IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

NAM Summit

22nd January, 2024 International Relations

NAM Summit

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  • The violence in Gaza requires a “sustainable solution”, said External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar speaking at the 19th NAM summit in Ugandan capital Kampala.

Other Highlights in NAM Summit

  • India's unwavering commitment as 'Vishwa Mitra' (friend of the world) to global solidarity and cooperation.
  • India's global outreach and extensive contributions to the changing world order.
  • The world is facing new forms of inequality and a multipolar world with a reformed United Nations is highly required.
  • India's steps towards transforming global order, such as the inclusion of the African Union (AU) in the G20, that should inspire reformed multilateralism.

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM): An Overview

Formation and Purpose:

  • Founded in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, by leaders like Tito, Nehru, Nasser, Nkrumah, and Sukarno.
  • A response to Cold War polarization, aiming to counterbalance power blocs.

Principles and Goals:

  • Principles from the Bandung Conference (1955) guided its establishment.
  • Havana Declaration (1979) emphasizes safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, and opposing imperialism.
  • Non-alignment, sovereignty, and mutual respect.
  • Uphold principles of avoiding major power bloc alignment.

Membership and Influence:

  • 120 member countries, making it the largest global grouping after the United Nations.
  • Represents nearly two-thirds of UN members and 55% of the world's population.

Historical Impact:

  • Key role in major Cold War successes: decolonization, disarmament, anti-racism, and opposition to apartheid.
  • Maintained relevance despite conflicts among members and varying alliances with major powers.

Post-Cold War Focus:

  • Shifted focus post-1991 to developing multilateral ties, unity among developing nations.
  • Emphasis on collaboration within the Global South.

Relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in today's times

Multipolarity and Global Governance:

  • NAM remains relevant in a world characterized by multipolarity, where various power centers compete for influence.
  • NAM offers a platform for member states to collaborate on global governance issues, advocating for a more inclusive and representative international system.

Economic Cooperation and Development:

  • Many NAM member countries are developing nations facing common economic challenges.
  • NAM can serve as a forum for fostering economic cooperation, sharing development strategies, and addressing issues like trade imbalances and economic inequality.

Peace and Security:

  • NAM's principles of non-alignment and opposition to imperialism are still pertinent in contemporary conflicts.
  • Provides a space for member states to advocate for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and resist external interference.

Climate Change and Sustainable Development:

  • With a focus on the Global South, NAM can play a role in addressing challenges like climate change and sustainable development.
  • Collaboration on environmental issues and sharing best practices for sustainable development aligns with NAM's principles.

Human Rights and Social Justice:

  • NAM's historical commitment to opposing racism, colonialism, and imperialism remains relevant in addressing contemporary human rights challenges.
  • Provides a collective voice for member states in advocating for social justice and equality on the global stage.

Global South Solidarity:

  • NAM can foster solidarity among developing nations, encouraging cooperation on shared challenges.
  • Offers a platform for joint initiatives that promote the interests of the Global South in international forums.

Neutral Diplomacy:

  • Non-alignment principles allow member states to engage diplomatically without aligning with major power blocs.
  • Facilitates diplomatic maneuvering and strategic autonomy for member nations.

Challenges Facing NAM:

Diverse Membership:

  • Managing diverse political ideologies, economic models, and strategic interests among member states.
  • Impact: Internal disagreements and difficulty in formulating a unified stance on global issues.

Geopolitical Shifts:

  • Challenge: Adapting to rapid changes in global geopolitics and emerging power dynamics.
  • Impact: Risk of diminishing relevance and effectiveness in addressing contemporary challenges.

Internal Disagreements:

  • Addressing disagreements among member states on international issues.
  • Impact: Hinders cohesive decision-making and weakens the collective diplomatic influence of NAM.

Economic Disparities:

  • Tackling economic disparities among member states, hindering collective economic initiatives.
  • Impact: Limits the effectiveness of joint development goals and economic cooperation.

Security Concerns:

  • Balancing non-interference principles with addressing security threats, terrorism, and regional conflicts.
  • Impact: Struggles to present a unified stance on pressing security issues.

Way Forward


  • Embrace adaptability to changing global dynamics and reassess the relevance of NAM's principles.

Strengthen Internal Unity:

  • Promote dialogue and mediation mechanisms to address internal disagreements.

Global Governance Reform:

  • Advocate for reform in global governance institutions to increase NAM's influence.

Economic Collaboration:

  • Enhance economic collaboration and initiatives among member states to address disparities.

Security Cooperation:

  • Develop mechanisms for security cooperation that balance non-interference with collective responses.

Revitalize Diplomacy:

  • Strengthen diplomatic initiatives, including people-to-people exchanges, cultural ties, and educational programs.

Inclusive Decision-Making:

  • Ensure inclusivity in decision-making processes, considering the interests of all member states.

Global Challenges Response:

  • Collaborate on addressing global challenges through joint initiatives.

Capacity Building:

  • Support capacity-building programs among member states to enhance capabilities.

Promote Multilateralism:

  • Advocate for effective multilateralism and the rule of law on the global stage.

Leadership Role:

  • Encourage leadership from influential member states to guide the movement.

Engage with Emerging Powers:

  • Actively engage with emerging powers to expand NAM's influence.

Regular Summit Reviews:

  • Conduct regular reviews of NAM summits to assess achievements and recalibrate strategies.


Q. In the context of contemporary global dynamics, discuss the challenges and relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and suggest key strategies for enhancing its effectiveness.