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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Non-Aligned Movement: A Historic Movement Reinventing itself for Future

Dr. Shreesh

With the disintegration of the European colonial system after the Second World War, many things appeared on the international stage that changed the nature, style and strategies of international relations. Among those things, the emergence of new nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America brought about such a drastic change that the nature of international relations underwent a significant change in terms of its contents and style. Non-alignment is an Indo-Anglican word. With the only exception of the Random House Dictionary, no other dictionary recognises non words. So, as a concept, Non-alignment owes its origin to India. It was during our national independence movement, says Subimal Dutt in his memoirs ‘With Nehru in the Foreign Office', that "the principle of non-alignment was accepted by the Congress at Haripura session (1939). Even our culture and philosophy preaches what we refer to today as non-alignment, And this old Indian philosophy was asserted by Gandhi when he advocated that "India should be friendly to all, enemy to none."i
It was long before India became free that Jawaharlal Nehru, when he was in charge of External Affairs in the Interim Govern­ment, had declared that independent India would keep away from power blocs. In 1946, he declared again that India would follow an independent foreign policy. He said, "We purpose as far as possible, to keep away from the power politics of groups, aligned against one another, which have led in the past two World Wars and which may again lead to disaster on an even wider scale."ii It was however, after the attainment of in­dependence by India with unique historical experiences, geographical situation, and the perception of its national interest by enlightened leader­ship that non-alignment as a policy came to occupy an important position in international relations.
Burmese Prime Minister took the same stand when he declared in 1948 that "of all of the three great powers, U.K. the U.S.A., the U.S.S.R., Burma should be in friendly relations with all the three." It was again in 1950 that it declared that Burma does not desire "alignment with a particular power bloc antagonistic to other opposing bloc."iii Indonesia also reciprocated the same feeling after gaining independence.
Certain people trace the origin of non-alignment in cold-wars. It was at the Algiers Conference of the Non-aligned held in 1973 that it was discussed whether non-alignment is a product of cold-war or anti- colonial struggle. Fidel Castro of Cuba advocated that non-alignment is essentially an anti-colonial and anti-imperialist move. He questioned its ant bloc tendency while pleading that socialism is a natural ally of non-alignment. To illustrate his contention, he pointed that Soviet Russia has given persistent support to the goals and objectives of non- alignment.iv Yugoslavia, on the other hand, advocated a policy of equi­distance from the power blocs. Equidistance implies its origin in cold- war. According to him, the major object of non-alignment is to pre­serve peace between the major powers. P.N Haskar says, "As far as India was concerned, non-alignment did not originate in Belgrade. It did not even originate in the Conference of certain number of Afro- Asian States held in Bandung in April, 1955.”v Its roots lay deep in the very struggle for our freedom against British Imperialism and in the ethos and world view which Gandhi and Nehru imparted to that struggle giving to the most down-trodden Indian a sense of national identity, transcending the narrow confines of our social, religious and regime structures.
Inception of NAM: An Obvious Need to be Non-aligned
After the Second World War ended, two major superpowers arose in the world-USA and former USSR. Their mutual rivalry resulted in the formation of two hostile military blocs. Consequently an atmosphere of tension, distrust, and fear developed between 1945 and 1991 known as the ‘cold war’. As many former imperialist colonies were attaining independence, both sides tried to draw these new independent nations into their respective blocs. The ones joining the blocs were given economic and military aid and were expected to provide military and political support in turn, if a conflict arose. India did not wish to ally itself with either party because it was aware of the high price of military involvement and also that the new found freedom would become meaningless. Therefore, it tried to initiate a movement for world peace independently. Our leaders also felt that peace simply did not mean the absence of war. It also meant healthy cooperation amongst nations for the benefit of all. This policy, which was supported by many newly independent nations, came to be defined as the Non-aligned Movement. It meant an impartial approach towards world issues without being influenced by either bloc.
Non-Alignment does not mean being neutral or not involved in foreign affairs. It means remaining apart from military and political groups while taking an active part in promoting world peace and understanding amongst nations. It also means taking an independent stand on international matters. As discussed, non-alignment has its political, economic and social roots in the anti-colonial struggles of the era of post-World War II. It is a movement aimed at bringing in a new international order which is just. In this new order, the States should not be discriminated against because of their history, their social origin and size. The new nations joined this movement with different backgrounds, traditions and perceptions of themselves and their interests.
