Non-Aligned Movement

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is a forum of 120 countries that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states worldwide.[2][4]

Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)
Current members of the Non-Aligned Movement. The light-blue colour denotes countries with observer-status.
Coordinating BureauUnited Nations
New York City, U.S.
[1]
Membership[2]
  • 120 member states
  • 20 states (observers)
  • 10 international organisations
Leaders
 Principal decision-
making organ
Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries[3] (2019–22)
EstablishmentBelgrade, Yugoslavia
1 September 1961; 61 years ago (1961-09-01) as the Conference of Heads of State or Government of Non-Aligned Countries

The movement originated in the aftermath of the Korean War, as an effort by some countries to counterbalance the rapid bi-polarization of the world during the Cold War, whereby two major powers formed blocs and embarked on a policy to pull the rest of the world into their orbits. One of these was the pro-Soviet, communist bloc whose best known alliance was the Warsaw Pact, and the other the pro-American capitalist group of countries many of which belonged to NATO. In 1961, drawing on the principles agreed at the Bandung Conference of 1955, the Non-Aligned Movement was formally established in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, through an initiative of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah, and Indonesian President Sukarno.[5][6][7]

This led to the first Conference of Heads of State or Governments of Non-Aligned Countries.[8] The term non-aligned movement first appears in the fifth conference in 1976, where participating countries are denoted as "members of the movement". The purpose of the organization was summarized by Fidel Castro in his Havana Declaration of 1979 as to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics."[9][10]

The countries of the Non-Aligned Movement represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations' members and contain 55% of the world population. Membership is particularly concentrated in countries considered to be developing or part of the Third World, although the Non-Aligned Movement also has a number of developed nations.[11]

The Non-Aligned Movement gained the most traction in the 1950s and early 1960s, when the international policy of non-alignment achieved major successes in decolonization, disarmament, opposition to racism and apartheid in South Africa, and persisted throughout the entire Cold War, despite several conflicts between members, and despite some members developing closer ties with either the Soviet Union, China, or the United States.[11] In the years since the Cold War's end in 1992, it has focused on developing multilateral ties and connections as well as unity among the developing nations of the world, especially those within the Global South.[11]


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