The Cold War between the Soviet Union and United States marked the birth of the Non-Alinged Movement, founded on the principles of neutrality, peaceful co-existence, independence from colonialism and imperialism. The movement was a response from the third –world nations whose voice before this moment was not given much heed. This was a volatile movement in history the world was changing, industries were expanding, countries were losing their traditionally held authority over geo-graphical area, the world was marked by increased communication, global network of the internet was expanding.
While at its birth the movement was largely highlighted for its anti-western rhetoric, in the following years it proved to be a liberal platform to voice opinions . In the past its members have shown a great ideological diversity, both conservative Colombia and leftist Venezuela have hosted NAM conferences, so has socialist Cuba . The most consistent themes amongst its members have been its opposition to Western hegemony and support to third world nationalism. Its Member States in terms of heterogeneity range from absolute monarchs to socialist presidents , at moments they have favored either of the two world powers in United Nations . India and Pakistan fought four wars against each other ; Iraq and Iran one . When Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979 Cuba supported the Soviet intervention and distanced itself from many Muslim member nations. Cyprus and Malta joined the European Union and resigned as members of Non-Aligned Movement.
A common thread uniting all members today is the fact that once they were all colonies. Every state in Africa, Caribbean, South American and South Asian is a member of the movement. The movement was inaugurated during the Bandung conference of 1955 , the principles and directive strategies of NAM were against joining big power alliances and opposed the formation of military bases in foreign nations, was against intervention in internal matters.
When the Soviet Union disintegrated into 15 countries and marked the end of the Cold War, many thought that Non-Aligned movement would also disintegrate. The question posed infront of the members was what were they now non-aligned to? The answer as we see it today turns out to be :Non-Aligned against the remaining world powers –The United States and its western allies .
The movement today can be studies through its media communiqué , the main objectives as laid down by the members after its 17th summit were as follows :
1-Strengthening and revitalization of the movement
2-strengthening international peace and security
3-the right to self-determination . The only case specified is a demand to end Israeli occupation of Palestine’s West Bank and East Jerusalem and an end to Israeli occupation of Syria’s Golan Heights.
4-Disarmament and a nuclear –free Middle East
5-The protection and promotion of Human Rights and the principles of the United Nations Charter
6-Condemnation of terrorism , including specifically Da-esh , Boko Haram and al-Shabbab and condemning the destruction of cultural heritage and religious sites
7-Dialogue amongst civilizations to respect religious , social and cultural diversity
The summit was also marked by a call for reform in global governance. This included reform of the United nations by strengthening the powers of the General Assembly, reforming Security Council and the need for geographic rotation and gender equality in choosing the Secretary–General.
The resolution also called for a co-ordination between the World-Bank, the Bretton Woods institution and International Monetary Fund. NAM does not indentify itself with lobbying corporations, and therefore it is safe to assume that it shall stand by its principles and resolutions.
Its members individually, multilaterally and through organizations such as African Union , Associations of South-East Asian Nations and Union of South American Nations will seek to contest these issues in the forums of global governance.