Each had a strong sense of national identity along with a common passion for an international order based on equality. It means to be friendly with all but only on a footing of equality and reciprocity and not be hooked to military alliance. Non-alignment means efforts to retain independence of thought, judgment and action under conditions of cold-war which genera­ted military alliance and agreements of all sorts. Its purpose is to enlarge the areas of peace and co-operation. So, the essence of non-alignment lies in the freedom and independence of a country to judge each issue as it arises on its own merits, as it affects the national interests, of the country concerned and the interest of peace in the world but not on the basis of a predetermined attitude because of alignment with one great power or another. This movement became an important forum for those countries that did not want to support either bloc, but wished to work for the cause of peace and cooperation amongst nations.
Most of the new nations sought to realise this object through a move­ment which has come to be known as non-alignment. The whole story of non-alignment from Belgrade Conference (1961) to the latest, Harare Conference (1986) confirms the resolve of the new nations in reshaping the international order. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a Movement of 118 members representing the interests and priorities of developing countries. The Movement has its origin in the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The meeting was convened upon the invitation of the Prime Ministers of Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia and Pakistan and brought together leaders of 29 states, mostly former colonies, from the two continents of Africa and Asia, to discuss common concerns and to develop joint policies in international relations. Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister or India, President Sukarno of Indonesia and President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt led the Conference and later the Movement. At the meeting, Third World leaders shared their similar problems of resisting the pressures of the major powers, maintaining their independence and opposing colonialism and neo-colonialism, especially western domination.
Non-Aligned Movement: Meaning and Nature
Most of the western scholars take non-alignment as a negative concept because of the existence of the word. In this respect, they consider it as something comparable to neutrality, because it is primarily a response to the cold-war, and only a part of a product of rising nationalism. Afro-Asian nationalism is a function of bipolarity. Let us, however, discuss its true nature.
1. Non-alignment is not to do with Neutrality:
The concept of non-alignment is altogether different from the con­cept of neutrality. Neutrality is an attitude of non-participation or refusal to take sides on any issue irrespective of its merits. Alignment is an attitude of openly declaring in advance that the country will be on the side of another country aligned with it irrespective of the merits of the case. Non-alignment, on the other hand, does not decant in advance. A non-aligned country will judge each case as arises on its merits as it sees it and not as others see it. It is a concept of liberty and freedom at State level. Neutrality is a concept relevant only in times of war.
Neutrality means to keep aloof from war. Non-alignment, on the other hand, is a concept relevant both in peace and war. Non-alignment has thus little to do with neutrality or partiality. Neutrality imposes certain limitations and confers some rights. A neutral country has to prove in practice its neutrality in war. Non-alignment, on the other hand, believes in further­ing one's own interest in the light of the prevailing circumstances accord­ing to one's own independent judgment, both in peace and war. Non-alignment means freedom from obligations and commitments. Non-alignment does not debar alliance with a country to advance national interests. Even Nehru declared that, "We are free to join an alliance." Speaking before the U.S. Congress in 1949, Nehru said, "India cannot and shall not be neutral where freedom is threatened or justice denied. To be neutral would be a denial of all that we stand for."vi The conclusions of the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship and Cooperation and the treaty of Friendship between India and Bangladesh do not detract India from the path of freedom of choice to adjudge her own interests.
Secondly, neutrality is different from non-alignment in the sense that neutral countries acquired this status through or as a result of the provisions contained in either their respective municipal laws, or by international treaties and agreements. This means the commitment of those countries to neutrality continues irrespective of governmental changes in those countries. The status of Switzerland as a neutral country stands even though the Government changes. But in case of non-align­ment, the commitment of a country may change with change in Govern­ment. We find that India under the Janata Government opted for what they termed 'genuine non-alignmentvii' which stressed policy of equi­distance.
2. Non-alignment doesn’t qualify as an Ideology:
So, non-alignment is not an ideology or a dogma. It is not a fixed or static philosophy. It is dynamic and adjusts itself to reality and recon­ciles between the interests of one's own country and that of other count­ries of the world. Non-alignment does not favour intervention but non- aligned States sometimes do interfere in the internal affairs of others as India did with respect to Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim. The aid given by India to Burma during the Civil War in 1949 is nothing short of inter­ference in the internal affairs of Burma. The opposition of India to the acceptance of arms assistance by Pakistan from U.S.A. is also an instance to illustrate India's interference into the internal affairs of Pakistan.
