NAM 2012: Making a Statement

During the era of cold war between the US and USSR, many a times, the world came on the verge of full scale wars between the two super powers. At one point of time, during the Cuban missile crisis the whole world kept its fingers crossed while both the super powers flexed their nuclear muscles, only to be contained through massive diplomatic maneuvering in Kremlin and Washington.

During that time there were not the only two blocks present but a third was also there, and that was of the Non Aligned Movement, consisting of the countries which tried their best to stay away from the conflict between US and USSR. The main leaders of the NAM were India, Egypt, Indonesia and Yugoslavia. But after the end of the Cold war and disintegration of the USSR into many states, NAM lost its relevance with the world starting to reel under the American pressure of the Unipolar world. Since then, many countries who were the flag bearers of NAM, started to fall in the American basket.

With India opening up its market for the outside world through a process of liberalization, Indian market became available for the foreign goods which at last, forced the Indian governments to get attracted towards the American block. Time and again, our governments have bent before the American pressure against the sanctions and wars.

This year, in the last week of August (26th – 31st August, 2012), the 16th NAM summit was organized in the Iranian capital city of Teheran. The sabre-rattling between Iran and the West dominated the whole summit. But if seen carefully , then this NAM summit has given a clear signal to the world powers that, it’s high time they stop taking the people from the so called third world for granted and treat them equally. The presence of the delegates from nearly 210 countries in Teheran was indeed a clear signal for the Anti Iranian war mongering block that they cannot take the NAM members for granted and force the countries, which are against the hegemonic policies of the West, to support the policy of the West each and every time. The posture of Iran and the support which it got from the NAM member states is indeed exemplary and is a great step in the direction of averting another war in the middle east, the threat of which is hovering over our heads since last couple of years or more.

While giving the inaugural speech to the heads of states of NAM countries and  in the presence of the UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon, Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei criticized the UN by saying, “The UN Security Council has an illogical, unjust and completely undemocratic structure and mechanism.” He condemned the West. He rightly emphasized on the way the word “human rights” is used to serve the interest of the West. He discussed about the way the West, especially America sees the people of the world in a double standard way by saying that, “Human life is considered cheap in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and expensive in America and Western Europe. The security of America and Europe is considered important, while the security of the rest of humanity is considered unimportant.”

As a whole, the NAM summit can easily be regarded as a victory of Iranian diplomacy against the military maneuvering of the West and its allies in the third world. The Iranians did their best to show their prowess on the international stage despite reeling under continuous economic and military sanctions for the last 33 years.

Two of the most important achievements of the recently concluded NAM summit have been the presence of India’s PM, Manmohan Singh and the new President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi. Despite the continuous American pressure against going to Teheran, Indian PM went and managed to participate in the summit. And for Morsi, his presence was indeed a powerful one because he has replaced the American lackey, Hosni Mubarak in Cairo.

The entire Middle East is reeling under the cloud of long standing conflicts, which are certainly going to have their effect on not only the region, but near about the whole world. If a war breaks out between Iran and the West then, it is certainly going to bring a major part of the world economy to a halt.

After the success of the Teheran summit, the Western media has been continuously asking about the relevance of NAM or attacking the second largest organization of countries in the world for its ineffectiveness. After such a success, it’s high time for the NAM countries to show the world powers that they cannot go away with whatever they do, without being answerable to anyone.

NAM must become a powerful platform for the countries and leaders, who are against the unjustified foreign interference in the third world by the Western powers. This is the first time in the post cold war era that NAM summit has got such a widespread media coverage. May be that coverage was because of the venue, but the anger against the hegemonic American dominance on the international stage cannot be denied.

As we all know that it was India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru who first gave the term ‘Non Aligned Movement’ in 1954. He said, “Peace is not a relationship of nations. It is a condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.’’ Being a founding member of this once powerful organization, it now becomes a duty for India to act more powerfully towards a peaceful world where the weak nations need not fear the powers of the militarily strong nations.

After showing their faith In Iran and its peaceful nuclear program, the NAM nations must tell the West in one voice that they will not tolerate another war in the oil rich region.

NAM is more relevant today than ever before because it has to control the most arrogant power on earth and make it accountable for its misdeeds.

Syed used to work with the Hindustan Times, Delhi till 2010 December and then he took a sabbatical for academic purposes which continues till date. Currently pursuing his masters in Peace and conflict studies with Nelson Mandela Centre for Peace and Conflict, Jamia Millia Islamia University, New Delhi, Syed has studied journalism from Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi.

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