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The Continuing Relevance of Alignment
The 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is scheduled to be held between 13-18 September 2016 in Margarita, Venezuela. The NAM began in 1961 at the instance of Yugoslavia, Egypt and India. Of these three, Yugoslavia no longer exists, Egypt doesn’t hold the same sway as it has in 1950 and 1960s in the region and India seems to be becoming increasingly disinclined towards the whole idea of non-alignment. In fact, it is telling that at this year NAM summit, India is going to be represented by its Vice-President and not the Prime Minister. Over the past 60 years since its inception, the authority of NAM has eroded. Awashed in the Third World Debt crisis of 1980s, these economies saw their economic ambitions crushed. The Soviet Union collapsed. The U.S. bombed Panama and Iraq and rose to supremacy of unipolar world economy. By the early 1990s, Yugoslavia crumbled, Argentina left and India stood at IMF’s gate. In 1973, the members of NAM had laid out a plan for New International Economic Order (NIEO) to manage political disagreements and trade across the member states. In an extant world facing low oil prices, economic wars and exchange rate distortions, perhaps the solution lies in developing a similar new visionary document.

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