• The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu led the Indian delegation at the XVIII Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) held at Baku, Azerbaijan on 25-26 October. 

About the Summit

  • The theme for the XVIII NAM Summit is “Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world”. 
  • The Ten Principles of Bandung, a political statement encapsulating the need to promote world peace and cooperation were formulated at the Asian-African Conference in 1955.
  • India is one of the founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), which was established in 1961 with 29 members. It has since grown to 120 members to become one of the largest groupings of nation-states
  • This is the second time in a row that PM Narendra Modi skipped the summit, marking India’s transformation from a non-aligned country to one which is supposedly multi-aligned. This is seen as indication that NAM is losing relevance in present global order

About NAM 

  • The Non-Aligned Movement was formed during the Cold War, largely on the initiative of then-Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, 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. 
  • The basic concept for the group originated in 1955 during discussions that took place at the Asia-Africa Bandung Conference held in Indonesia. 
  • Subsequently, a preparatory meeting for the First NAM Summit Conference was held in Cairo, Egypt from 5-12 June 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.
  • Members: At present, the Movement has 120 Member States, 17 Observer Countries and 10 Observer organizations.  

The principles of NAM are as follows 

  1. Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  2. Mutual non-aggression.
  3. Mutual non-interference in each other’s affairs.
  4. Equality and mutual benefit.
  5. Peaceful co-existence.

These principles are also known as “Panchsheel” and are basic guidelines for the functioning of the NAM.

Way forward:

  • India should hence continue to engage actively with the Movement and derive maximum benefit possible for itself and members of the grouping by articulating its views on major issues of international concern and interest.