The Non-Aligned Movement, or NAM, is an international organization of over 100 states which consider themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. The purpose of the organization as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, Zionism, racism and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics".<ref>Fidel Castro speech to the UN in his position as chairman of the nonaligned countries movement 12 October 1979 "For this reason we agreed in Havana to reaffirm that the quintessence of the nonalinement policy, in accordance with its original principles and fundamental nature, is the struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, apartheid, racism, including Zionism."
‡Pakistan & Non-Aligned Movement, Board of Investment - Government of Pakistan, 2003</ref> They represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations's members and comprise 55% of the world population.
Important members have included Yugoslavia, India, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, Cuba, Colombia, Venezuela, South Africa, Iran, Malaysia, and, for a time, the People's Republic of China. Brazil has never been a formal member of the movement, but the country shares many of the aims of NAM and frequently sends observers to NAM summits. While the organization was intended to be as close an alliance as NATO or the Warsaw Pact, it has little cohesion and many of its members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the great powers. For example, Cuba was closely aligned with the former Soviet Union during the Cold War era. India was effectively aligned with the Soviet Union against China for many years. Additionally, some members were involved in serious conflicts with other members (e.g. India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq). The movement fractured from its own internal contradictions when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. While the client states of the Soviet Union fully supported the invasion, other members (particularly the Muslim states) of the movement found it impossible to do so.
The Non-Aligned Movement has struggled to find relevance since the end of the Cold War. The successor states of Yugoslavia, a founding member, have expressed little interest in the NAM since the country's break-up, and in 2004, Malta and Cyprus ceased to be members of the NAM when they joined the European Union.
The origin of the Non-Aligned Movement
The term "Non-Alignment" itself was coined by Indian Prime Minister Nehru during his speech in 1954 in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In this speech, Nehru described the five pillars to be used as a guide for Sino-Indian relations, which were first put forth by the contemporaneous Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. Called Panchsheel (five restraints), these principles would later serve as the basis of the Non-Aligned Movement. The five principles were:
- Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty
- Mutual non-aggression
- Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs
- Equality and mutual benefit
- Peaceful co-existence
The origin of the Non-aligned movement can be traced to a conference hosted in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The world's "non-aligned" nations declared their desire not to become involved in the East-West ideological confrontation of the Cold War. Bandung marked a significant milestone for the development of NAM as a political movement. The founding fathers of the NAM were five prominent world leaders: Nehru of India, Tito of Yugoslavia, Sukarno of Indonesia, Nasser of Egypt and Nkrumah of Ghana. Their actions were known as The Initiative of Five.
However it was six years later in September of 1961, through the voluntary of Josip Broz Tito, then-president of Yugoslavia, that the first official Non-Aligned Movement Summit was held. As well as Tito and Nehru, the other prominent world leaders instrumental in getting NAM off the ground were Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Sukarno of Indonesia, and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.
The movement lost credibility beginning in the late 1960s when it was seen by critics to have become dominated by states allied to the Soviet Union. Many questioned how countries in alliance with the Soviet Union such as Cuba could claim to be non-aligned. The movement divided against itself over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
NAM Summit meetings
Generally NAM summits take place every three years. Countries that have hosted NAM summits include Yugoslavia, Egypt, Zambia, Algeria, Sri Lanka, Cuba, India, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Colombia, South Africa, and Malaysia. After each summit, the president or prime minister of the country where the summit takes place becomes chairman of the movement for the next three years.
The next meeting was held in Cairo in 1964. It was attended by forty-six nations, with most of the new members being newly independent African states. Much of the meeting involved discussions about the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Indo-Pakistani conflict.
The 1970 meeting in Lusaka was attended by fifty-four nations and was one of the most important with the movement forming a permanent organization to foster economic and political ties. Zambia's president for life, Kenneth Kaunda, played a crucial role in these events.
The 1973 meeting in Algiers saw the movement deal with new economic realities. The 1973 world oil shock had made some of its members vastly richer than the others. The end of the attachment of the U.S. currency to gold, and the dollar's subsequent devaluation, also removed one of the group's largest complaints.
