The 73rd United Nations General Assembly which was held in New York was used as a platform by the Non- Aligned Countries to meet and discuss the relevance of the Non- Aligned Movement which was founded in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
NAM was founded during the Cold War between the USSR and the USA. The main objective was to keep their sovereignty intact and to not take sides with either of the superpowers hampering their neutrality. As the Declaration of NAM states, “Peace cannot be achieved with separation, but with aspiration towards collective security in global terms and expression of freedom, as well as terminating the domination of one country over another.”
When NAM was formed, its main goals were:
- To form mutual respect for each other’s territoriality and sovereignty
- To not be aggressive towards each other.
- To not interfere in each other’s domestic affairs.
- To work towards forming equality and form mutual relationships benefitting each other.
- Learn to exist peacefully with each other.
When we think of the present global situation, and violence among many countries pertaining to religious fundamentalism, terrorism, racism and power politics, a fierce implementation of these goals become even more important and relevant.
To such an end, the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister of one of the founding countries of NAM Ghana, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said that the international community has failed to resolve several conflicts in the world today, along with terrorism and fundamentalism which also pose a threat to the security of people and can be solved if faced together by the international community. For this the NAM should hold its position in order to resolve the global issues presently plaguing the world. Botchwey paid her tribute to Kofi Annan, the 7th Secretary- General of the United Nations, whose recent death shook the world. Annan, according to her, was the corporeal form of the United Nations, promoting the “dignity of humanity” and the “culture of peace” in the world. In recent years, multilateralism has been facing a huge setback and being threatened by conflict- inducing forces; as a result the principles set by the United Nations charter which provides an effective means to naturally inclusive and peaceful societies are being undermined.
Botchwey called the Member States of NAM to abide by the United Nations Charter in order to form a “culture of peace” by respecting the sovereignty, sovereign equality and territorial integrity of all states and understand the principle of equality of all races and nations, irrespective of their number and size.
To achieve this end, NAM must work towards promoting tolerance and dialogue among peoples, civilizations, cultures and religions, respecting their symbols and values. These principles form the core of NAM, and Ghana as one of the founding members is under oath to continue to support its goals and objectives and will continue to do so on matters of concern. NAM, apart from supporting the global cause of curbing terrorism, also supports the work of the General Assembly and other reforms of the United Nations.
In order to promote and keep international peace and security, the NAM countries share a belief with the UN that there is required a conceptual framework for sustainable peace; that there should be more focus on a preventative rather than a reactive approach in curbing the underlining causes of the conflict.
According to Botchwey, the promotion of international peace and security cannot be secluded from sustainable development, since the more developed a nation is, the easier it is to support a country through a conflict, from post- conflict recovery to socioeconomic development, to prevent an outbreak of fighting.
Calling for a “more vibrant NAM”, Botchwey said, since its member states have the capacity to attract discourse on matters of international concern. Its aims also include promoting interaction of people on a personal basis among the various NAM countries as well as an increase in trade. Thus, NAM’s principles of self-sustenance of it its members states and a global culture of non- alignment and peace would be promoted and keep on getting fruitful results internationally.