Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests
Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests
NAM- past and present
The genesis of the NAM was a result of the war between the two blocks during the cold war. Even before the first meeting of the NAM that was held in Belgrade in 1961 by Yugoslavia, a meeting in Bandung had taken place in Indonesia. In this meeting, the five principles on which NAM was based were decided. They are
Mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
Mutual non-interference in domestic affairs.
Equality and mutual benefit.
However, there were questions asked that once there was an end to the cold war 1991 with the disintegration of the USSR, then what would be the rationale of existence of NAM. In fact, since that time, the NAM is trying to find a role for itself.
So, earlier it was fighting against colonialism, racism and apartheid, developed countries and their imperialism on developing countries. But after the end of cold war, then the focus of movement has to change.
Some are of the opinion that it is for economic cooperation and collaboration so that economic conditions of the citizens of the developing countries could improve.
Thus, the fundamental rationale and objective have changed, but it still continues to be relevant.
There are other organisations like NATO which was a product of cold war, but even that has not ceased to exist after the USSR disintegration.
Need for UNSC reforms
India has been actively pushing for the reforms, especially the UNSC. Even Vice President of India at the NAM summit pointed out that whether an organisation formed in 1945 with just 51 members is really appropriate to serve the needs of international community which is now comprised of 193 independent sovereign states.
The international community acknowledges and accepts that the UNSC reforms are needed. The question is how to take this reform forward. In that context, the NAM is also not a united house. In 2005, UNGA had acknowledged need of changes in UN, particularly in the size, structure and composition of UNSC.
Kutesa report, a negotiating text for the Security Council reforms, was adopted during the 70th session of UNGA. It was hoped to move forward but obviously there are vested interest of some countries who do not wish the UNSC to be expanded or to be reformed. Thus, there is a need to raise this subject at every forum like India is already doing. This will bring to notice of international community the importance of such issues and that India has all the qualifications of becoming the permanent member of UNSC.
Counter- terrorism issue at NAM
India is pushing for the world community to globally recognise that terrorism is no longer a regional but a global issue and India is a victim. The way terrorism is spreading, there is hardly any country which can say that it is not affected by terrorism one way or other.
For decades, there has been a proposal from India for a Comprehensive UN Convention on Terrorism. This has not been taken forward because there is no agreement on definition of terror per se in that because there are some countries who try to divide terrorists between good terrorists and bad terrorists. Thus, when looking at even a regional response to terror, there are problems. President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan has also said that the perpetrators of crime in Afghanistan are given sanctuary, training and finance by Pakistan. India and Bangladesh have also suffered from similar experiences. Pakistan has emerged as the single source of epicentre of terrorism in South Asian region.
Then there are countries which for political reasons put a technical hold. (China on Masood and Lakhvi). This is when PM Modi told Chinese President that it should not look at terrorism through the ‘prism of politics’.
In NAM, India tried to pass a resolution on counter-terrorism but since the resolution in NAM are based on total consensus, Pakistan blocked it.
Way forward for India and NAM relevance
It can get very frustrating when India’s recurring efforts to counter terrorism are thwarted repeatedly by two countries. But India needs to continue to apply as much international global pressure as possible upon those countries.
At fora like NAM, G20, East Asian Summit, ASEAN summit, India has to bring out the nefarious activities and tactics of Pakistan in supporting terrorism. It has to appeal to the international community and global powers for counter terrorism cooperation because terrorism doesn’t differentiate between countries.
And PM has also said at G20 that countries spreading as well as supporting terrorism should be isolated and sanctioned and not rewarded.
India has to simultaneously strengthen itself and keep a vigil that such attacks are not repeated.
Today it is a multipolar world and not unipolar or bipolar. Countries like Russia, Japan, India are one of the important poles. The relevance of NAM is to stay as it will help the international community deal with many issues like- sustainable development, reform of UNSC, ensuring peace, countering terrorism, climate change etc.
Connecting the dots:
Can India’s repeated efforts to bring forward counter-terrorism need reap any result? Discuss.
Can organisations made during cold war era and before be still relevant in this changing world? Discuss.