Global Affairs March 9, 2024 by

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

A New Non-Aligned Movement

A new Non-Aligned Movement (NAM)

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) was once a group representing more than half of the world’s population and two-thirds of UN members, with 120 members, 20 observer countries and 10 international organizations. It was the largest group of states in the world after the United Nations.
The League of Nations, unable to resist the challenge of its member states, failed to prevent one of the greatest tragedies in human history World War II.
The United Nations, which was established in 1945 with the mission of maintaining international peace and security, is also unable now in preventing wars due to its structural problems. This is reminiscent of the League of Nations in the 1930s.

The UN has been helpless in the face of the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, which are spreading and turning into regional proxy wars.

One can see that the global competition, in a worrying escalation, is rapidly reviving old blocs. The common concern is whether history will repeat itself. Considering all parties to proxy wars today, almost one-third of the world is already involved in hot wars to some extent.


As global blocs gain momentum again, it will not be a surprise if the non-alignment movement of the 1950s gains momentum too. Thus it was natural for those countries caught between the imperial rivalry of the Eastern and Western fronts to form the non-aligned movement.


After its first summit in 1961, the Non-Aligned Movement continued in the form of term presidencies, with summits held every three or four years.
With the fall of the Iron Curtain in the 1990s, the Movement lost its energy and took on a nostalgic structure that is only remembered when they come together at the summits.
Last month, the 19th Summit was held in Kampala. The Non-Aligned Countries Summit made a relatively large impact at a time when global polarization and tension are gaining momentum.
The summit culminated in the 45-point Kampala Final Declaration. From the pandemic to irregular migration, from climate to terrorism and disarmament, the Declaration called for a solution to the heavy debt burden of developing countries, condemned Israel and demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Azerbaijan handed over the Non-Aligned Presidency to Uganda. The summit was the sixth summit hosted by African countries. Previous presidencies were Zambia, Algeria, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Egypt.


Of course, in today’s challenging conditions, the expectation of full Non-Alignment cannot be realistic for countries that have to fix their direction in the Western or Eastern club.
Such a position can only be possible with a prudent, multi-faceted and rational foreign policy strategy, which we can describe as ‘’new neutrality’’ without breaking their existing ties with their alliances.
The Non-Aligned Movement was the solidarity of countries caught between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, which were powerless to oppose the blocs directly on their own. They played a calming role in the face of the destructive polarization dangerously escalating in those days.
But they paid the price of not bowing to the Supers by being labelled as the ‘third world countries’, meaning underdeveloped or developing.

In today’s competition, it comes to mind that it may be possible to stand at an equal distance from the poles in some policies, and that countries in solidarity with neutrality or non-alignment can slow down the pace of conflicts and curb warmongering.

It is certain that non-aligned or new neutral countries have the potential to create a new synergy that directs the international course with a good organization. They were once described as the third bloc in addition to NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

It should be noted that the Non-Aligned Movement, with its 120 members, 20 observer countries and 10 member international organizations, constitutes more than half of the world’s population and two-thirds of the UN members. It represents the largest community of states in the world after the United Nations.
In a sense, non-alignment is the unity of solidarity that increases in direct proportion to the severity of the showdown between the blocs. If it is revived, it will be a great power that is listened to in international affairs.

CIRIS as an organization does not adopt or advocate positions on particular matters. Our publications always represent the views of the author or authors rather than those of CIRIS.

About the author

Hasan Sevilir Aşan

Hasan Sevilir Aşan