- NAM was formed in 1961
- It has now 120 member states
- After UN, NAM is the largest group of states
The importance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has become increasingly apparent in a world grappling with rising complexity, marked by challenges such as insecurity, health epidemics, climate change, and terrorism.
NAM holds the potential to play a pivotal role in addressing issues related to development financing and alleviating the burden of debt. In the face of these challenges, a call for multilateralism and solidarity has never been more urgent, urging neutral nations to unite and collectively respond to the evolving global landscape.
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For NAM countries, including Bangladesh, addressing challenges stemming from the toxic geopolitical rivalry between major blocs is imperative. Navigating these complexities requires a concerted effort to maintain a balanced and neutral stance in the pursuit of global stability.
Formation of NAM
On one side was the capitalist bloc of pro-US countries and on the other was the socialist bloc of pro-USSR countries. The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was formed in 1961 with countries that were not allied to any of the blocks.
Gripped by the Cold War, the world in the early 60’s was divided into these two blocs. Both the US and the USSR, to expand their sphere of influence, were engaged in efforts to lure the countries, that remained neutral, into their fold.
Against such a backdrop, five leaders from the neutral countries took the initiative to float a platform of countries who preferred not to be aligned with any of the blocs. The move was initiated in 1955 at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference in Indonesia and finally, the first summit of the NAM took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in September 1961.
The states and leaders who were the main initiators of NAM were: Marshall Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Prime Minister of India Jawharlal Nehru, President of Egypt Gamal Abdel Nasser, President of Ghana Francis Kwame Nkrumah and Indonesian President Sukarno. Later India’s Indira Gandhi, Egypt’s Anwar Sadat, Algeria’s Houari Boumediene, Bangladesh’s Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and Cuba’s Fidel Castro also contributed to the expansion of the movement.
The organization has now 120 member states.
Present global scenario
Even though 60 years have passed, the NAM is still needed just like it was in the 1960s because the world is becoming divided into two powerful sides again. That is why the recent NAM Summit in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, was closely observed by global current affairs experts.
NAM is still needed because the world is becoming divided into two powerful sides again like in the 1960s
Today’s world now needs a non-aligned organization like NAM, because, powerful countries are creating barriers to world peace with their friendly countries again and again. Some developing countries have become bankrupt while trying to tackle the political, economic, and military strategies of the great powers.
How powerful countries show muscle power
The superpowers, creating unstable conditions in the internal politics of developing countries through their agents, realize their interests keeping those countries under pressure. In today’s world, the third world is captive to the big powers.
These powerful countries get involved with the internal politics of the third world in the name of democracy, and, in some cases, directly threaten and intervene in the country, if necessary. They warn the comparatively weaker countries of trade and economic sanctions and visa policies. The direct threats and indirect interference in the internal politics of Bangladesh by some of the Western countries recently is clear proof of that.
However, despite the existence of monarchies and dictatorships in many countries in the Middle East for a long time, powerful countries like the US and its allies remain silent on the question of democracy and human rights due to their own economic interests.
Bangladesh can be cited as an example of how the superpowers unnecessarily get involved in the internal politics of a developing country. These big powers have now taken opposite positions regarding the internal politics of Bangladesh. Needless to say, only to protect their own interests. Exercising their muscle power is going on. In 1971 also, we saw such an exercise of power during the liberation war of Bangladesh.
BRICS brings new light of hope
Although the unity of non-aligned countries has not been reestablished in world politics, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have now established BRICS in much the same way. This organization was founded in South Africa in 2010. The name BRICS is given by the first letters of the names of the above five countries. As powerful countries like Russia, China, and India are united in this alliance, many countries have expressed their interest in joining this alliance. Many believe that this alliance was established primarily to stand against the United States, although not directly.
Meanwhile, some wealthy countries in the Middle East, becoming dissatisfied with the US, have been encouraged to become members of the BRICS. This interest has been reinforced by the attack on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Israel, a long-time ally of the US. The EU, the US, and their allies are directly supporting Israel’s aggression and genocidal campaign.
If those countries really get the BRICS membership, it will be a huge economic and military defeat for the US, Israel, and their allies. If BRICS remains strong in the future, it is expected that the number of members of the organization will increase.
It has now become necessary to establish an alliance of different countries to bring stability to world politics. We have to remember that the real logistics of Europe-America and their friends are coming from the third world. The reality is that their economy is directly or indirectly dependent on the third world. Therefore, many believe that if the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and South American countries form an alliance.
If BRICS can be able to stand strong, then it will be very easy to deal with the United States and its powerful allies. Because there is no alternative to stop the massacre of the Palestinian people and the occupation of Gaza by Israel.
And if BRICS fails to do so, a non-aligned organization like NAM is now needed to counter this superpower. The current uncertainty and instability in the world provide new chances for countries to work together, and the NAM can guide the world toward stronger cooperation and shared global prosperity.