3. Non-alignment is a Tool:
Non-alignment is a means, a method through which peace and progress not only in a particular country but throughout the world is sought to be achieved. It is not a negative approach. It is definitely positive. In areas where India's vital interests are involved, especially in neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, India can­not afford to sit idle. India cannot watch merely as a spectator. In case where distant countries are involved, a non-aligned country must give moral and political support.
NAM: Basic Values
As a concept and movement, non-alignment upholds certain values- while opposing certain other values. Let us discuss them in detail.
1. No Association with Military Alliances
Non-alignment stands- for dissociation from military alliances that came into existence as a result of rivalry between the super-powers. Military alliances attempt to create spheres of influence, promote arms race and thus increase tension in the world. It was on account of the membership of military alliances such as SEATO and CENTO that India opposed that entry of Pakistan into non-aligned movement at the time of the Colombo Conference held in 1976. It is now after having given up membership of military pacts that Pakistan could be admitted as a member at the Havana Conference held in 1979.viii Rather, the alliances of which Pakistan was a member have disintegrated. This has proved the truth of the contention that non- alignment is gaining ground against military alliances.
2. Attainment of National Interest
In spite of the fact that non-alignment aims at ushering in a just and peaceful international order, it is not blind to the fact that the existence of a nation depends upon seeking its own national interest. It is in this context that Nehru stressed that your relations with a particular country can be more cordial and friendly.
3. Amalgamation of National Interest with Internationalism:
Promotion of national interest keeping in view the achievement of peace in the world means that non-alignment is a synthesis of nationalism and internationalism. The ideals of the leaders of the high priests of non- alignment were shaped by the traditions of their ancient civilisation as also the Western liberal education in which they were brought up. The Indian leaders were in particular influenced by the moralist traditions of Buddha, Ashoka and Mahatma Gandhi. It is the Gandhian concept of non-violence at the national level that was extended by Nehru to the international plane through the police of peaceful co-existence and non- involvement with military rivalry of big powers. Just as non-violence was based on courage and conviction and the best and most peaceful way of achieving independence so was non-alignment born out of conviction and sheer necessity of survival of the newly independent countries.
4. A Serious Concern for World Peace
Non-alignment is concerned with the maintenance of peace in the world. This is but natural in a world where nuclear holocaust can destroy the whole of the world within no time. Moreover, the non aligned countries are against the use of force in settling international disputes. They are of the view that war instead of solving problems, tends to aggravate them. Their concern for peace so much over-shadows other things that at times they do not bother for their own national interest. Peace is considered necessary for the eradica­tion of poverty and squalor from the world.
5. Looking for Economic Support
All the new nations that joined non-aligned movement were under-developed. Their primary job was to develop their countries at the earliest possible. Development could be possible only through economic and technological assistance from the industrialised and developed countries. This assistance was sought from countries of both the blocs. But this assistance was given with certain conditions and had therefore, politico-economic implications. Moreover, the moral and psychological effect of this end was also not in the interest of recipient country. This made certain countries like India to receive aid in sectors which are critical for creating national know-how and infra­structure for future development in a way that the need for future assis­tance would end. In addition, efforts have been made by the non-aligned countries to evolve self-reliance. It is sought to be achieved through pooling of resources and reducing dependence on the developed countries. India is taking a leading position in creating self-reliance and self-confi­dence among the non-aligned countries. In spite of the fact that India is a poor country, its food position is satisfactory, and its foreign exchange reserves are enough and it is without exaggeration one of the most advanced countries in the field of science, technology and industry. She is rather helping countries of South, South East and West Asia in many ways.
6. Sovereignty of Judgment on International issues
The root characteristic feature of the non-aligned is the independence of judgment which the non-aligned countries enjoy on international issues. They judge every issue on its own merit without any dictation from any other country. This has been asserted by many leaders of the non-aligned countries. Nehru declared that non-alignment is "a policy of acting according to our best judgment.”ix
7. Democratic Approach to International Relations
Non- aligned countries believe in a democratic approach to international rela­tions by all the countries of the world. Vice-President Nixon and Secretary of State Dulles used almost abusive language for the concept of non-alignment in 1956. Nehru urged upon them neither to suppress dis­cussion nor give up tolerate in discussing external relations of the new nations. Nehru said, "I submit for consideration that Mr. Nixon and Mr. Dulles are saying something that is opposed to the democratic way of life. The very basis of democracy is tolerance for differing points of view."x
8. Resistance to Colonialism and Racialism:
Non-aligned countries are opposed to racialism and colonialism in any form. It was to condemn Dutch action on Indonesia and plead for the freedom of Indo­nesia that Nehru called a conference in New Delhi in 1954. It was at the Bandung Conference held in 1955 where the representatives from Asia and Africa condemned racialism and colonialism.xi Sukarno and Nehru were in particular concerned about the possibility that anti-colo­nial struggle would become institutionalised. Concern for the freedom of Zimbabve (Rhodesia) was expressed deeply by the non-aligned countries particularly India. Non-alignment is also opposed to racialism as practiced in South Africa.
