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Question

What do you think about the statement that NAM has become irrelevant today? Give reasons to support your opinion.

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Solution

With the end of the Cold War, several questions have been raised with regard to the importance and relevance of NAM. It is believed that NAM has lost its essence and effectiveness. However, the following points will enable us to understand that its values and ideas continue to remain relevant.
a) With the end of the Cold War, we saw the emergence of a unipolar world with the US playing a hegemonic role. Its policies at WTO (World Trade Organization) have compelled developing nations to liberalize their economies and encourage foreign investment. In such a scenario, NAM countries have worked together to voice the concerns of the developing world, arguing for a fairer economic share.
b) NAM emerged as a specific product of a specific situation. The Cold War today has been replaced by more contemporary and compelling issues like terrorism, threat of nuclear warfare, human rights violation, environmental problems or developmental issues which threaten world peace. Currently, NAM countries can and are working together to deal with more pressing problems of the world today.
c) The leaders of the developing countries have shifted their emphasis from political to economic content of the movement. A quest for New International Economic Order today remains the cementing force of the NAM. The 12th and the 13th NAM summit pledged to step up South-South cooperation & North-South cooperation.
d) NAM has now seriously been focusing on the question of reshaping the United Nations. The 10th NAM summit had established a high-level working group to suggest concrete proposals ‘for the restructuring, democratisation & enhancing the effectiveness of the United Nations’. Subequent NAM summits have also stressed that the UN should gear up for a positive transformation of the international society.
e) At the 14th NAM summit, the then Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, identified that in an increasingly inter-dependent world, it is a challenge for NAM to promote balanced & equitable management of this inter-dependence of nations.
f) At the Tehran Summit in 2012, NAM members largely focused in contributing their efforts towards bringing about nuclear disarmament and strengthening peace efforts in regions torn by ethnic conflict.
g) The presence of 120 countries in NAM today is a testimony to the fact that NAM is not a defunct body and can play a very important role in reshaping the world.

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