NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT (NAM): ADVANCING COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN A CHANGING WORLD
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), founded during the Cold War, seeks to unite developing nations, specifically those striving for independence and self-reliance, in order to provide them with equal opportunities and an equal role in international affairs. NAMís efforts are further supported by the establishment of NAM CSSTC in 1995, aimed at bolstering practical endeavors through South-South technical cooperation that encompasses economic dimensions. The fundamental purpose and objectives of NAM revolve around fostering multilateral cooperation and solidarity among developing countries, promoting mutual assistance as a means to attain independence and self-reliance.
The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) acknowledges that every country and region faces unique challenges. These challenges include the Pacificís concern over the climate crisis and its potential to trigger natural disasters, the vulnerability of South American, Central American, and Caribbean nations to devastating natural calamities that jeopardize lives and livelihoods, and the plight of certain developing countries reliant on exporting raw materials, only to have them processed abroad and returned at high prices, straining the spending capacity of their populations. At its core, NAM upholds the principles of self-determination and sovereignty, exemplified by significant historical events like the gathering in 1950s Indonesia, where developing nations, including those yet to attain independence, united their voices in global affairs. NAM actively advocates for economic development and poverty alleviation through targeted training programs that equip individuals from low-income households with the necessary skills to establish businesses or secure better employment, fostering sustainable growth and combating poverty. NAM also prioritizes the protection of human rights and the promotion of social justice, particularly economic rights and access to essential services such as education, healthcare, sanitation, and employment. The establishment of the NAM Centre for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in Iran further underscores this commitment. In terms of diplomatic and political cooperation, NAM facilitates dialogue and collaboration through triennial gatherings of Heads of Governments led by the NAM Chair.
NAM CSSTC, in partnership with International IDEA, conducts capacity-building programs on democracy, elections, and institutional development, featuring successful speakers from developing countries who share their expertise as best practices, aiming to facilitate knowledge transfer and replication of effective approaches in other developing nations.
Cooperation in development is of paramount importance to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), as it recognizes the limitations of assistance received from developed countries and advocates for support from fellow developing nations. NAM promotes the use of simple and applicable technologies that do not require advanced knowledge or costly maintenance, ensuring effectiveness and sustainability. Moreover, NAM member countries demonstrate mutual support in international forums, standing united on key issues such as endorsing self-determination for the people of Palestine and advocating for nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, including support for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). The establishment of NAM CSSTC in 1995 has further reinforced NAMís commitment to knowledge exchange, expertise sharing, and technical assistance, which are facilitated through training programs, expert dispatches, and a Centre such as the NAM S & T in India, focused on Science and Technology, fostering collaborative research efforts. NAMís comprehensive approach highlights its dedication to promoting development, cooperation, and multilateral engagement on a global scale.
NAM demonstrates its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through the Baku Declaration and advocates for equitable access to vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic. NAM CSSTCís efforts include organizing the dispatch of experts to Fiji to support the hand tractor grant program, empowering women and expanding employment opportunities in agriculture.
In Tanzania, NAMís expert-led training on tuber processing techniques has led participants to establish successful small businesses, boosting household income. NAM also supports the South Centreís advocacy for developing countriesí interests in Intellectual Property Rights related to medicines, aiming to enhance self-sufficiency in healthcare provision. Through multiyear scholarship programs, NAM CSSTC facilitates educational cooperation, enabling students from various regions to study at prestigious universities in Indonesia, contributing to the universitiesí international reputation. Lastly, NAM CSSTC actively addresses climate change by promoting biodegradable food packaging through training programs, offering sustainable alternatives while maintaining product shelf-life.
We acknowledge the skepticism surrounding its relevance in the post-Cold War era, with concerns about its loss of purpose and institutionalization challenges. However, the establishment of NAM CSSTC represents a transformative shift towards greater cooperation with developed countries, complementing Official Development Assistance (ODA) efforts. NAM views newly established organizations by member countries as potential partners, collaborating on joint programs to leverage their resources.