9. Opposition to Power Politics:
Morgenthau and Schwarzen berger regard international relations as a struggle for power.xii Power implies a particular man's control over the minds and actions of other men. Non- alignment rejects at least in theory, this game of power politics. Instead, it believes in influence politics. Influence politics differs from power politics in the sense that influence believes in persuasion while power lies in compelling other by the use of force to do what he would not have done otherwise.
10. Establishment of New International Economic Order:
In spite of the fact that the new nations have obtained freedom, they are still dominated by the highly developed countries in the economic sphere. They are tied in the economic system that believes in exploitation of the poor and underdeveloped countries. In spite of the fact that these new nations have made developmental plans, they have not been able to make a little progress. The produce of the poor, underdeveloped, countries is bought by the affluent nations at a very low rate, while the finished goods prepared from that very stuff imported from the underdeveloped countries is exported to them at very high prices. This leads to deficit in balance of payments. The aid given by the developed countries to the under­developed nations is eaten back by the former to meet balance of pay­ments gap. The non-aligned countries plead for the replacement of this old system by a New International Economic System.
Concern for the new economic system was expressed for the first time at the Conference held at Algiers in 1970.xiii Consequently, many of the new nations provid­ing raw-materials decided to come together and act in unison to increase the prices of their commodities. It was this strategy at Algiers that gave birth to the demand for a New International Economic Order. This strategy which was later used with great effect by the OPEC (Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) provided a major threat for world capitalist powers.
The radical departure in the realm of economics gave the non-aligned movement a new structural meaning in world politics. They became in effect powerful bargaining groups within the context of international economic relations. The bargaining power gave a new mean­ing to their political demands, especially racialism and national liberation.
Non-Aligned Movement and World Politics
The first Conference of Non-Aligned Heads of State or Government, at which 25 countries were represented, was convened at Belgrade in September 1961, largely through the initiative of Yugoslavian President Josip Broz Tito.xiv At that stage, the biggest concern was that an accelerating arms race might result in war between the Soviet Union and the USA. Since its inception the Movement attempted to create an independent path in world politics that would not result in Member States becoming pawns in the struggles between the major powers. This resulted in a large part of its history being influenced by the global tension of the Cold War between the two super powers. However, the Cold War was not the sole or only critical issue on the agenda of the Non-Aligned Movement.
There were three basic elements that influenced the approaches of the Movement to international issues the right of independent judgment, the struggle against imperialism and neo-­colonialism, and the use of moderation in relations with all big powers.xv The Movement also worked towards the restructuring of the international economic order. Non-Alignment has made self-determination and equality of all peoples, the free development of the individual, the economic and social progress of society and of nations its central preoccupations. By combining the question of peace and development with the emancipation of peoples from all forms of subordination and exploitation, Non- Alignment has become one of the principal promoters of a positive development of international relations on a global scale and a movement whose political stance, concepts and strategy are of worldwide relevance.
The Non-Aligned Movement can also be seen in terms of the Movement of the newly-independent countries from the 1940s to 1960s. They strived for Non-Alignment to make their voice heard on the international stage. The Cold War, the imminent danger of confrontation, the necessity to defeat colonialism in its orthodox or new form, the necessity to erase the global causes of anomaly for even distribution of wealth and technology, but mainly the necessity of consolidating independence for the newly independent countries and of creating a new code of interstate relations strengthened the Non-Aligned Movement.
The Movement in a real sense represents the poor of the world. Over eighty per cent of those countries classified as being the least developed belong to the Non-Aligned Movement. Most of the countries which are seriously affected by the balance of payment deficits, food scarcity and inflation are members of the Movement. Whether one looks at life in terms of the Gross National Product, terms of trade, industrial stagnation, caloric intake, health and service delivery, adult literacy, population growth or life expectancy at birth, the non-aligned countries are among the world's disadvantaged.
