emergence of Non-Alignment, but it was by no means the cause of that emergence. Besides the opposition of cold war and bloc politics which NAM propagated was not its main goal but rather a means to promote the positive cause of the protection and preservation of newly attained independence of the member’s states. For the socially backward, economically weak and politically fragile nonaligned countries of Third World countries, international peace could not be achieved under threatening shadows of the cold war and therefore had to be avoided.


Thus, the major thrust of NAM is the creation of a new world based on rational, democratic, equitable and non-exploitative inter-states relation. It commitment has been not just against bloc divisions of cold war but for one world for universal peace and development. The end of the cold war has ended a period of strategic confrontations but an era of stable global peace is yet to be created. In fact the cold war is dead but not the regional conflicts and crisis. The East-West conflict has dissolved but intense economic and technological competition is emerging among several strong nations. The Non-Alignment countries have to learn to maneuver among them and to successfully face the menace of new colonialism that is sought to be imposed through various WTO round. Thus, the NAM continued to be relevance so long as there is exploitation, war, hunger, poverty and disease on the earth.


Those who took the path of Non-Alignment were people who found the existing ideas of nationalism, national interest, international relations, human dignity and freedom inadequate to meet the challenges of post-second world war reality. The post colonial reality which was suffused with the awareness that imperialism had not only failed to solve any human problem but had also violated all norms and values of civilized harmonious human existence. It had stunned the natural growth of land and people that came under its way. It had also developed an insatiable appetite for dominating others to satisfy which it had gone to wars, destroyed human life and precious resources and prepared to repeat the performance the new world needed as strategy to bridle this monstrous march to destruction. So here NAM can give the strategy to do so.


End of the East-West confrontation or of ideological polarization does not mean the end of the NAM just as the phase of thaw in great power conflict and détente did not make it irrelevant. It is pertinent to recall in this context the analysis of world situation made at the Cairo summit of 1964. “Taking note of the welcome improvement in the international situations the head of the state or govt. pointed out that, despite the presence improvement in international relations and notwithstanding the conclusion and signature of the treaty of Moscow, source of tension will exist in many parts of the world”.


What were those sources of tensions? The conference declared “imperialism, colonialism and new colonialism constitute a basic source of international tension and conflicts because they endanger world peace and security”. Thus, when the world is got rid of bloc conflict, because one of the bloc ceased to exist, the struggled against imperialism and the mindset it represents will, have to be continued and the NAM will remain relevant as an instrument of that struggle for all age to come like Platonic ideal state will remain ideal for all age to come.


A comprehensive assessment of the theory and practice of NAM through the last three decades reveals that it remains relevant to the changing world scenario irrespective of the fact that whether there is cold war or détente, whether the world is unipolar, bipolar, or multipolar. The uniqueness of NAM lies in the fact that its goals do not merely serve the national interest of member state but it stand to promote the cause humanity. They are universalistic in nature. It would not be an exaggeration to say that recent positive developments on international scene reflect the spirit of NAM.


Non-alignment is a political concept that strives for the remodeling of the international society, as a whole, and not merely any single aspects of it though inevitably the nonaligned nation had stressed particular aspects at a particular period of time.


While power bloc and military pacts have not lost their luster, there are military alliances which continue to dominant global trade to political freedom. As the political independence, without economic emancipation is meaningless, the NAM is progressively putting more emphasis on economic independence. The Non-Alignment nations have been demanding for a legitimate share in world trades. The determination of the quality and quantity of foreign aid from developed to developing countries is also task for the Non-Alignment nation. Economic cooperation between developed and developing states forms part of the threefold strategy advocated by the NAM. These stands are: reliance on their resources, promotion of cooperation among non-alignment states themselves, fostering cooperation with the advanced states, with the subjects of promoting self reliance as would restrict exploitation and contribute towards resolution of the problems of world economy as a whole.


While the challenge of international peace continue to be the predominant concern, the immediate task facing the NAM with the creation of a new, just and equitable international economic and social order. The struggle of NAM is now entering a new phase when most developed nation of the world appeared to be accepting in principle the need for a new international order. The fundamental concern of NAM has always been with global question of decolonization and consolidation of freedom, disarmament and development of economies through mutual cooperation as well as through a more equitable and just new international economic order. All these are interrelated and to make the package of peace and prosperity for humanity.


Former Pm of Indian Narasimha Rao said the following words in June 1992 in a speech made in Tokyo “the pursuit of a Non-Alignment policy is even more relevant to ever before NAM basically consists of the espousal of the right of nations to independence and development, regardless of the bloc phenomena. Whether there is one bloc or more at a given movement the urge of a nonaligned country would continue to maintain its independence, to take decisions according to its light not tagging itself in advance to other”. Again the Cartegena submit 1995 reaffirmed the “validity of the NAM and its fundamental principle” and the various norms of international life “peace, independence, sovereign equality, non-intervention in internal affairs”. It declared against poverty, hunger, illigacy, racial discrimination and xenophobia, terrorism, nuclear weapon, environmental degradation, foreign occupation. Further in the Foreign Minister summit of April 1997 in New Delhi IK Gujral said,” NAM affords its members s forum where they can discuss their common problems, evolve solutions and work out positions in trying to tackle the international problems of peace, security, development, environmental safety, human rights etc. Delhi Conference announced: the UN and the Security Council should become more representative of its increased memberships, non-discriminatory, time bound nuclear and general disarmament should be the objective towards which the movement should endeavors.


