On May 4, Indian Prime Minister participated in a virtual summit of the Non-Aligned Movement Contact Group. The online NAM Contact Group Summit, on the theme ‘United against Covid-19’, was hosted by the current chairman of the grouping, Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Break down of PM’s speech at NAM:
- India called on all member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to come together to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Spoke on nations spreading other deadly viruses, such as terrorism, such as fake news, and doctored videos to divide communities and countries.
- Multilateral institutions like the World Health Organization (WHO) should focus on building healthcare capacity in developing countries, and these global institutions should adapt to the needs of today’s world, which is being more “inclusive”.
- Covid-19 has shown us the limitations of the existing international system. We need a new template of globalisation based on fairness, equality and humanity in a post-Covid world.
- To build technology for all. To create a platform for crisis management protocols and disaster management, in the founding spirit of movement to come together and not grow apart.
- India has sent critical drugs and medical devices to 123 countries, including 59 members of NAM, showing India is ‘pharmacy of the world’ for essential medicines.
- During this crisis, we have shown how democracy and discipline can come together to create a genuine people’s movement.”
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a group of states that are not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc during cold war. NAM is a forum of 120 developing world states.
- It was created and founded during the collapse of the colonial system and the independence struggles of the peoples of Africa, Asia, Latin America and other regions of the world.
- It played a key factor in the decolonization process.
- The Bandung Asian-African Conference, 1955 is the most immediate antecedent to the creation of the Non-Aligned Movement.
- The principles that would govern relations among large and small nations, known as the “Ten Principles of Bandung” were adopted at it.
- Later these principles became the objectives and policies of the NAM.
- Leaders behind NAM formation: Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Shri Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Ahmed Sukarno of Indonesia and Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia.
- Finally NAM was created at the First Summit Conference of Belgrade in 1961.
- Algiers Conference in 1973 – emerged the concept of a “new international economic order.”
- Post-cold war issues (USSR dissolution):
- It faced difficulties to act effectively in an adverse international political situation marked by hegemonic positions and unipolarity (US) as well as by internal difficulties and conflicts given the heterogeneity of its membership.
- In 2006, Non-Aligned Movement in Havana, Cuba, the Heads of States and Governments of the member countries reaffirmed their commitment to the ideals, principles of NAM.
Relevance of NAM in times of COVID:
- The rhetoric of a “new cold war” between the United States and China is gaining momentum.
- In the likelihood of such a scenario, the focus will be back on the NAM — a core collective of middle powers of the world — to play a balancing role.
- New Delhi with its current position in the global world order would be keen to lead this middle power balancing through leadership of the NAM within the ambit of South-South cooperation.
- Apart from COVID, there are issues like UN reform, climate change, nuclear disarmament, abolition of poverty, and achieving sustainable development goals where NAM could make an impact.
- India could play a pivotal position in all these issues.
- In conclusion, the NAM is faced with the goals yet to be reached and the many new challenges that are still arising. Hence, it is called upon to maintain a prominent and leading role in the current International relations in defense of the interests and priorities of its member states and for achievement of peace and security for mankind.
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