The 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) is currently underway on January 19 and 20 in Kampala, Uganda. Having assumed the chair from Azerbaijan, Uganda will lead the organization until 2027. This summit marks one of Uganda’s significant global events since hosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2007.
The gathering is attended by numerous heads of state and high-ranking officials from NAM member countries. Discussions at the summit cover crucial global issues, including conflicts worldwide, climate change, inflation, and growth challenges.
Founded in 1961 during the Cold War, NAM is a coalition of developing nations that rejects alignment with major superpowers. Unlike other international bodies, NAM lacks a permanent secretariat or a formal charter. The organization originated from a 1955 conference in Indonesia, involving representatives from 29 Asian and African countries.
Currently, NAM comprises 120 member countries, including those from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Notable members include India, Venezuela, Iran, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia, with observer status granted to China, Russia, and Brazil.
The 19th NAM Summit, under Uganda’s leadership, focuses on the theme “Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence.” Approximately 4,000 guests from member states are expected to participate, contributing to discussions within two committees: political and economic/social. These discussions will shape the Kampala Outcome Document to be adopted by Foreign Affairs ministers during the Heads of State summit.
Key topics addressed at the summit include Israel’s military campaign on the Gaza Strip, with leaders denouncing the offensive and calling for an immediate ceasefire. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa criticized the inadequacy of the United Nations, emphasizing the need for fair global governance.
India’s External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar, leading the Indian delegation, highlighted the importance of a sustainable solution for the crisis in Gaza, urging NAM to seek a two-state solution. He emphasized India’s commitment to global solidarity and cooperation through various projects worldwide.
Jaishankar also addressed concerns such as the Ukraine crisis, emphasizing the interconnectedness of modern conflicts. He called for a reformed United Nations, economic decentralization, and cultural rebalancing. The minister stressed NAM’s role in addressing challenges faced by member countries, including climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, and global conflicts. As NAM evolves from a political to an economic concept, it continues to play a crucial role in fostering cooperation among developing nations and addressing pressing global issues.