Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
|Coordinating Bureau||New York, New York, United States|
17 observer countries
|–||Principal decision-making organ||Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries|
|Establishment||1961 in Belgrade as Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries|
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2012, the movement has 120 members and 17 observer countries.
The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely the brainchild of Yugoslavia’s president, Josip Broz Tito; Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno; Egypt’s second president, Gamal Abdel Nasser; Ghana’s first president Kwame Nkrumah; and India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. All five leaders were prominent advocates of a middle course for states in the Developing World between the Western and Eastern blocs in the Cold War. The phrase itself was first used to represent the doctrine by Indian diplomat and statesman V.K. Krishna Menon in 1953, at the United Nations.
In a speech given during the Havana Declaration of 1979, Fidel Castro said the purpose of the organization is to ensure “the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries” in their “struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics”. The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations‘s members and contain 55% of the world population. Membership is particularly concentrated in countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World.
Members have at times included the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Argentina, the South West Africa People’s Organization, Cyprus, and Malta. While many of the Non-Aligned Movement’s members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the super powers, the movement still maintained surprising amounts of cohesion throughout the Cold War. Some members were involved in serious conflicts with other members (e.g., India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq). The movement fractured from its own internal contradictions when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. While the Soviet allies supported the invasion, other members of the movement (particularly predominantly Muslim states) condemned it.
Because the Non-Aligned Movement was formed as an attempt to thwart the Cold War, it has struggled to find relevance since the Cold War ended. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, a founding member, its membership was suspended in 1992 at the regular Ministerial Meeting of the Movement, held in New York during the regular yearly session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. The successor states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia have expressed little interest in membership, though some have observer status. In 2004, Malta and Cyprus ceased to be members and joined the European Union. Belarus remains the sole member of the Movement in Europe. Turkmenistan, Belarus and the Dominican Republic are the most recent entrants. The applications of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Costa Rica were rejected in 1995 and 1998.
The 16th NAM summit took place in Tehran, Iran from 26 to 31 August 2012. According to MehrNews agency, representatives from over 150 countries are scheduled to attend. Attendance at the highest level includes 27 presidents, 2 kings and emirs, 7 prime ministers, 9 vice presidents, 2 parliament spokesmen and 5 special envoys. At the summit, Iran is taking over from Egypt as Chair of the Non-Aligned Movement for the period 2012 to 2015.
The Non-Aligned movement was never established as a formal organization, but became the name to refer to the participants of the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries first held in 1961. The term “non-alignment” itself was coined by V.K. Krishna Menon in 1953 remarks at the United Nations. Menon’s friend, Jawaharlal Nehru used the phrase in a 1954 speech in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In his speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations, which were first put forth by Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Called Panchsheel (five restraints), these principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were:
- Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty
- Mutual non-aggression
- Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful co-existence
A significant milestone in the development of the Non-Aligned Movement was the 1955 Bandung Conference, a conference of Asian and African states hosted by Indonesian president Sukarno, who gave a significant contribution to promote this movement. The attending nations declared their desire not to become involved in the Cold War and adopted a “declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation”, which included Nehru’s five principles. Six years after Bandung, an initiative of Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito led to the first Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries, which was held in September 1961 in Belgrade. The term non aligned movement appears first in the fifth conference in 1976, where participating countries are denoted as members of the movement.
At the Lusaka Conference in September 1970, the member nations added as aims of the movement the peaceful resolution of disputes and the abstention from the big power military alliances and pacts. Another added aim was opposition to stationing of military bases in foreign countries.
The founding fathers of the Non-aligned movement were: Sukarno of Indonesia, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana. Their actions were known as ‘The Initiative of Five’.
Organizational structure and membership
The movement stems from a desire not to be aligned within a geopolitical/military structure and therefore itself does not have a very strict organizational structure. Some organizational basics were defined at the 1996 Cartagena Document on Methodology The Summit Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned States is “the highest decision making authority”. The chairmanship rotates between countries and changes at every summit of heads of state or government to the country organizing the summit.
Requirements for membership of the Non-Aligned Movement coincide with the key beliefs of the United Nations. The current requirements are that the candidate country has displayed practices in accordance with the ten “Bandung principles” of 1955:
- Respect for fundamental human rights and for the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
- Respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations.
- Recognition of the movements for national independence.
- Recognition of the equality of all races and of the equality of all nations, large and small.
- Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country.
- Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself singly or collectively, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
- Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.
- Settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations.
- Promotion of mutual interests and co-operation.
- Respect for justice and international obligations.