The Foreign Minister of Colombia Dr Maria Emma Mejiva Velez perhaps best reflected the thoughts of may people regarding the relevance of NAM today when she narrated story of how she was asked by a young girl in her country, “what is NAM?” In seeking to answer this question she said that today Non-Alignment meant more than “not being aligned to the great power bloc”. It meant that nations were not to be aligned with military alliances and seeks to get involved in peace making like the Middle East. She also drawn the attention in this submit that NAM in today’s world has to address issues of the future rather than the past because anti-colonialism has been transformed into democratization of more nations and development has become identified with environmental protection.


Those who doubt its validity must contemplate why what began with a modest membership of 25 is able to boast of a membership of 118 today? Why it that many that opted for alignment has come round to adopt Non-Alignment approach? It cannot be dismissed as merely a fashion or herd mentality of the poor Third World countries. In fact non-alignment was evolved to strengthen the socio-economic and political strategic basis of the new countries. It was though Non-Alignment that they were trying to give meaning and content to their political independence. What says Rasheeduddin Khan, Non-Alignment can still play a positive role in major and continuing global concerns like disarmament, and development is fully correct. According to M.S. Raja, Non-Alignment is a dynamic policy and retains its continuing relevance in world affairs by adopting itself to changing international context and the needs of the nonaligned comity of nations. It is a policy and posture of universal relevance, validity and applicability”.


The recently concluded 14th NAM submit in Havana further reaffirmed its relevance when it adopted Havana Declaration that condemned all forms of terrorism for whatever purposes and urges countries to refrain from extending political, diplomatic, moral or material support to terrorism under the UN charter and also asked them to fulfill global obligation not to give any support. The conference also condemned unilateralism and attempts to exercise hegemonic dominations in international relations. The declaration resolved to oppose and condemn the categorization of countries as “good and evil”, based on unilateral and unjustified criteria and the adoption of a doctrine of pre-emptive attack including by nuclear weapons. In the context of talk of “clash of civilizations”, the NAM countries also sought a “dialogue among culture, civilizations and religions”. The summit reaffirmed the inalienable rights of Third World countries to engage in research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination. On the north-south dialogue and cooperation the summit acknowledged the need for interaction among the leaders among the Third World for forging compatible or complementary responses on global issues for a greater action. It also expressed concerned over the continue impasse in negation all across all areas of Doha work program and asked the developed countries to show flexibility in breaking the deadlock.


Perhaps the most important role for NAM today lies in framing a concrete economic agenda for a just and fair international economic order. The globalization and liberalization trends worldwide have generated complex economic problems. The rich-poor divide has widened. The WTO rules and procedures have failed to provide adequate economic gains to the Third World. WTO summits have failed to reach a consensus on many issues. Its role in WTO negotiations to advance and protect the trading rights and opportunities of developing countries and in muscling up their negotiating position and skills would be the chief concerns. It should strive to reform and reorient the globalization process through a strong developmental agenda. NAM has an effective role to play in this regard provided member countries try to see the benefits from a unified angle without any partisan considerations.


Therefore, South-South cooperation should become a major economic plank of the movement. Its role in the present century would be strengthened by more South-South cooperation, which would mean, by and large, collaboration between and among the NAM countries and defending their interests from fast expanding economic and technological power of the North. NAM should develop a progressive agenda on the fundamental values of democracy, human rights and multiculturalism. The preservation and consolidation of democracy throughout its membership is a major challenge. NAM’s spectrum could be further enlarged with the increasing concern worldwide over environmental issues over green house gas emissions, health concerns especially AIDS, drug trafficking, rising instances of poverty, food crisis and unemployment mostly within the NAM members and LDC countries, the rising digital divide between the rich and poor and fight against all shades of extremism, xenophobia, ethnic nationalism and regional wars.


Ms Rice triggered a controversy in her July 27 speech by asserting that “Non-Alignment” had lost its meaning after the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union. She had evidently been irked by the shrill anti-American rhetoric that emerged at the recent Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Havana. She even advised India the pioneer of NAM to move past old ways of thinking as NAM was a cold war concept and hence lost its meaning. She advised that instead of being aligned with interest and powers of one bloc or another like during cold war, there could now be a partnership of fellow democracies with common ideals and values. She thus asked India to ditch NAM and join US led global alliance of democracies. Rejecting the US contention that Non-Aligned Movement has “lost its meaning”, India quickly asserted that its relevance continues in promoting democratization of the international system and New Delhi was committed to its ideals.External Affairs Ministry said India’s “firm and abiding commitment” to non-alignment could not be questioned. “The Non-Aligned Movement played a significant role in ending apartheid and colonialism. Today, its relevance continues in promoting South-South cooperation and democratization of the international system,” (Indian express June 29, 2007).


Therefore, in the conclusion it can be said that, although the cold war has ended there is no end of justice. In fact cold was has assumed a new dimension with the recent emergence of Russia as the world is witnessing the ongoing confrontation between US and Russia over issues like eastward expansion of NATO, Kosovo’s independence as well the Georgian crisis. As there is the possibility of reappearance of war monger in the scene of world affairs peace making become a continuous process must be pursued every time by the NAM. In fact until the world is not free form war and world peace is not guaranteed, the real development of the Third World counties will remain only a distant dream. Further as colonialism has been replaced by the phenomenon or neo-colonialism in the form of economic exploitation by the MNC because of the process of LPG (liberalization, privatization, and globalization) the role of the NAM must play the positive role in making the globalization inclusive and must strive to achieve a faire, just international economic order. Therefore, Non-Alignment has not lost any of its relevance rather it has stood the test of time. It has served the useful purpose of protecting and preserving the interest of the Third World countries well in the past, so it is also expected to serve their interest well in the future to come. NAM can play the most important role in protecting the economic interest of the Third World countries as well as promoting south-south cooperation. Thus the philosophy of NAM is as relevant as ever for the Third World.