The principles of Non-Alignment were formulated at Bandung Conference 1955. The world has changed considerably since then. Yet, the principles laid down by the founders of Non-Aligned Movement remain valid. The ideals, goals and vision, articulated then, continue to guide the movement. In four and a half decades, since its inception, Non-Aligned Movement has witnessed the break-up of the old international order based on super-power rivalry and colonial domination. Non-Aligned Movement, as the voice of the majority of nations has to play a central role in regulating the advance of humanity. The movement is emerging as the power of the new millennium striving to be open, democratic and forward looking.
Changing times have thrown up new challenges for Non-Aligned Movement. These challenges call for solutions. Non-Aligned Movement is aware of threats facing mankind – transnational crime, terrorism, violation of human rights and environmental degradation. These threats need to be overcome. Non-Aligned Movement affords its members a forum where they can discuss their common problems, evolve solutions and work out strategies in trying to tackle international problems of peace, security, development, terrorism, human rights and environmental safety. These are problems which extend beyond national borders and require an international approach for solutions.
The non-aligned are expanding their field of interest to include a number of new subjects in addition to their traditional preoccupations such as the struggle for peace, the creation of a New International Economic Order. One of these new subjects of interest is the human environment which has been assuming importance in recent years. Environment means the forces and conditions that are all around and influence living and non-living things. The earth, air, water and energy from the sun constitute the physical environment.
Man is the worst offender in polluting our environment. Dumping of garbage all over the world pollutes it ,the release of chemical wastes from factories into rivers and seas pollutes them. The impact of development on environment and the impact of environmental degradation on future development have attracted world-wide attention. Despite the world-wide efforts to slow down deterioration of the human environment the environmental degradation has been posing a real threat to every form of life on our planet. The negative effects of civilization and economic development on human environment are glaring. Environmental pollution has been spreading like an epidemic threatening both present and future generations. The industrialization in the developed world has created the problems of environmental pollution, green house effect, acid rain, toxic waste disposal etc. But the impact, of all this is more on the Third World countries than on the advanced nations. The Third World countries are not in a position to spend large amounts and develop counter technologies to prevent environmental degradation.
A strong Third World movement is needed for this purpose. Concerted efforts of Non-Aligned Movement would facilitate transfer of technologies and resources required to the Third World countries, Depletion of ozone layer is more severe. This is caused primarily due to the excessive emission of chlorofluron carbon gases into the atmosphere. Oil burning, release of industrial waste gases etc., may be other contributory factors which are the result of excessive industrialization in the world. The impact of depletion of ozone layer will be disastrous. Ozone layer prevents the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation from the sun. People are exposed to ultra-violet radiation from the sun, causing cancer and affecting their health and longevity. Environmental problems received the attention of Non-Aligned Movement in the year 1972. The meeting of Foreign Ministers of the non-aligned countries in Georgetown in August 1972 addressed to the problems of environment and called for collective action.
The Algiers Summit (1973) referred to cooperation between developing and developed countries in matters of environmental protection. Their developmental efforts need to be consistent and in harmony with environment. The New Delhi Summit (1983) noted that there had been a serious deterioration in the quality of the environment on our planet. It was felt that environment as a whole would be destroyed beyond repair, unless timely measures were taken. The Summit stressed upon economic development in harmony with environment. Special attention was paid to the protection of the seas from pollution. The Summit emphasized upon the need to set up of a World Commission for the Environment and Development. The Commission was expected to enquire into problems of environment and draw up action plan for its improvement. Such an action plan would help mobilize substantial financial resources to enable the developing countries formulate a long-term policy of coordinated development consistent with ecological goals.