The recently held NAM meeting in Iran has highlighted the imminent threats faced by the countries and their capability to deal with these perils. For the uninitiated, the Non-Alignment movement was adopted by the post-colonial states to counter all forms of racial and cultural discrimination, economic exploitation against them and to promote nationalism. The cold war politics between the USA and the erstwhile USSR further fueled the movement.
Though the cold war exists only in history books now, issues like arms race, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, cross border terrorism, unemployment, poverty, food crises, economic slowdown, inflation provide sufficient reasons to the the 110 NAM countries to work cohesively. Together, they will be more effective in their efforts to bridge the gap between the developed, underdeveloped and third world countries, especially in the current economic climate. Race for armament among the NAM countries must take a backseat. Import of sophisticated arms, weapons from the west must be discouraged by all the NAM countries. Establishment of any western strategic, military base in the NAM countries must be avoided as it threatens political sovereignty. Rather, the resources must be channeled towards fighting poverty, unemployment and to establish democracy and human rights. The principle of Collective securities must be followed by all the members of NAM countries.
In the 16th NAM summit, the Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Manmohan Singh set an example when he dealt with Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and its supreme religious leader Ayatollah Khomeini by resisting U.S. led economic sanctions for its alleged violations of Nuclear non-proliferation treaty (N.P.T.). He also met with Mr. Asif Ali Zardari in an effort to pacify Indo-Pak relations. His endeavors to bring peace to West Asia led him to a discussion with Egypt’s new President Mohamed Morsi.
On the economic front, from its unique position, India should lead the NAM nations to establish a common economic market similar to the European Common Market. This will reduce dependency on the western countries and strengthen the local economy to make the NAM nations more self-reliant. A sound economic federation among the nations of the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America can deal with the developed nations.
The internationally negotiated economic world order with its institutions like IMF, IBRD, GATT was not suitable to the newly independent nations. The NAM struggle for the establishment of a new international economic order (NIEO) has not been successful. In the NAM conferences, members emphasized on the issue of net transfer of resources and technical know-how to the developing and least developed countries and demanded lasting solutions to the third world debt crisis, the removal of protectionist barrier, remunerative commodity prices and stable monetary conditions at the UNCTAD meetings.
The Foreign ministers conference of NAM countries held at Ankara in September1991 proclaimed a manifesto titled “A world in transition from diminishing confrontation towards increased cooperation”. It emphasized the end of dialectics between the east and the west and the beginning of a new path of world peace. NAM will have work with the international community to solve problems like poverty, malnutrition, starvation and illiteracy.
Edited by Harika Shreedhara