Policies and ideology
Secretaries General of the NAM had included such diverse figures as Suharto, an authoritarian anti-communist, and Nelson Mandela, a democratic socialist and famous anti-apartheid activist. Consisting of many governments with vastly different ideologies, the Non-Aligned Movement is unified by its commitment to world peace and security. At the seventh summit held in New Delhi in March 1983, the movement described itself as “history’s biggest peace movement”. The movement places equal emphasis on disarmament. NAM’s commitment to peace pre-dates its formal institutionalisation in 1961. The Brioni meeting between heads of governments of India, Egypt and Yugoslavia in 1956 recognized that there exists a vital link between struggle for peace and endeavours for disarmament.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, the NAM also sponsored campaigns for restructuring commercial relations between developed and developing nations, namely the New International Economic Order (NIEO), and its cultural offspring, the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO). The latter, on its own, sparked a Non-Aligned initiative on cooperation for communications, the Non-Aligned News Agencies Pool, created in 1975 and later converted into the NAM News Network in 2005.
The Non-Aligned Movement espouses policies and practices of cooperation, especially those that are multilateral and provide mutual benefit to all those involved. Many of the members of the Non-Aligned Movement are also members of the United Nations. Both organisations have a stated policy of peaceful cooperation, yet the successes the NAM has had with multilateral agreements tend to be ignored by the larger, western and developed nation dominated UN. African concerns about apartheid were linked with Arab-Asian concerns about Palestine and multilateral cooperation in these areas has enjoyed moderate success. The Non-Aligned Movement has played a major role in various ideological conflicts throughout its existence, including extreme opposition to apartheid regimes and support of liberation movements in various locations, including Zimbabwe and South Africa. The support for these sorts of movements stems from a belief that every state has the right to base its policies and practices with national interests in mind and not as a result of relations to a particular power bloc. The Non-Aligned Movement has become a voice of support for issues facing developing nations and it still contains ideals that are legitimate within this context.
Role after the Cold War
Since the end of the Cold War and the formal end of colonialism[clarification needed], the Non-Aligned Movement has been forced to redefine itself and reinvent its purpose in the current world system. A major question has been whether many of its foundational ideologies, principally national independence, territorial integrity, and the struggle against colonialism and imperialism, can be applied to contemporary issues. The movement has emphasised its principles of multilateralism, equality, and mutual non-aggression in attempting to become a stronger voice for the global South, and an instrument that can be utilised to promote the needs of member nations at the international level and strengthen their political leverage when negotiating with developed nations. In its efforts to advance Southern interests, the movement has stressed the importance of cooperation and unity amongst member states, but as in the past, cohesion remains a problem since the size of the organisation and the divergence of agendas and allegiances present the ongoing potential for fragmentation. While agreement on basic principles has been smooth, taking definitive action vis-à-vis particular international issues has been rare, with the movement preferring to assert its criticism or support rather than pass hard-line resolutions. The movement continues to see a role for itself, as in its view, the world’s-poorest nations remain exploited and marginalised, no longer by opposing superpowers, but rather in a uni-polar world, and it is Western hegemony and neo-colonialism that the movement has really re-aligned itself against. It opposes foreign occupation, interference in internal affairs, and aggressive unilateral measures, but it has also shifted to focus on the socio-economic challenges facing member states, especially the inequalities manifested by globalization and the implications of neo-liberal policies. The Non-Aligned Movement has identified economic underdevelopment, poverty, and social injustices as growing threats to peace and security. Summit, Durban, South Africa, 2–3 September 1998: [http://www.nam.gov.za/xiisummit/chap1.htm
Current activities and positions
- Criticism of US policy
In recent years the organization has criticized US foreign policy. The US invasion of Iraq and the War on Terrorism, its attempts to stifle Iran and North Korea‘s nuclear plans, and its other actions have been denounced as human rights violations and attempts to run roughshod over the sovereignty of smaller nations. The movement’s leaders have also criticized the American control over the United Nations and other international structures.
- Self-determination of Puerto Rico
Since 1961, the organization has supported the discussion of the case of Puerto Rico’s self-determination before the United Nations. A resolution on the matter was to be proposed on the XV Summit by the Hostosian National Independence Movement.[dated info]
- Self-determination of Western Sahara
Since 1973, the group has supported the discussion of the case of Western Sahara’s self-determination before the United Nations. The movement reaffirmed in its last meeting (Sharm El Sheikh 2009) the support to the Self-determination of the Sahrawi people by choosing between any valid option, welcomed the direct conversations between the parties, and remembered the responsibility of the United Nations on the Sahrawi issue.
- Sustainable development
The movement is publicly committed to the tenets of sustainable development and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, but it believes that the international community has not created conditions conducive to development and has infringed upon the right to sovereign development by each member state. Issues such as globalization, the debt burden, unfair trade practices, the decline in foreign aid, donor conditionality, and the lack of democracy in international financial decision-making are cited as factors inhibiting development.