During the 1976 meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka, members were quick to condemn the United States for an "unprovoked attack on North Korean guards, led by American officers", as presented by Kim Jong-Il, the son of North Korea Leader Kim Il-Sung. A resolution, asking the conference to condemn that day's grave U.S. provocation and calling on participants to endorse both the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Korea and the dissolution of the United Nations Command (UNC), was presented within four hours of the incident, seconded by Cuba, and passed. Afterwards, as more details emerged, it turned out that North Korean guards had started the incident, and out-numbering the UNC forces almost three to one, had killed two American officers.<ref>Hazardous Duty - Singlaub, John K., Major General, chapter 12 (partial reprint with author's permission)</ref>
The 1979 meeting in Havana saw the movement discussing the merits of a "natural alliance" seen by many between the NAM and the Soviet Union. Under the leadership of Fidel Castro, the Summit discussed the concept of an anti-imperialist alliance with the Soviet Union. Prime Minister Michael Manley of Jamaica gave a well-received pro-Soviet speech. Among other things he said, "All anti-imperialists know that the balance of forces in the world shifted irrevocably in 1917 when there was a movement and a man in the October Revolution, and Lenin was the man." Manley also praised Fidel Castro as "humane" and credited him for strengthening the forces committed to the struggle against imperialism in the Western Hemisphere. The final declaration also condemned the Camp David peace accords as an abandonment of the cause of the Arab peoples and an act of complicity with the continued occupation of Arab territories.
The 2006 meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement took place in Havana and Fidel Castro was elected President of the Movement.<ref>"Castro elected President of Non-Aligned Movement Nations", People's Daily, 16-09-2006. Retrieved on 31-01-2007.</ref>. He was, however, unable to make an official appearance at the summit, having recently undergone gastric surgery. The job of host was assumed by Fidel's younger brother Raúl Castro, who had been the acting president of Cuba since his brother's operation. The summit ended with a declaration that condemned what many members saw as Israel's disproportionate military response to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah (see 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict), called upon the United Nations to be more representative of its smaller member nations, gave support to Iran's nuclear energy plans, and criticized many of United States' foreign policies<ref>"Cuba summit sends strong message", BBC News, 17-09-2006. Retrieved on 31-01-2007.</ref>. In section 119.14, the Nonaligned movement stated that the United States list of state-sponsors of terrorism was "a form of psychological and political terrorism" directed against members of the Non-Aligned Movement. The next NAM summit has been announced to be held in Cairo, Egypt.
NAM Summit Locations and Dates
- 1st Summit – Belgrade, 1 September 1961 – 6 September 1961
- 2nd Summit – Cairo, 5 October 1964 – 10 October 1964
- 3rd Summit – Lusaka, 8 September 1970 – 10 September 1970
- 4th Summit – Algiers, 5 September 1973 – 9 September 1973
- 5th Summit – Colombo, 16 August 1976 – 19 August 1976
- 6th Summit – Havana, 3 September 1979 – 9 September 1979
- 7th Summit – New Delhi, 7 March 1983 – 12 March 1983
- 8th Summit – Harare, 1 September 1986 – 6 September 1986
- 9th Summit – Belgrade, 4 September 1989 – 7 September 1989
- 10th Summit – Jakarta, 1 September 1992 – 7 September 1992
- 11th Summit – Cartagena de Indias, 18 October 1995 – 20 October 1995
- 12th Summit – Durban, 2 September 1998 – 3 September 1998
- 13th Summit – Kuala Lumpur, 20 February 2003 – 25 February 2003
- 14th Summit – Havana, 11 September 2006 – 16 September 2006<ref>Official Website of 14th Summit Conference</ref>
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Paraguay, Serbia, Ukraine, Uruguay, People's Republic of China <ref>Observer Countries, Non-Aligned Movement</ref>
- Bandung Conference
- Third World
- Hans Köchler (ed.), The Principles of Non-Alignment. The Non-aligned Countries in the Eighties -- Results and Perspectives. London: Third World Centre, 1982. ISBN 0-86199-015-3 (Google Print)
- New relevance for the NAM - Members of the NAM attempt to redefine the movement as a struggle against US imperialism
- Non-Aligned Movement Online (Current Secretariat)
- Official Site: 14th Summit - Fourteenth Non Aligned Movement Summit, (Havana, September 11-16, 2006)
- History of NATO – the Atlantic Alliance - UK Government site
- Non-Aligned Movement - Resource site
- Virtual newspaper "TerraViva" on the 14th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement IPS Inter Press Service reports from the summit in Havana (11 - 16 September, 2006)