Havana Declaration, Relevance, South-South Interests and Issues

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Havana Declaration

  • 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

  • The current requirements are that the candidate country has displayed practices in accordance with the ten “Bandung principles”

Relevance

Abelardo Moreno

  • The fact that we are living in a unipolar world and the increasing unilateralism being shown by certain countries in world affairs, should make NAM countries more united.

  • He said NAM was established to “foster peace, equality, development and justice among member-countries. So, it is a good time now to have a strong movement that would struggle for the defense of international law and the Bandung principles and try to adopt measures that would allow NAM to play the role for which it was formed.

  • It should devote time to debate on the impact of neo-liberal globalization on the rest of the world. What is the impact of Western aggression and coercion on the sovereignty, independence and self-determination of independent countries?

  • According to Moreno, the NAM forum should be used to discuss and debate ways in which the resources of the member-countries can be used for the common benefit of the developing world. The focus should no longer be confined to increasing trade and economic cooperation. “We have to find new ways to cooperate. For example, we have to find ways to ensure the collective use of the human resources many of us have. The possibility, for example, of providing for many of the lesser developed countries, in the field of health, education and potable water.

  • The Non-Aligned Movement has identified economic underdevelopment, poverty, and social injustices as growing threats to peace and security

South-South Interests

The movement has emphasized its principles of multilateralism, equality, and mutual non-aggression in attempting to become a stronger voice for the global South, and an instrument that can be utilised to promote the needs of member nations at the international level and strengthen their political leverage when negotiating with developed nations.

Western Hegemony and Neo-Colonialism

It opposes foreign occupation, interference in internal affairs, and aggressive unilateral measures, but it has also shifted to focus on the socio-economic challenges facing member states, especially the inequalities manifested by globalizations and the implications of neo-liberal policies. The movement continues to see a role for itself, as in its view, the world’s poorest nations remain exploited and marginalised, no longer by opposing superpowers, but rather in a unit-polar world

Reforms of the UN

The Non-Aligned Movement has been quite outspoken in its criticism of current UN structures and power dynamics, mostly in how the organisation has been utilised by powerful states in ways that violate the movement’s principles. It has made a number of recommendations that would strengthen the representation and power of ‘non-aligned’ states. The proposed reforms are also aimed at improving the transparency and democracy of UN decision-making. The UN Security Council is the element considered the most distorted, undemocratic, and in need of reshaping.

Sustainable Development

The movement is publicly committed to the tenets of sustainable development and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, but it believes that the international community has not created conditions conducive to development and has infringed upon the right to sovereign development by each member state. Issues such as globalizations, the debt burden, unfair trade practices, the decline in foreign aid, donor conditionalities, and the lack of democracy in international financial decision-making are cited as factors inhibiting development.

Cultural Diversity and Human Rights

The movement accepts the universality of human rights and social justice, but fiercely resists cultural homogenization. In line with its views on sovereignty, the organisation appeals for the protection of cultural diversity, and the tolerance of the religious, socio-cultural, and historical particularities that define human rights in a specific region

Criticism of US Policy

In recent years, the organization has criticized US foreign policy. The US invasion of Iraq and the War on Terrorism, its attempts to stifle Iran and North Korea’s nuclear plans, and its other actions have been denounced as human rights violations and attempts to run roughshod over the sovereignty of smaller nations.[20] The movement’s leaders have also criticized the American control over the United Nations and other international structures.

Working Groups, Task Forces, Committees

  • High-Level Working Group for the Restructuring of the United Nations

  • Working Group on Human Rights

  • Working Group on Peace-Keeping Operations

  • Working Group on Disarmament

  • Committee on Palestine

  • Task Force on Somalia

  • Non-Aligned Security Caucus

  • Standing Ministerial Committee for Economic Cooperation

  • Joint Coordinating Committee (chaired by Chairman of G-77 and Chairman of NAM)

Issues

Cohesion

the size of the organisation and the divergence of agendas and allegiances present the ongoing potential for fragmentation. While agreement on basic principles has been smooth, taking definitive action vis-à-vis particular international issues has been rare, with the movement preferring to assert its criticism or support rather than pass hard-liner resolutions.

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