Non-Aligned Movement

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The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is an intergovernmental organization of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2010, the organization has 118 members and 18 observer countries.[1] Generally speaking (as of 2010), the Non-Aligned Movement members can be described as all of those countries which belong to the Group of 77 (along with Belarus and Uzbekistan), but which are not observers in Non-Aligned Movement and are not Oceanian (with the exception of Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu).

The organization was founded in Belgrade in 1961, and was largely the brainchild of Yugoslavia's first President, Josip Broz Tito, India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Egypt's second President, Gamal Abdel Nasser, and Indonesia's first President, Sukarno. All four leaders were prominent advocates of a middle course for states in the Developing World between the Western and Eastern blocs in the Cold War.

The purpose of the organisation as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure "the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries" in their "struggle against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, and all forms of foreign aggression, occupation, domination, interference or hegemony as well as against great power and bloc politics."[2] They represent nearly two-thirds of the United Nations's members and 55% of the world population, particularly countries considered to be developing or part of the third world.[3]

Members have, at various times, included: Yugoslavia, Argentina, SWAPO, Cyprus, and Malta. Brazil has never been a formal member of the movement, but shares many of the aims of Non-Aligned Movement and frequently sends observers to the Non-Aligned Movement's summits. While the organization was intended to be as close an alliance as NATO (1949) or the Warsaw Pact (1955), it had little cohesion and many of its members were actually quite closely aligned with one or another of the super powers. Additionally, some members were involved in serious conflicts with other members (e.g., India and Pakistan, Iran and Iraq). The movement fractured from its own internal contradictions when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. While the Soviet allies supported the invasion, other members of the movement (particularly predominantly Muslim states) condemned it.

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