THE NON ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM)

THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM) AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN THE INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ARENA

A thorough analysis of the results of the 19th NAM Summit held from 15 to 20 January 2024, in Kampala, Uganda, proves without any doubts, that the movement continues to be an important player on the international scene. It is a forum of 121 countries and has an interconnected program of action with South-South Cooperation and not only. NAM does not, in any terms, refuse a North-South dialogue and coexistence. On the contrary, its members are encouraging it. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping in the world. It has a very long history of existence, strategy, current and future targets, vivid results in defending the interests and aspirations of the developing countries, which are the NAM members. There are also developed countries in the movement.

According to the NAM mechanism, the Summit of January, this year, unanimously adopted its mostly expected important Declaration, which underscores that “the Heads of State and Government expressed their determination to further strengthen the unity and cohesion of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) as a political force in the international political arena”.

In other words, the invoked determination is a specific indication of NAM to be ready to exceed its initial targets and embark on a new path with a larger global-commitment.

This development gains substance from the very content of the Declaration which states that “the Movement will continue to uphold the principles of sovereignty and sovereign equality of States, territorial integrity, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal or external affairs of any State or Nation; take effective measures for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace to defend, promote, and encourage the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered; refrain in international relations from the threat or use of force, including aggressive military exercises against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; develop friendly relations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples in their struggle against foreign occupation; achieve international cooperation based on solidarity among peoples and governments in solving international problems of a political, economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character; and promote and encourage the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction of any kind”.

In the opinion of the participants at the Summit “The future will present as many challenges and opportunities as the past and the Movement must continue to remain strong, cohesive and resilient in order to address them and preserve the historic legacy of the Movement. The continued relevance and validity of the Movement will depend, in large measure, on the unity and solidarity of each of its Member Countries as well as their ability to influence these changes positively. In this regard, the process of the revitalization and strengthening of the Movement must continue to be pro-active, advanced and consolidated”.

 

Obviously, it is the most appropriate time for NAM to evolve as an active and involved factor in everyday situation and action that might jeopardize the international peace and stability in the world.

It is, indeed, necessary for an active, strong and well balancing factor in the current deterioration process of the international situation. The consensus lost its positive effects and became instead an obstacle affecting the UN system, European Union, ASEAN and other regional forums. We have so far devastating war in Europe and military confrontations in the Middle East. Big countries started entering into multiple forms of military arrangements between themselves as well as with other states in sensible arias such as Taiwan, South China Sea or Korean Peninsula. The military exercises are spread in many, as well, sensible regions. Arming and defence became the most urgent target and concern of almost all governments. The rivalry powers are found in a huge competition for seeking support from many countries to follow them. There are serious and obvious signs about possible reappearance of two different and conflict blocks, namely the USA and their West allies and Russia, China, Iran and North Korean and their allies. What is even worse, the Third World War is invoked as a soon possible unfortunate and devastating development.

By describing the international situation, according to the Summit Declaration, the Heads of State and Government “emphasized that the current global scenario presents great challenges in the areas of peace and security, economic development and social progress, human rights and the rule of law to Non-Aligned Countries”. In the same context but in another paragraph, the Declaration underlines that “the rich and powerful countries continue to exercise an inordinate influence in determining the nature and direction of international relations, including economic and trade relations, as well as the rules governing these relations, under the pretext of “Democracy”, “Human Rights” and “Anti-Terrorism”, many of which are at the expense of developing countries. The lack of fulfilment of the international obligations of States has become as well, in a grave concern and in a violation of the international law Concretely, NAM Leaders concentrated mostly on the situation in Gaza.

 

It is difficult to neglect the opinion of important officials and international political analysts according to whom we are witnessing a moment of reforming the global geopolitical structure of power and influence. It is regrettable that the war is the determining factor in this direction by replacing the importance of multilateralism in deciding the future of humanity.

In the Declaration it is highlighted that “The Heads of State and Government remained gravely concerned at the continuous and progressive erosion of multilateralism in the field of arms regulation, non-proliferation, and disarmament, and are determined to reaffirm multilateralism as the core principle in negotiations in the area of disarmament and non-proliferation with a view to maintaining and strengthening universal norms”. At the same time, they “reiterated their strong concern at the growing resort to unilateralism and in this context, underlined that multilateralism and multilaterally agreed solutions, in accordance with the UN Charter, provide the only sustainable method of addressing disarmament and international security issues”.

In our opinion, multilateralism has a larger spectrum of action.

Concluding, under these new international circumstances, the world as a whole, humanity, peace, security, stability, economic and cultural development, preserving and consolidating the UN principles in line with its necessary reform need a robust multilateral participation to involving, as well, NAM together with its main partners. Certainly, NAM is not the only suitable factor in this direction. It is also the time to understand that non-alignment does not mean neutrality. It is an alignment with global active commitment for the benefit of the peoples and securing lives on the planet.

G.S.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy, position or view of IRSEA.