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NON-ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT

1) It is a post-war phenomenon of the time when cold war was at its height and the world
was divided into two power blocs.

2) Nehru India; Tito Yugoslavia; Naseer Egypt and Sukharno Indonesia.

3) Meaning Policy of not aligning with any bloc, but at the same time being friendly to
everyone so that it might be feasible to have a moderating impact on IR.

a. It is neither a passive nor a negative policy. Its positive since it stress for certain
values and goods.

b. It takes specific sides on merit of each case. This implies that issue-based tilts in
nonalignment are considered legitimate and the concept therefore doesnt imply
equidistant from both the super powers and at the same time it also rejects the
idea of natural allies.
It is thus an active policy as it envisages an active role for the non-aligned
countries.

4) CHARACTERSTICS

a. Averse to Military Alliances also opposed to arms race. (Is it applicable for
Indias arms race with Pakistan?)

b. Averse to Cold War Cold war undermines the existence of newer national
identities and nations are considered as satellites of either USA or USSR

c. Averse to Ideological Polarization It advocates that the ideological
differences are exaggerations to legitimize state-centric power-devices of the
super powers.

d. Own Path of Development These countries are eager to develop their
economy, polity and society in conformity with their own outlook and way of life.

e. Friendship and Equality friendly relations among all nation-states on the
principles of equality, justice and reciprocity.

f. Support to UNO Have always endeavored to strengthen and support the
UNO.

g. Doubtful Genuineness Some countries are not genuinely non-aligned

Many countries had special military or diplomatic relation with one bloc or the
other. E.g. USA believes that India was not truly non-aligned, it was biased
towards USSR. But India refutes these charges by saying that in 1956, 1968 and
1979 it criticized the Russian actions and demanded withdrawal of troops from
Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan though this denunciation was less harsh than
the one it used in Suez Canal crisis.

h. Alignment within Non-alignment Many groups formed on the basis of
regionalism, religion, ideology, security consideration and economic
consideration. E.g. On the question of Palestine, almost all Arab countries have
formed another faction.

i. Not Double Alignment Some critics call it double alignment as it has the
benefit of assistance from both the blocs and neither side is likely to do any
harm.
But it is not the double alignment; diplomatic relations with both help in easing of
International tensions and this is not against the spirit of non-alignment.

5) BASES AND CAUSES OF NON ALIGNMENT

Policy is based upon two types of bases positive and negative bases.

Negative Basis
a. Single negative basis of non-alignment is its opposition to military alliances and
cold war politics.

Positive Basis

a. Ideological Basis Independent nations thought it better to evolve their own
ideologies and system that may conform to their indigenous need and traditions.

b. Independent Foreign Policy Examine each international issue on its merit.
Principle of freedom of opinion or independence of judgment in the conduct of
foreign affairs.

c. Economic Basics New countries were in dire need of capital and technical
know-how for achieving the goal of economic development and self-reliance.
This goal could be achieved in a better way if they maintain cordial relations with
both blocs and gain maximum economic benefits w/o any political string.

2) ROLE OF NAM

a. In 50s and 60s Opposition to military alliances, early end of colonialism,
disarmament

b. In 70s NIEO became the chief concern (As dtente b/w superpowers going on
and neo-colonialism emerged), Intensification of regional conflicts.

c. In 80s Demand of NIEO slackened and attitude of developing countries
became more soft and cordial towards rich countries.
They were now politely demanding for aid on the plea that it would help the
donors too. Cooperation rather than confrontation became the keynote.

Another notable change in the attribute of non-aligned countries is self-
introspection. They have understood that for development, aid from rich countries
is essential. But that doesnt exclude the self-help by the non-aligned countries
themselves. Along with North-South dialogue, they felt the need of South-South
cooperation.

d. In 90s There were proposals to either change NAMs name to Third World
movement or to merge it with G-77 to enlarge its options of economic
cooperation and assistance but it was rejected.

