Prelims level : International Summits Mains level : GS-II Global Grouping involving India
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 Why in News?

  • Our honourable Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu will represent India at the 19th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Baku, Azerbaijan on October 25 and 26.

About the news:

  • Our Indian Prime Minister Naredra Modi is skippimg the summit and it has to be noted that this is the second time in a row our P.M is skipping the summit.
  • In 2016 summit that held that Venezuela, our P.M became effectively the first Indian PM to skip the meeting of heads of states and governments of NAM nations.
  • The only other Indian PM to have skipped a NAM summit was Charan Singh in 1979 , but unlike this time, he was just a caretaker PM at that time.

About NAM:

  • The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia.
  • The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War as an organization of States that did not seek to formally align themselves with either the United States or the Soviet Union, but sought to remain independent or neutral.
  • It has 120 members as on April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan). There are 17 countries and 10 international organizations that are Observers at NAM.
  • The first NAM Summit Conference took place in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, in September 1961. The Non-Aligned Movement was founded and held its first conference (the Belgrade Conference) in 1961 under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Jawaharlal Nehru of India, Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, and Sukarno of Indonesia.
  • During the cold war era the NAM played a vital role in stabilizing the world order and preserving peace and security. Non alignment of NAM doesn’t mean the neutrality of state on global issues, it was always a peaceful intervention in world politics.
  • NAM today has grown into a forum where developing nations could blame all their problems on the big powers.
  • It has become a platform for some of the world’s most despicable leaders to preen and posture.
  • NAM’s reason to exist ended in 1989, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the end of the Cold War. The world was left with a single superpower, the US, but quickly became multipolar, with China and India emerging as strong magnetic forces in their own right.

Way Ahead:

  • There are now new kinds of alignments, more likely to be defined by economics and geography than by ideology. To be aligned is now a virtue, a sign of good leadership.
  • Countries, especially small ones, can and should aim for multiple alignments of their interests. There is now no country in the world that can claim to be non-aligned.

Why PM is Skipping the meet?

  • While NAM, of which India was one of the founding nations, in the past helped deal with challenges like apartheid and colonialism, it is now increasingly seen as having outlived its usefulness.
  • Even as it acknowledges that NAM allows member-states to pursue an independent foreign policy, India clearly believes NAM will be of little use in furthering India’s case on important issues like the menace of terrorism and UNSC reforms.
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