Non-Alignment Movement: Firm commitment to defend peoples' aspirations for freedom

Algiers, May 25, 2014 (SPS) - Upon its creation in the 1950s, the Non-Aligned Movement committed to the defense of peoples’ aspirations for freedom and self-determination, and deployed support actions to the national liberation movements struggling against foreign occupation and against racial segregation.
Its fundamental objective was to support the peoples’ right to self-determination and sovereignty, to defend the territorial integrity of the States which compose it, and to fight against apartheid, non-interference in the internal affairs of the states and the use of force in international relations.
Since then, the NAM approach was a key factor in the decolonization process that enabled several countries to gain their independence.
The Non-Aligned Movement which first foundations were laid during the Bandung Conference (1955), and institutionalized in Belgrade in 1961, had a leading role in the process of maintaining peace and international security in the middle of Cold War.
Over the past five decades, the NAM had the merit of accompanying and supporting the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America in their struggles for independence and of defending the achievements of developing countries.
Algeria which became an influential member of the NAM claimed during the Algiers Summit of 1973, the advent of a new just and equitable economic order between the developed North and newly independent countries of the South. It also called for integration in the process of South-South cooperation.
Permanent commitment to the Palestinian issue, Western Sahara decolonization
The Palestinian issue has been and remains a central concern of the Non-Alignment Movement which continues to uphold the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of an independent state. This interest is reflected in the Movement’s strong support to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) through the adoption of resolutions from the first meeting of the Summit held in 1961 in Belgrade, and numerous initiatives at the United Nations (UN) and specialized agencies.
The role of the NAM for the Palestinian issue was particularly crucial after the 1967 war when the Group of the Non-Aligned at the UN General Assembly had supported the UN resolution calling for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the occupied Arab territories. After this vote, majority of African countries broke their diplomatic relations with Israel in particular in the aftermath of October 1973 war.
Furthermore, the Palestinian issue was at the center of the Foreign Ministers Conference held in Lima, Peru in 1975, which was saw the accession of the PLO as a full member of the movement.
The Non-Aligned Nations’ support for peoples still under domination is also expressed in their concern to achieve a just and lasting solution to Western Sahara issue, and thus to enable the Saharawis exercise their right to self-determination.
The Non-Aligned Countries’ support to the Saharawi cause has been repeatedly reiterated in the many meetings held both in the General Assembly and the Security Council of the UN.
At its last summit meeting in Tehran in 2012, the NAM has reiterated the need for the Saharawi people to exercise their right to self-determination and freedom in accordance with the principles and objectives of the UN Charter and in accordance 1514 resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 14 December 1960 on the granting of independence to colonial territories and peoples. The movement also emphasized the respect for the Saharawi people aspiration to express freely themselves, hence the urgent need for a self-determination referendum. (SPS)