NAM STRUCTURE AND ORGANIZATION
The country that hosts the summit holds office until the next summit. Non-aligned countries place the onus of an administrative structure on the country assuming the chair. The country is required to create or designate an entire section of the ministry of foreign affairs to deal specifically with the Non-Aligned Movement.
The chair’s ambassador in the United Nations essentially functions as the ‘minister of Non-Aligned Affairs’.
NAM has also created contact groups, task forces and committees to facilitate the chair’s responsibility as follows;
The Coordinating Bureau
Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees
Non-Aligned security Caucus
Joint coordinating committee
Coordination of non-aligned countries in the UN centres.
Panel of economists
- Conference of Heads of State and Government. This is NAM’s highest decision-making authority and meets once every three years. It has two committees, one on political issues and another on economic and social issues. The summit is held at least one month before the regular session of the UN General Assembly. During the summit, there is a formal ceremony for handing over the chair.
- Ministerial conference. Its task is to review developments and implement decisions of the preceding summit and also discuss matters of urgency. The conference meets 18 months after the summit.
- Ministerial meeting in New York during a session of the UN General Assembly. This is a meeting of foreign ministers annually in New York at the beginning of the regular session of the UN Assembly. The purpose of the meeting is to deliberate on the items of the Agenda of the General Assembly that are of major importance to the movement.
- Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau. The main task is to prepare for the summits, and where necessary, to consider issues of major importance to the movement.
- Meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Methodology. The attendance is by all NAM members and its meetings are held by the decision of the summit or the ministerial conference. The meetings are chaired by the chair of NAM.
- Meeting of the standing ministerial committee on economic cooperation. These meetings are meant to strengthen south-south cooperation, reactivate the dialogue between the developing and developed countries and enhance the role of the UN General Assembly, in international cooperation for development. The meetings are held frequently upon recommendation of the coordinating Bureau.
- Ministerial Meetings in various fields of international cooperation. They discuss issues like agriculture, information and external debt.
- Extraordinary Meetings of the Coordinating Bureau. They address exceptional cases that call for urgent consideration.
- Meetings of the Working Groups, Task Forces, Contact Groups and Committees. The meetings are held as often as necessary.
The growth of NAM
- The first summit, Belgrade, 1961. The attendance was by 25 non-aligned countries who met at a time when world peace was threatened seriously by the looming nuclear war. The meeting’s objective was to prevent the outbreak of a nuclear war in the world.
- The second summit, Cairo, 1964. The summit of October 1964 was attended by 47 Nations and 10 observers. There were 28 representatives from Africa. The conference mainly focused on problems facing NAM countries due to colonial inheritance, policies of former colonial powers and the rivalry between the great powers..
- The third summit, Lusaka, 1970. The attendance was by 53 members the meeting resolved that time was ripe for declaration on peace, independence, cooperation and democratization. The members were out to fight colonialism and racism. The main resolution was the members’ determination to achieve economic emancipation.
- The Fourth Summit, Algiers, 1973. It was attended by 75 members, eight observers,three guest nations and 15 liberation movements. The meeting was an attempt to transform the existing system of economic and financial relations in a manner that would liberate developing countries from a subordinate role into an equal position with industrialized countries. The members developed an action programme in the interest of economic cooperation.
- The fifth Summit, Colombo, 1976. It was attended by 86 members, who focused on the liberation of Zimbabwe and Namibia, the abolition of apartheid in South Africa as a way of promoting world peace.
- The sixth Summit, Havana, 1979. The conference was attended by 93 members, 12 observers, 8 guest nations and seven new members. The meeting declared that imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, racism, foreign aggression, expansion, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony, Great power bloc, Subjugation, dependency and pressures in international relations as enemies of non-alignment. The chairman of the summit was Fidel Castro who put forth his ideas that the socialist bloc is a natural ally of the movement.
- The seventh summit, New Delhi, 1983. It was attended by 96 members, 16 observers and 20 guest nations. The summit took place at a time when there was intense confrontation as the great powers continued to amass nuclear weapons. . Indra Gandhi appeared to be the moderate leader to host the conference and soften the impact of Cuban radicalism. The conference discussed peace, nuclear disarmament, development strategies for north-south Dialogue on a new world economic order, and the south-south cooperation for collective self-reliance.
- The eighth summit, Harare, 1986. It marked NAM’s silver Jubilee. The main concern was Namibia’s independence and apartheid in south Africa.. NAM emphasized its sanctions against the Pretoria (South Africa) regime. It drew an action plan to deal with the threat posed by South Africa. The summit came up with a special solidarity fund to help the frontline states.
- The Ninth summit, Belgrade, 1989.
- The tenth Summit, Jakarta, 1992.
- The eleventh Summit, Cartagena de Indias, 1995.
- The twelfth Summit, Durban 1998.
- The thirteenth Summit, Kuala Lumpar, 2003.
Performance of the Non-Aligned Movement
Reasons why NAM is still relevant
- NAM is the only forum that can articulate the voice of justice and sanity in the world in view of the unending Arms Race.
- NAM is the only forum through which the demand for a less unjust world economic order can be raised given the kind of hold the developed nations still have on developing nations.
- NAM remains the third world’s shield against the pressures of the superpower elephants that can easily trample on the grass of the lesser animals even after end of cold war.
- NAM can still play a role in addressing emerging world issues such as terrorism, environmental degradation, HIV/AIDS and racism.
Achievements of NAM
- It has helped speed up the attainment of freedom in states that were under colonial bondage.
- NAM has assisted its members in safeguarding their national security and territorial integrity.
