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A Multipolar Order: What the Non-Aligned Movement (Supported by Putin) Stands For

Highlights from the NAM Summit, January 15-20 in Uganda’s capital of Kampala…


IMAGE: Heads of States and members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), pose for a photo at Speke resort convention centre in Kampala, Uganda Friday, Jan. 19, 2024. (Image Credit: AP Photo/Hajarah Nalwadda)

RT International reports…

More than 3,000 delegates from more than 120 countries took part in the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Russia, which has observer status in the NAM, praised the organization on Saturday for playing an important role in establishing a fairer, more democratic, and multipolar system of international relations.

“We are fully united by our rejection of neocolonialist ambitions, double standards, as well as forceful pressure, dictatorship and blackmail as a means of achieving foreign policy and foreign economic goals,” President Vladimir Putin said in a message to the summit.

1. When and why NAM was established

The Non-Aligned Movement traces its origins to the first large-scale Afro–Asian Conference held in 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia, marking the decolonization process after the World War II. The Conference was organized by countries that did not wish to be involved in the East-West ideological confrontation of the Cold War, and that wished to focus on national independence struggles and their own economic development. The NAM was officially established in 1961 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, and comprised 25 mostly Asian and African countries.

2. NAM’s structure today

Today, economic cooperation and social and humanitarian issues are central to the work of the NAM. The grouping consists of 120 nations (African, Asian and Central and South American), 20 observer states (including Russia and China) and 11 organizations (such as the African Union and Arab League). The NAM does not have a founding Charter, Act or Treaty, or a permanent secretariat. Managing the affairs of the Movement is the responsibility of the country holding the Chairmanship.

3. What NAM’s goals are

The main objective of the NAM at the time of its establishment was to keep the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa out of the superpower rivalry, and to protect their newly acquired independence in the bipolar world. In the present day, there are other important goals: eliminating the causes of war; protecting the newly independent countries of Asia and Africa from colonial domination; opposing colonialism, imperialism and racial discrimination; advocating the sovereign equality of all states; encouraging friendly relations among countries and the peaceful settlement of international disputes; opposing the use of force and the use of nuclear weapons; and protecting human rights and the environment.

4. What NAM’s role is

In the 1990s, after the bipolar world of the Cold War ended its existence, the movement was trying to find its way, and the building of the new multipolar world, which Russia also stands for, became its primary objective. Since 2012, when, under Iran’s chairmanship the Tehran declaration openly condemned sanctions against Iran and the Western intervention in Syria, the role of the NAM has been increasing. The NAM today is the main dialog tool of the Global South, representing around 58% of the global population, 76% of global oil, and 53% of global gas reserves, with all the OPEC member states.

5. The Kampala Declaration: main points

The 19th summit in Kampala ended on Saturday night by releasing the 47-article Kampala Declaration. Here are its main points:

  • Supporting Palestine and condemning Israel

Member states reaffirm “the importance of the question of Palestine to the NAM” and stress that their positions on this subject, developed over the past 60 years, “shall be defended, preserved, and promoted”, especially “within the context of the United Nations, as part of our continued efforts to put an end to colonialism, oppression, occupation and domination in the occupied Palestinian Territory.”

They are “gravely concerned at the continued deterioration of the situation on the ground and the humanitarian crisis being endured by Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip, where the population, more than half of which are children, are suffering immense loss of life and injury, widespread destruction of their homes and massive forced displacement as Israel, continues to carry out indiscriminate attacks across the Gaza Strip.”

Member states also support an application filed by South Africa to the International Court of Justice and “condemn all measures” taken by Israel to alter the status of the Occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

  • Global reforming

Member states stress the importance of strengthening multilateralism and comprehensive reform of the multilateral global governance architecture. They acknowledge “the historical injustice against Africa” and express “support for increased representation for Africa in the reformed Security Council.”

They welcome the admission of the African Union as a permanent member of the G20 and of the Republic of South Sudan to the NAM as a full member state.

Member states support reform of the international financial architecture, and commit to work towards a “universal, rule-based, open, transparent, predictable, inclusive, fair, non-discriminatory, and equitable multilateral trading system.”

  • Strengthening the role of UN and NAM

Member states call to uphold and promote respect for the UN Charter and International Law, “especially the principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, territorial integrity, non-interference, and peaceful settlement of disputes.” They also call to “strengthen the role of the Movement in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution.”

  • Admitting threat of viruses

Member states are “deeply concerned about the threat posed by the emergence and spread of pandemics and health emergencies, including COVID-19, Ebola Virus Disease, Swine Flu A (H1N1), and Avian Influenza.”

  • Opposing unilateral measures against climate change and calling to lift all sanctions

Member states enhance cooperation to contain unilateral climate-based trade measures by developed countries. They also continue calling for the complete, immediate, and unconditional lifting of all Unilateral Coercive Measures including those measures used as tools for political or economic and financial pressure against any country.

  • Defending human rights

Member states call to promote and defend the sovereign rights of all states, human rights, and gender equality. They also condemn racism and commit to taking measures to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions, and call to address the root causes of forced displacement.

  • Promoting global security

Member states emphasize that “progress in nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation in all its aspects is essential to strengthening international peace and security;” support efforts to prevent and combat terrorism; and condemn the misuse of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), including the internet and social media platforms, for terrorist purposes.

RELATED: Non-Aligned Movement leader speaks out against unilateral ideologies

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