The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of countries which are not officially aligned with any of the two power blocs. It was found in 1961, when cold war was raging between the USA and USSR (Soviet Union). Since the collapse of Soviet Union and the end of Cold War, the movement has become rather irrelevant, but continues to be a key organization among the developing countries.
Its history begins in 1950s. Following the Second World War, the world began to polarize in to two military blocs led by USA and USSR. Meanwhile the colonialist nations had begun to lose the grip on their colonies and many countries in Asia and Africa became free in those years. USA and Soviet Union began their attempts to attract these new nations into their sides, creating a bi-polar world and leading to the Cold War.
At the same time, India decided not to join either of these alliances and to keep same distance from them. Jawaharlal Nehru, the erstwhile Prime Minister of India, put forward the idea of forming an organization for these new nations, especially those from Asia and Africa. Named Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), it was aimed to represent the socio-political state of the Third World, and protect the common interests of the countries. The objectives of this movement were largely based on the Panchsheel principles signed by India and China in 1954. Nehru’s idea got support from the heads of various countries including, Josip Broz Tito (Yugoslavia), Dr Ahmed Sukarno (Indonesia), Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana) and Gamal Abdul Nasser (Egypt).
The foundation for the movement was laid in the conference which took place in Bandung, Indonesia in April 1955. The principles of the organization were defined in the charter titled Bandung Declaration. Later at the 1956 conference at Brioni in Yugoslavia, they were re-emphasized. The formal foundation of the movement was in conference of heads of states that was held in 1961 at Belgrade. 25 nations, which decided to remain neutral in the Cold War, participated in the conference, announcing the beginning of Non-Aligned Movement.
The basic principles of Non-Aligned Movement are favor of peace, development and eradication of poverty as well as the protection of cultural and political interests of the member countries. The growth of co-operation among the nations and the empowerment of poor countries are its aims. 120 states are part of the movement with a number of observing members. The first Secretary General of the organization was Josip Tito. The term of office lasts three years.