The Jakarta Summit in 1992 was a turning point in Non-Aligned history since it was the first Summit after the end of the Cold War.xvi It allowed the Movement to shift its focus from the rhetoric of the past to concrete work. The emphasis has shifted from the demands from the developed countries to cooperation with the developed countries.
The Non-Aligned Movement does not have a formal constitution or a permanent secretariat. It has a practice of a rotating Chair, under which its Chair is formally rotated to the Head of State or Government of the host country of the Summit. The Foreign Ministry and Permanent Mission in New York of the Chair at the same time assume the responsibility of the administrative management of the Movement. The Co-coordinating Bureau (CoB) at the United Nations in New York forms the focal point for coordination among the NAM Members.xvii Since the Non-Aligned countries meet regularly at the UN and conduct much of their work there, the Chairs' Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York functions as the Chair of the CoB. The Bureau reviews and facilitates the harmonization of the work of the NAM Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees.
Some of the Working Groups, Task Forces and Committees formed by NAM are: High-Level Working Group for the Restructuring of the United Nations, Working Group on Human Rights, Working Group on Peace-Keeping Operations, Working Group on Disarmament, Committee on Palestine, Task Force on Somalia, Non-Aligned Security Caucus, Standing Ministerial Committee for Economic Cooperation, and Joint Coordinating Committee (chaired by Chairman of G-77 and Chairman of NAM).xviii An important mechanism of NAM is the Troika of past, serving and future Chairs. This concept is exercised at the discretion of the incumbent Chair and can act as a clearinghouse for solutions of problems and issues confronting developing countries on which the Movement must take a position.
Apart from Belgrade, where the first and the ninth Summits were held, Summits have been held at Cairo, Lusaka, Algiers, Colombo, Havana, New Delhi, Harare, Jakarta, Cartagena de India's, Durban and Kuala Lumpur.xix The Non-Aligned Movement has been quite outspoken in its criticism of current UN structures and power dynamics, mostly in how the organisation has been utilized by powerful states in ways that violate the principles of NAM. It has made a number of recommendations aimed at improving the transparency and democracy of UN decision-making. NAM considers the UN Security Council to be the most distorted and undemocratic of all UN Organs.
Hence, it demands for reshaping and restructuring of the Security Council. NAM accepts the universality of human rights and social justice, but fiercely resists cultural homogenization. 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.
NAM has collaborated with other organizations 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.
Non-Aligned Movement: Summitsxx
Brief Outlines

1–6 September 1961
In this first summit of NAM, The participants in the Conference consider that disarmament is an imperative need and the most urgent task of mankind.
5–10 October 1964
The Conference urges all nations to join in the cooperative development of the peaceful use of atomic energy for the benefit of all mankind; and in particular, to study the development of atomic power and other technical aspects in which the international cooperation might be most effectively accomplished through the free flow of such scientific information
8–10 September 1970
The Heads of State or Government of non-aligned countries, united by common political and economic aspirations … recognizing that the massive investments in the economic and social progress of mankind can be made if agreements are reached to reduce expenditure on armaments.
5–9 September 1973
The Conference declares itself in favour of general and complete disarmament, and especially a ban on the use of nuclear weapons and the manufacture of atomic weapons and warheads and the total destruction of existing stocks. The
Conference also declares itself in favour of the banning of all existing chemical and bacteriological weapons.
The Heads of State or Government welcome the adoption by the twenty-sixth session of the UNGA of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a zone of peace and the setting up by the UN of an ad-hoc committee to consider the measures aimed at implementing the declaration.
16–19 August 1976
The conference declared that the arms race is inconsistent with efforts aimed at achieving the New International Economic Order in view of the urgent need to divert the resources utilized for the acceleration of the arms race towards socio-economic development, particularly of the developing countries.
3–9 September 1979
Heads of state or Government of Non-Aligned Countries... support the creation of nuclear free zones and zones of peace and cooperation and that nuclear powers undertake to respect such zones.
7–12 March 1983
appeal to the great powers to give up mistrust, engage in sincere, forward-looking negotiations in a spirit of shared good faith to reach agreement on various disarmament measures and to find a
way out of the deepening economic crisis which threatens all of us. In order to prevent effectively the horizontal and vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons, nuclear-weapon States should adopt urgent measures for halting and reversing the nuclear arms race.
