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The features of the non-aligned movement

The Non-Aligned Movement refers to a group of countries who have decided not to openly side with the eastern nor the western bloc when it comes to international geopolitics. In other words, members of this international organization believe that no developing country has any business in assisting any of the super powers in the Cold War. Membership is drawn from the less developed countries of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe. 

The Movement started in Belgrade in 1961 with the Presidents of Yugoslavia, India, Egypt and Ghana at the time. Initially, the Movement started with twenty-five members but currently, there are one hundred and twenty member states and fifteen observer nations.

Opposed to colonialism and racial discrimination
One of the features of the Non-Aligned Movement is that it is opposed to colonialism and racial discrimination in any form. The Movement supported the struggle in the then Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, to gain freedom from the British and also condemned the racial discrimination that was prevalent in apartheid South Africa.

Independent opinion on international issues
Another feature of the Non-Aligned Movement is the freedom a member country has to decide what its opinion is on any issue of international importance. Every international issue is carefully considered based on its own merit, not based on the pressures that are brought to bear on them by other power players in the scheme of things.

Democracy in international issues
The Non-Aligned Movement believes that every individual country of the world must have a say in issues that pertain to the survival of the world. Non Alignment urges and insists that the weaker nations of the world must not be coerced to bury their opinions on world issues, they must rather be allowed to air them as in every democratic environment.

The attraction of economic assistance
Another feature of the Movement is to try to attract as much economic assistance from the developed world as possible regardless of whether it comes from the Western or the Eastern powers of the world. The ultimate goal is to use the resources of both the East and the West to engage in the rapid development of their various countries.

Promotion of world peace
The Non-Aligned movement is committed to the promotion of world peace and where peace has been achieved, to the maintenance of that very peace. Consequently, the Movement is opposed to the use of force to settle disputes in every region of the world.

Opposed to the proliferation of arms
The Non-Aligned Movement is opposed to the proliferation of arms and ammunitions of all kinds, including nuclear weapons, especially where it finds its way into the hands of non-state actors and rogue nations of the world.

Opposed to military alliances
The Movement is opposed to any nation that forms military alliance with any of the two super-powers of the Cold War. This is their way of preventing the creation of areas of influence which could subsequently promote the arms race and heighten tension in several parts of the world.

1. a. What is Non-Aligned Movement? (2 marks)
    b. Highlight six characteristics of the Non-Aligned Movement. (10 marks)

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