NAM Summit

Dr. Sudhanshu Tripathi
The successful beginning of the Non-aligned Summit at Tehran confirms the underlying spirit of unity among its member nations, though it has yet to deal with the prevailing serious challenges in the form of hyper power or super power dominance through military interventions, economic sanctions or other coercive means against the spirit of the United Nations Charter.
The on-going 16th Non-aligned Summit which opened in Tehran  is certainly a manifestation of Third World nation’s deep seated longing of self-respect and equality in the  comity of nations. These are the under-developed and developing countries of the Third World, spread over in the continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The host country, Iran, a prominent ancient civilisation, has once again passionately appealed to all members of this movement to remain united as the US has failed, so far, to isolate it from the rest of the world. Its holding in Iranian capital underlines the fact of united support of the non-aligned nations to the leadership of Iran, which has been facing tough sanctions due to its continuing nuclear programme. Perhaps, keeping this fact in mind, the Foreign Minister of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, while opening the summit, hoped for a show of solidarity against sanctions the West has imposed to punish Iran for its nuclear activities. “The non-aligned [movement] must seriously oppose… unilateral economic sanctions which have been enacted by certain countries against non-aligned countries,” Mr. Salahi told the summit. Besides these, his indication was also towards long undue interventions into the Arab world by outside Western powers for their own vested interests- particularly America, Britain, erstwhile USSR and others- which must stop immediately. Because their biased involvement has rather complicated all contentious issues till now, instead of resolving them with honest intentions.
In fact, the idea of non-alignment was floated by the legendry leader, statesman and the first Prime Minister of India, Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru, immediately after the end of the Second World War in 1945, when the world was dived into two halves: Western bloc led by the US and the Communist one, by the then USSR. Their mutual antagonism and rivalry led to the emergence of bipolarity in the world and, consequent, Cold War between them, which witnessed several unfortunate and destructive incidents, even wars between countries besides fierce arms race and resultant alliance formations and installation of weapons with nuclear missiles the entire world. Nehru along with few other prominent leaders, like Marshall Tito of Yugoslavia, Nasser of Egypt, Sukerno of Indonesia, Zomo Kenyata of Kenya, decided not to join either of the blocs and maintain same distance with them without any prejudice, fear or favour. It was their wisdom to follow an independent foreign policy because that would, on the hand, reduce the intra-bloc rivalry and, consequent wars and would divert their efforts towards humanitarian goals including national reconstruction and establishing peace in world, on the other.
With this objective in hand, these leaders launched the Non-aligned Movement in 1961 with its first Summit comprising 25 members at Belgrade in Yugoslavia to counter the super power dominance in international relations. Beginning with 3 Ds; decolonisation, disarmament and development, the Movement, today, addresses all issues of human concerns and welfare following the universal principles of truth, justice and equality as underlined much earlier in the Peace Treaty of Westphalia of 1648, which, afterwards, became the guiding principles of the League of Nations as well as the United Nations Charter. And, it is no mean achievement that the Movement has survived, despite bitter criticism of its relevance, even after six decades with its continuously rising membership to 120 countries in the 16th Summit, today and it has also achieved some prominent goals like decolonisation, disarmament, removal of apartheid and other significant developmental and political- economic targets.
Under this scenario, the on-going NAM Summit in Tehran will deliberate on some of the important issues like Syrian crisis, sanctions against Iran, global economic recession particularly affecting the least developed countries, terror of all forms including global terrorism, disarmament and elimination of nuclear weapons, protection of human rights etc. and such other issues of common human interests. With Syrian crisis likely to dominate talks, Iran’s support for President Basher al-Assad is to figure, in all likelihood, prominently with possibility of lacking consensus. Further, Iran, in its bid to resolve the continuing Syrian crisis without Western power’s initiative, is expected to consult the member countries on the sidelines of the summit on a “comprehensive package” including socio-economic and pending political reforms. Also, the presence of the Egyptian President in the Summit will add to the emerging cooperation between Iran and Egypt towards establishing an united regional front against outside interventions for protection of their own natural riches as well as peace and security in the region and also in the world in the larger interest humanity.
The author is Asso. Prof., Political Science, MDPG College, Pratapgarh (UP)


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