1–6 September 1986
The Heads of State or Government reiterated that the use of nuclear weapons, besides being a violation of the Charter of the United Nations, would also be a crime against humanity. The Heads of State or Government affirmed the inalienable right of all States to apply and develop their programmes for peaceful uses of nuclear energy for economic and social development in conformity with their priorities, interests and needs.
4–7 September 1989
The Heads of State or Government reiterated the need for non-nuclear weapons states to be assured against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons, and urged for the early conclusion of an international agreement for this purpose.
1–6 September 1992
The Heads of State or Government urged the negotiation of an international convention prohibiting the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons under any circumstances. The Heads of State or Government] continued to seek general and complete disarmament under effective international control as an ultimate objective to be attained within a specific time frame through the elimination of all nuclear arsenals and all other WMD.
18–20 October 1995
The Heads of State or Government noted with concern the growing restraint being placed on access to material, equipment and technology for peaceful uses of nuclear energy by the developed countries through imposition of ad-hoc export control regimes. These impede the economic and social development of developing countries.
2–3 September 1998
The Heads of State or Government expressed their satisfaction with the work of the Non-Aligned
Working Group on Disarmament under the co-ordination of Indonesia and encouraged delegations to continue their active work in this regard.
20–25 February 2003
The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed the inviolability of peaceful nuclear activities and that
any attack or threat of attack against peaceful nuclear facilities operational or under construction poses a great danger to human beings and the environment, and constitutes a grave violation of
International law, principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter and regulations of the [IAEA].
15–16 September 2006
The Heads of State or Government emphasised the importance of the UN activities at the regional level to increase the stability and security of its Member States, which could be promoted in a substantive manner by the maintenance and revitalization of the three regional centres for peace and disarmament. The Heads of State or Government reaffirmed the inalienable right of developing countries to engage in research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes without discrimination.
11–16 July 2009
The Heads of State and Government emphasized the necessity to start negotiations on a phased programme for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons with a specified framework of time, including negotiations on a Nuclear Weapons Convention.
26–31 August 2012
The Ministers reaffirmed that the total elimination of nuclear weapons is the only absolute guarantee against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons and reaffirmed further that Non-Nuclear-Weapon States (NNWS) should be effectively assured by NWS against the use or threat of use of nuclear weapons.

Changing Concept of Non-alignment:
The criterion of membership of non-aligned movement was laid down at the first Belgrade Conference held in 1961. It isxxi:
  • The country should have followed an independent policy.
  • The country concerned should have supported the movement for national independence.
  • The country concerned should not be a member of the inter-national military alliances concluded in the context of Super-power conflicts.
  • If the country concerned is a member of the regional defence pact, this pact should not be deliberately concluded in the context of superpower conflicts.
  • If the country concerned has allowed military bases a foreign power, these bases should not have been allowed in the context of super­power conflicts.
Relevance of Non-Aligned Movement
The relevance of the NAM since the collapse of the Soviet Union has also been questioned. With some commentators speculating whether the organization has outlived its usefulness. In 2003 Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa, the NAM countries warned that the movement’s future depended on its response to global challenges. He called on the NAM to take stronger resolution on issues of concern.xxii In the present international scenario, the dominancy of USA and the other developed countries is gradually increasing. The American hegemony is viewed not only in the United Nation's meetings, but also in already intervention all over the world. Under these circumstances, NAM has to play an important role in revitalizing UNO so that it may remain a major entity in solving the international problems.
Almost all the countries are facing the threat of terrorism today. NAM has been endeavouring for peace and complete nuclear disarmament ever since its inception. It always asserts that disarmament is closely related with the very survival of humanity. The rise of religious fanaticism, ethnic nationalism and internal conflicts are other crucial problems facing the world today. NAM can play an effective role in drawing the attention of the world towards the present problems. NAM’s conference has laid stress on many such aspects, but got little success. NAM has to work more vigorously to achieve its goal. NAM is facing many challenges in the present scenario. NAM, an International movement, may have some shortcomings but as a foreign policy it has a great value and will always enjoy great importance.
To say that NAM has lost its relevance is a wrong conclusion. It is argued, that NAM couldn't get any positive success so far, still the voice raised by NAM on so many issues forced the Super Powers to vindicate their actions. The US or other developed countries were bound to reply the points raised by NAM. In a nutshell it can so be concluded that NAM has not lost its relevance. It has stood test of adverse circumstances. It has served an important purpose of protecting and preserving the interests of third world countries.