- Non-aligned nations also worked to eliminate conflict between the superpowers. This helped in the promotion of peace and security for the non-aligned world. India for example played a role in solving the Korean War, the Suez crisis and Indo-Chinese conflict.
- NAM created a conducive environment for peace, justice, equality and international cooperation by contributing to the relaxation of international tension by keeping clear of the two military blocs, USA and USSR.
- The movement has strengthened African and Asian Countries diplomatically at a time when they lacked necessary physical strength. They were able to exert their voting power as Afro-Asian bloc to influence world affairs.
- NAM provided an international forum where members’ voices could be heard. It was able to work to dismantle apartheid by its two-third world community membership despite the Reagan administration’s opposition to sanctions against South Africa.
- The movement has given members freedom to put their national interests before those of the great power blocs.
- The NAM through the Cairo and Colombo Summits termed as World Disarmament conferences, played a key role in the disarmament process. The 1967 Treaty of Tlatelolco, signed by 22 states, set up a weapon Free Zone in Latin America.
- The Non-aligned states have helped in international crisis management since they are not committed to any course of military action. For example during the 1961 Berlin crisis, Nehru of India and Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana went to Moscow for a peace mission, while Achmad Sukarno of Indonesia and Modibo Keita of Mali went to Washington DC to try and create a conducive atmosphere for managing the crisis.
- NAM has worked towards creation of new international economic order. Members of the movement are able to trade with both the great power blocs. Membership to the Group of 77 in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is drawn from the non-aligned nations. The non-aligned nations were open to aid from both blocs and also ready to expand their trade with both sides of the ideological divide.
- The Solidarity fund established during the Harare Summit of 1986 cushioned the frontline states against the economic sanctions imposed on apartheid South Africa.
- NAM has worked to create the new scientific and technological order. The members have demanded a new scientific and technological order by favouring access to the most advanced technology and scientific research available as a means of bridging the technological gap between the developed countries and developing ones.
Factors which have undermined the activities of the Non-Aligned Movement
- Political instability is frequently experienced by some member states. For example, civil wars and military coups in DRC, the Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, interstate wars like in the case of Iran and Iraq. This has undermined their contribution to the movement.
- Economic ties between the third world countries and their colonial masters had made it difficult for the member states to pursue an independent line.
- Border disputes between neighboring member countries has weakened the course of the movement. E.g. between morocco and Algeria, North Korea and South Korea, Vietnam and Cambodia, Ethiopia and Somalia, Uganda and Tanzania etc.
- Economic backwardness of some of the member states has made it difficult for them to meet their obligation in the movement as national needs come first in view of the meager resources of some of the nations.
- Ideological differences between member states have undermined their co-operation. Its large size of 116 members by 2004 has frustrated its ideological coherence and organizational solidarity. Whereas some countries are inclined towards the west, others are inclined to the east.
- Membership to other organizations like AU, commonwealth and the French community, has made it difficult for some states to participate actively in the affairs of the movement.
- Breakup of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War has destabilized the movement. As power bloc rivalry subsided, NAM appeared to become irrelevant.
- Conflicting national interests. Individual national interests have failed to agree with the objectives of the movement.
- Personality differences between leaders of member states have undermined the movement. For example, several leaders rejected the radical views of Fidel Catron of Cuba.
- Differences unrelated to the principles of NAM have developed among members. For example at the Colombo Summit of 1978, several Arab states were keen to see Egypt expelled from the movement on grounds that she had signed a separate peace treaty with Israel. This was not an agreement with a superpower and therefore had nothing to do with NAM.
- NAM lacks a permanent Army or a permanent institutional framework or machinery that can enable it carry out its activities effectively. For example, it failed to persuade iraq and Iran to end the 8 year long war from 1980.
THE COLD WAR
It was so called because it was fought not with weapons, but with words, propaganda, military and financial aid to enemies of the opposing sides.
Although there was no actual physical confrontation, Cold War was characterized by a conflict of the most serious and deadly kind.
Causes of the Cold War.
- Ideological differences. There was deep-seated fear and mutual suspicion between USA and USSR over the spread of their ideologies–capitalism and communism. E.g The establishment of the Soviet Union through acquisition of satellite states was a measure to contain capitalism.
- Disagreement over the issue of disarmament. The use of atomic bomb on Japan by USA towards the end of World War II alarmed USSR. The two sides failed to agree on an arms reduction plan and continued to stockpile atomic bombs.
- Economic rivalry. In 1947, the USA President Harry S. Truman introduced the Marshal Plan, a scheme to assist western European countries that had been devastated by war. The USSR in turn formed Council for Mutual Economic Assistance (COMECON), an economic cooperative plan for Eastern Europe. This further heightened the hostility between the west and the east.
- Formation of military alliances. In April 1949, the USA, western European countries and Canada formed a military alliance through the signing of the North Atlantic. Treaty in Washington D.C. (NATO). The formation of NATO ended USA’s isolationist policy. Russians responded by signing the Warsaw Pact, in May 1955, a military alliance of communist countries. These alliances fostered hostility between countries.
- The use of Russian veto powers in the UN. Russia used her veto powers to defeat UN proposals, which she accused of being pro-USA. The struggle by the two powers to dominate the UN increased tension between them.
- Disagreement over the future of Germany as a whole. Western allies wanted a strong Germany to assist in the economic prosperity of other nations. Russia was keen on a politically and economically weak Germany to safeguard against another invasion. NB- in 1961, the USSR built the Berlin Wall, thus dividing East Berlin from West Berlin.
- USA’s military advancement. By 1945, the USA was the only country that possessed atomic weapons. This created fear.