Account for the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement & evaluate its effectiveness during the Cold War era.

Essay by jemaHigh School, 11th gradeA-, April 2009

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The Non-Aligned Movement was an international organization created as a third world response to superpower rivalry. It was an organization whose aim was to separate control and influence of the Soviet Union and United States. The intention being to make certain national independence, sovereignty, and the territorial integrity of a country was maintained. The first meeting of the Non-Aligned countries was in 1955, in Bandung, Indonesia. The nations attending this meeting stated they would remain neutral through the East-West conflicts of the Cold War. Soon after, the first official conference of the Non-Aligned Organization took place at Belgrade in 1961, a concern being that an accelerating arms race could result into a war between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Within the Non-Aligned Movement there are many main objectives and causing factors as to why the organization was established. This movement hoped to give freedom to people under colonial and alien domination.

To also promote the establishment of a just intercontinental economic order. Get rid of the causes and with that the horrors of war and the newly developing nuclear devices and weapons. To promote the privileges and civil rights of humans. Putting a stop to the condemning of different races; racial discrimination. Promoting a sense of protection and preservation for the environment. The abolition of dictating imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism. To create a peaceful co-existence and good-natured settlement of international disputes. And lastly, to help strengthen the role and effectiveness of the United Nations.

During the Cold War era, the members of the Non-Aligned Movement were frequently targeted by the United States and Soviet Union imperialistic view. Both Superpowers tried to attract Non-Aligned countries to their respective sides by offering economic aid to development projects within a Non-Aligned country. Proving that the Non-Aligned Movement was not a strongly unified organization like NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) or the Warsaw pact, and its members were economically and financially weak in comparison to the superpower blocs. Therefore, although its members were able to enlarge their status through unity and cooperative voting in the UN General Assembly, they were never able to challenge the dominance of the two superpowers.

As well, during the Cold War era, partly due to the economic aid of a superpower, not all Non-Aligned Movement countries were actually neutral. This movement lost its standing integrity and credibility towards the early 1970’s when it was starting to be viewed as an organization whose majorities of states were allied and/or supportive of the Soviet Union. It was questioned as to how a country could claim to be non-aligned when they were in obvious alliance with the Soviet Union, such as Cuba. Castro stated that the Third World needed to be hostile against western capitalism and friendly towards the Soviet Union. This was a factor of the downfall of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War era and the movement has continued to struggle to find relevance since the end of the Cold War.

Throughout the Cold War era the Non-Aligned Movement was formed to create a just organization that supported those who wished to remain neutral and not join a superpower bloc. Within the organization issues such as the disarmament of nuclear weapons was discussed hoping to prevent the superpowers from starting a nuclear war that would affect countries all over the world. This movement, however, was unable to produce any effective measures due to economic failure and eventual aid from a superpower, and not all countries being neutral and non-aligned to a superpower bloc. In the end, the Non-Aligned Movement during the course of the Cold War era was unsuccessful and did little to help solve the arguments between the two superpowers while remaining neutral.