In the words of R. Venkataraman (Former President of India)xxiii:
"NAM is not an ‘ism’. It cannot become outdated any more than common sense can become outdated. No national, no group of nations can disregard the NAM. It must today raise its voice against the injustices and inequities of the current decade and the emerging 21 st century."
With fall of USSR as super power the world has become unipolar revolving around US. During the cold war era NAM had helped in easing the tension due to increase in its membership, giving moral check on superpower overwhelming strength in UN assembly.
NAM is committed to the universal problem of peace and freedom, equality and fraternity. As long as it supports the cause of socio-economic uplift of the developing country it will remain relevant. As long as there is exploitation, injustice, war, destruction, hunger and poverty, NAM will not lose its importance. New International economic order needs its strengthening so that it can fight for the cause of the poor. To consider NAM as a by product of bipolar world is in itself a wrong premise. To eliminate the US hegemony, NAM can act as a safety valve to the developing nation.
What is Non-Alignment 2.0...?
The recent release of a report, ‘Non Alignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the Twenty First Century’, ­has reignited debates surrounding the resurrection of the Non-Alignment Movement. Indian foreign policy is often criticised as ad hoc, lacking consistent strategic and ideological underpinnings. With the intention to counter such allegations, Non Alignment 2.0 seeks to provide an ideological alternative for the future of Indian international relations that centres itself on the fundamental notion of strategic autonomy.xxiv In the words of Sunil Khilnani, one of the eight esteemed contributors, ‘Non alignment 2.0 is an attempt to identify basic principles that may guide Indian foreign and strategic policy in the decades to come and beyond’. It identifies an essential link between India’s domestic policy and foreign policy and suggests an outside-in approach to understanding the way in which foreign policy will forge and influence domestic politics, emphasising that domestic development will hinge on the management of international opportunities. The report aims to fill the strategic deficit in Indian foreign policy and seeks to facilitate a unanimous ‘strategic’ consensus to achieve India’s developmental goals. According to the report, a future policy of India must be centred on three “core objectives”: “To ensure that India did not define its national interest or approach to world politics in terms of ideologies and goals that had been set elsewhere; that India retained maximum strategic autonomy to pursue its development goals; and that India worked to build national power as the foundation for creating a just and equitable world order.”xxv
The document rightly stresses that the core objectives non-alignment were to ensure that India did not define its national interests or approach to world politics in terms of ideologies and goals that had been set elsewhere, that India retained maximum strategic autonomy to pursue its own development goals and that India worked to build national power as the foundation for creating a more just and equitable global order. The document further says that our objective should be to enhance India’s strategic space and capacity for independent policy-making which will create maximum options for our own internal development. This should be taken note of seriously by our foreign policy-making experts and officials. The US has been publicly urging India to leave the NAM. In this backdrop it is welcome that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is attended the Tehran NAM Summit, which gave us an opportunity to reassert our position in the Movement and imparted new guidelines and a fresh vision as well as renewed momentum to the NAM while reinventing our strategic partnership with Iran.xxvi
Hence, we see Non-Aligned Movement is reinventing itself to be so relevant in present times and also in the challenges of future world as it had been in the past.

End Notes
i Datt, Subimal (1977), “With Nehru in the Foreign Office”, Minerva Associates Publications
ii Sen, Sailendra Nath (2010), “An Advanced History of Modern India”, Macmillan, p.326
iii Collignon, Stefan (2001), “Burma:Political Economy under Military Rule”, C. Hurst & Co. Publisher
vi Man & Development, Volume 1, Issues 2-3, page no.56
vii Jayapalan, N. (2001), “Foreign Policy in India”, Atlantic Publishers & Dist, p.100
viii Dixit, J. N. (2002), “India-Pakistan: War & Peace”, Psychology Press, p.236
ix Padhy, K.S. (2003), “Indian Political Thought”, p.219
x Jha, Nalini Kant (2009), “Domestic imperatives in India's foreign policy”, International Academic Publishers, p.43

xvi Srivastava, Renu (1995), “India and the Nonaligned Summits: Belgrade to Jakarta”, Northern Book Centre, p.67

xviii Trivedi, Sonu (2005), “Handbook Of International Organisations”, Atlantic Publishers, p. 188
xxi Wajid Ali, H. M. (2004), “India and the Non-aligned Movement”, Adam Publishers, p.63