Social movements and research institutions came together on Saturday, June 17, to flag the emerging Cold War narratives pushed by western imperialism and to call for a new movement for “non-alignment” in the Global South. The call was made over a webinar titled ‘The New Non-Alignment and the New Cold War’, organized by the No Cold War campaign and the Tricontinental: Institute for Social Research, along with ALBA Movimientos, Pan-Africanism Today, the South Korea-based International Strategy Center and the International Peoples’ Assembly. The call for a new “non-alignment” is significant considering the history of the 20th century.
On Monday, April 3, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) adopted a resolution condemning the “negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights.” The text titled A/HRC/52/L.18 was presented by Azerbaijan on behalf of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries. Emphasizing that unilateral coercive measures, legislation, and secondary sanctions were a violation of international law, norms and principles as well as the UN Charter, the text expressed “grave concern” over the negative impact of sanctions on human rights, including the right to development, which is recognized as a “universal and inalienable right” integral to all human rights.
President Joe Biden kept a promise to Lula da Silva by congratulating him for “free, fair and credible” elections minutes after Sunday’s results declared Lula the winner over incumbent Jair Bolsonaro. Pundits have interpreted the Biden administration’s words on the Brazilian election as a demonstration that it was rooting for Lula over his opponent, known as “Tropical Trump.” This reasoning is at best misleading, if not completely faulty. What has Washington actually most worried about Lula is the reemergence of a powerful non-aligned movement and the prospect that a progressive like Lula would be at the helm. During his previous two presidencies, Lula cast himself as a spokesman for the Global South. Times have changed since then. There is a growing number of ideologically diverse governments, which were formerly subservient to the U.S. and are now boldly defying Washington’s dictates, creating fertile ground for the expansion of a bloc of non-aligned nations that has been reinvigorated by opposition to NATO’s stance on Ukraine.
War is an ugly part of the human experience. Everything about it is hideous. War is most obviously the act of invasion and the brutality that goes along with its operations. No war is precise; every war hurts civilians. Each act of bombardment sends a neurological shudder through a society. World War II demonstrated this ugliness in the Holocaust and in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. From Hiroshima and the Holocaust rose two mighty movements, one for peace and against the perils of further nuclear attacks, and the other for an end to the divisions of humanity and for a nonalignment from these divisions. The Stockholm Appeal of 1950, signed by 300 million people, called for an absolute ban on nuclear weapons.
On October 11, 2021, delegations representing the governments of more than 105 nations, nearly all of the global South, met in Belgrade, Serbia to commemorate the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement sixty years ago in the capital of the former Yugoslavia. The commemorative Summit was addressed by President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan, the current president of the Non-Aligned Movement; Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia, which hosted the event; Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, whose nation played an important role in the founding of the Movement; UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres; among others. Several speakers criticized the accumulation of COVID-19 vaccines by rich Western countries, calling for more solidarity and a fairer distribution.
In 1955 the US and the Soviet Union were in the midst of the Cold War. Both countries were pressuring Asian and African countries to align with them. In April of 1955, twenty-nine of these countries met in Bandung, Indonesia for the first Bandung (Asian-African) Conference. Most of the countries that attended were in the process of emerging from the shackles of colonial rule. They met to address their common problems; sovereignty, political self-determination, non-aggression and equality.
Recent weeks have seen a dramatic escalation in the U.S.’ stance towards tech companies from the People’s Republic of China (PRC). After hounding the telecommunications company Huawei for years, the social networking app TikTok is the latest Chinese company to enter the firing line. On 5 August U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo published a press release that could be seen as the master plan that explained the logic behind these policies: creating a parallel internet, defined as a place where companies from the PRC have no place.
With sincere emotion, I am grateful for the warm welcome given us by the people and government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with whom we are joined by 27 years of uninterrupted relations. It has been a long but essential journey. We reached the beautiful, prosperous Baku, after traveling more than 11,300 kilometers, breaking the blockade’s barriers - which in recent months have been brutally reinforced - because the current serious challenges require us to retake the role required of the Non-Aligned Movement in the international arena, as the organization that represents the majority of the planet.
Azerbaijan - At the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit held in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Friday, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro lashed out at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and announced that the U.S. economic and financial aggressions are as lethal as its armies. The Bolivarian leader said that "the new modes of international war are economic aggressions" against the most vulnerable population groups, among which are children, women and the elderly. "In the years to come, our movement must raise an alternative to the inhuman, exclusionary and impoverishing model which the IMF and the World Bank intend to impose," Maduro urged. "The imposition of brutal neoliberal economic measures, which are designed by the IMF and applied by Washington's satellite governments, include pension and salary cuts, brutal increases in public service fares and curtailment of the right to education and health."
As the United Nations wraps up its General Assembly session, we speak with Bahman Azad, a professor who heads the United States Peace Council, about the unprecedented steps the Trump administration took to restrict visiting diplomats and heads of state from attending or from speaking outside the UN during their stay. We discuss the current state of the world, the harmful impacts of US imperialism, and powerful global institutions such as the UN, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. As the world shifts to one where there are many dominating countries, how will that impact US foreign policy and our chances of creating a more peaceful, just and livable future? We also discuss 'Ukrainegate' in-depth and other current events.