- Reforms of the UN
The movement has been quite outspoken in its criticism of current UN structures and power dynamics, mostly in how the organisation has been utilised by powerful states in ways that violate the movement’s principles. It has made a number of recommendations that would strengthen the representation and power of ‘non-aligned’ states. The proposed UN reforms are also aimed at improving the transparency and democracy of UN decision-making. The UN Security Council is the element considered the most distorted, undemocratic, and in need of reshaping.
Lately the movement has collaborated with other organisations of the developing world – primarily the Group of 77 – forming a number of joint committees and releasing statements and documents representing the shared interests of both groups. This dialogue and cooperation can be taken as an effort to increase the global awareness about the organisation and bolster its political clout.
- Cultural diversity and human rights
The movement accepts the universality of human rights and social justice, but fiercely resists cultural homogenisation. In line with its views on sovereignty, the organisation appeals for the protection of cultural diversity, and the tolerance of the religious, socio-cultural, and historical particularities that define human rights in a specific region.[not in citation given]
- Working groups, task forces, committees
- Committee on Palestine
- High-Level Working Group for the Restructuring of the United Nations
- Joint Coordinating Committee (chaired by Chairman of G-77 and Chairman of NAM)
- Non-Aligned Security Caucus
- Standing Ministerial Committee for Economic Cooperation
- Task Force on Somalia
- Working Group on Disarmament
- Working Group on Human Rights
- Working Group on Peace-Keeping Operations
The conference of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Countries, often referred to as Non-Aligned Movement Summit is the main meeting within the movement and are held every few years:
|Date||Host country||Host city|
|1st||1–6 September 1961||Yugoslavia||Belgrade|
|2nd||5–10 October 1964||United Arab Republic||Cairo|
|3rd||8–10 September 1970||Zambia||Lusaka|
|4th||5–9 September 1973||Algeria||Algiers|
|5th||16–19 August 1976||Sri Lanka||Colombo|
|6th||3–9 September 1979||Cuba||Havana|
|7th||7–12 March 1983||India||New Delhi|
|8th||1–6 September 1986||Zimbabwe||Harare|
|9th||4–7 September 1989||Yugoslavia||Belgrade|
|10th||1–6 September 1992||Indonesia||Jakarta|
|11th||18–20 October 1995||Colombia||Cartagena de Indias|
|12th||2–3 September 1998||South Africa||Durban|
|13th||20–25 February 2003||Malaysia||Kuala Lumpur|
|14th||15–16 September 2006||Cuba||Havana|
|15th||11–16 July 2009||Egypt||Sharm El Sheikh|
|16th||26–31 August 2012||Iran||Tehran|
Other meetings (such as the Bali meeting of 23–27 May 2011) are held between the official moments.
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2011)|
Between summits, the Non-Aligned Movement is run by the Chairperson elected at last summit meeting. The Coordinating Bureau, also based at the UN, is the main instrument for directing the work of the movement’s task forces, committees and working groups.
Members, observers and guests
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Burma (Myanmar)
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- Central African Republic
- Côte d’Ivoire
- Democratic Republic of the Congo
- Dominican Republic
- Equatorial Guinea
- North Korea
- Papua New Guinea
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- São Tomé and Príncipe
- Saudi Arabia
- Sierra Leone
- South Africa
- Sri Lanka
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
The following countries and organizations have observer status:
There is no permanent guest status, but often several non-member countries are represented as guests at conferences. In addition, a large number of organisations, both from within the UN system and from outside, are always invited as guests.
- Hans Köchler (ed.), The Principles of Non-Alignment. The Non-aligned Countries in the Eighties—Results and Perspectives. London: Third World Centre, 1982. ISBN 0-86199-015-3 (Google Print)
- ^ a b c d “NAM Members & Observers”. 16th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, Tehran, 26–31 August 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^ a b c “The Non-Aligned Movement: Background Information”. Government of Zaire. 21 September 2001. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- ^ Ma’Aroof, Mohammad Khalid (1 January 1987). Afghanistan in World Politics: (a Study of Afghan-U.S. Relations). ISBN 978-8-121-20097-4.
- ^ Fidel Castro speech to the UN in his position as chairman of the non-aligned countries movement 12 October 1979; “Pakistan & Non-Aligned Movement”. Board of Investment – Government of Pakistan. 2003.
- ^ a b Grant, Cedric. “Equity in Third World Relations: a third world perspective”. International Affairs 71, 3 (1995), 567–587.
- ^ a b Suvedi, Sūryaprasāda (1996). Land and Maritime Zones of Peace in International Law. Oxford: Clarendon Press; New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 169–170. ISBN 978-0-198-26096-7.