New Action Plan adopted dealt with the reform of UN, International security and
disarmament, regional conflicts, External debt problem, North-South and South-
South cooperation, environmental destruction etc.

e. In 2000 Strategic challenges of worldwide terrorism and non-proliferation of
Weapons of Mass Destruction

CRITICAL EVALUATION
3) ACHIEVEMENTS

a. World Peace NAM has made a principled contribution towards the
maintenance of world peace and prevention of global and regional conflicts.

b. End of Cold War Adhered to the principle of peaceful coexistence and major
contribution in making big powers realize the futility of engaging in arms race.

c. End of Bi-Polarism Proliferation of NAM helped in the emergence of multi-
polarism.

d. End of Colonialism

e. End of Racialism NAM countries also struggled for the end of racial
discrimination, apartheid in SA, racialism and hegemony of all type.

f. Minimized the Arms Race Made the world aware of the dangerous
implications of arms race both conventional and nuclear.

g. Strengthened UNO Even though they couldnt do anything in Security Council
they exercised notable influence on the decision of General Assembly and in this
way creating World Opinion towards end of Cold war.

h. Universal International System NAM is the first forum which laid the
foundations of a universal international system based on the principle of equality
and justice for the weak nations.



4) CRITICISM (Western say its a selfish policy, baseless ideology and opportunistic
attitude)

a. Opportunistic and Immoral to western scholars it is alignment with both cold
war camps (Double Alignment), to get benefits from both sides.

b. Bloc Mentality They are biased towards one bloc and neither impartial nor
judge issues on merit. E.g. Indo-Pak 1972 war.

c. Harsh towards West, Soft towards East This is true to an extent; but the fault
lies with the Western powers themselves as they always followed colonial
policies. E.g. Nehru was heavily influenced from Socialist ideas, Indias FYP

d. Disunity Overtime, NAM has lost its unity and had many inter-state or regional
conflicts among themselves which they failed to resolve amicably.

e. Dilemma NAM has a dilemma of having more members and less power.

f. Factionalism Divided into 3 groups radicals, conservatives and
independents. Radicals are generally leaning towards USSR/China e.g. (India,
Egypt clearly inclined towards USSR)
Conservatives towards West
Independent are still committed to Non-alignment.

g. NAM is like Alliance system While pretending that they were not a bloc, NAM
decided to have a secretariat.

h. Worthless Declaration and Conferences Nothing new in the declarations,
simply the repetition of resolutions of the UN. At best, NAM is like a club and all it
does is to have summits. It has not taken any action ever.
It couldnt solve any international or regional problem e.g. Israel, Lebanon etc.
NAM failed to establish NIEO.

RELEVANCE OF NON-ALIGNMENT IN POST COLD WAR WORLD
IRRELEVANT AND INVALID
1) All points mentioned above in CRITICISM. Support for its irrelevancy.

2) Outdated Economic Stand NAM has been trying to get rich nations give aid to the
poor nations. It wants the rich to commit 0.7% of their GDP as aid.
Instead of relying on aid, NAM members need to get more private investments into their
countries.
Also, NAM members are rooted in ideas of socialism and State-control popular at the
time of Nehru and Naseer. This has made them impossible to move forward.

3) Duplicity NAM today competes with G-77, ASEAN, and Commonwealth etc. which
are similar groups of nations. Other groups are more effective as they deal with
economic and trade issues. NAM doesnt do that nor does it take up any diplomatic
initiative.
It has no position even on issues like human rights, child exploitation and gender issues.

4) Leadership No leadership on global issues and also disagreements among members.

5) Unless NAM redefines its terms of reference and make a new strategy to counter USA
influence, it will remain marginalized and irrelevant. It is presently in a vacuum with no
role to play.

STILL RELEVANT
1) Some non-aligned states emphases that NAMs new focus must be on eradicating
poverty, hunger, malnutrition and illiteracy.

2) They believe that NAM is becoming more popular and its importance is being widely
recognized. Thats the reason why more and more countries are seeking its
membership.
E.g. Mongolia; also Germany requested to be a guest.

3) They believe that world in Uni-polar with a Euro-centric outlook and for a replacement of
Uni-polar with Multi-polar NAM is required.
E.g. Interventions of USA in Iraq shows how vulnerable weak countries are in this uni-polar
world.
Reference International Relations (V K Malhotra)
Name Ankit Uniyal