- ^ a b c d “The Non-Aligned Movement: Member States”. XII Summit, Durban, South Africa, 2–3 September 1998. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^ Lai Kwon Kin (2 September 1992). “Yugoslavia casts shadow over non-aligned summit”. The Independent. Retrieved 26 September 2009. “Iran and several other Muslim nations want the rump state of Yugoslavia kicked out, saying it no longer represents the country which helped to found the movement.”
- ^ a b Najam, Adil (2003). “Chapter 9: The Collective South in Multinational Environmental Politics”. In Nagel, Stuard. Policymaking and prosperity: a multinational anthology. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. p. 233. ISBN 0-7391-0460-8. Retrieved 10 November 2009. “Turkmenistan, Belarus and Dominican Republic are the most recent entrants. The application of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Costa Rica were rejected in 1995 and 1998.”
- ^ NAM summit will raise Iran’s profile in the international arena
- ^ NAM summit kicks off in Tehran
- ^ Southern Africa: Media Briefing By Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim On International Developments
- ^ “Belgrade declaration of non-aligned countries”. Egyptian presidency website. 6 September 1961. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- ^ “Fifth conference of heads of state or Government of non-aligned nations”. Egyptian presidency website. 6 September 1961. Archived from the original on 23 April 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2011.
- ^ a b c “Meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Methodology of the Movement of the Non-Aligned Countries, Caratagena de Indias, May 14–16, 1996”. Head of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Countries. Government of Zaire. 14–16 May 1996. Retrieved 24 April 2011.
- ^ a b Ohlson, Thomas; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (1988). Arms Transfer Limitations and Third World Security. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 198. ISBN 978-0-198-29124-4.
- ^ a b Morphet, Sally. “Multilateralism and the Non-Aligned Movement: What Is the Global South Doing and Where Is It Going?”. Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations. 10 (2004), pp. 517–537.
- ^ Putting Differences Aside, Daria Acosta, 18 September 2006.
- ^ Staff (7 August 2009). “Profile: Non-Aligned Movement”. BBC News. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^ XII Summit, Durban, South Africa, 2–3 September 1998: Final Document, no. 10-11.
- ^ Staff (16 September 2006). “Non-Aligned Nations Slam U.S.”. CBC News. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- ^ [clarification needed] Transcript (14 July 2009). “No Alineados preparan apoyo a la libre determinación de Puerto Rico – El texto se presentaría al cierre de la cita del NOAL en Sharm el Sheij“ (in Spanish). Radio Cooperativa. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
- ^ [dead link] “3162 (XXVIII) Question of Spanish Sahara. U.N. General assembly 28th session, 1973” (PDF format; requires Adobe Reader). United Nations.
- ^ XV Summit of heads of state and government of the Non Aligned Movement – Final Document. Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.16-04-2009. See points 237, 238 & 239.
- ^ Statement on the implementation of the Right to Development, 7 January 2008.
- ^ XII Summit, Durban, South Africa, 2–3 September 1998: Final Document, no. 55.
- ^ Declaration on the occasion of celebrating Human Rights Day.
- ^ XII Summit, Durban, South Africa, 2–3 September 1998: The Non-Aligned Movement: Background Information 2.4..
- ^ XV Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, Sharm El Sheikh, 11–16 July 2009: Previous Summits
- ^ Non-aligned again in Belgrade
- ^ Secretary-General’s Message to Additional Commemorative Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement
- ^ Fidel Castro, having recently undergone gastric surgery, was unable to attend the conference and was represented by his younger brother, Cuba’s acting president Raúl Castro. See “Castro elected President of Non-Aligned Movement Nations”. People’s Daily. 16 September 2006.
- ^ La Nación – Opinión – Pág. 19: Los No Alineados (“The Non-Aligned”), for Lucio Garcia del Solar, 10 October 2006 (in Spanish).
- ^ a b c d Final Document of the 7th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement -(New Delhi Declaration)
- ^ Kin, Lai Kwok (2 September 1992). “Yugoslavia Casts Shadow over Non-Aligned Summit”. Reuters (via The Independent. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
- ^ XII Summit, Durban, South Africa, 2–3 September 1998: The Non-Aligned Movement: Background Information 4.4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Non-Aligned Movement|
- Official Site: 16th Summit – Sixteenth Non Aligned Movement Summit, (Tehran August 26–31, 2012)
- Official Site: 15th Summit – Fifteenth Non Aligned Movement Summit, (Sharm el Sheikh July 11–16, 2009)
- Official Site: 14th Summit – Fourteenth Non Aligned Movement Summit, (Havana, September 11–16, 2006)
- Non-Aligned Movement – South African government NAM site
- International Institute for Non-Aligned Studies – International Organization for Non-Aligned Movement
- The Cold War International History Project’s Document Collection on the NAM