By Kungu Al-mahadi Adam
Uganda will host the 19th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) under the theme “Deepening Cooperation for Shared Global Affluence”, a Summit Africa should use to reaffirm its self-determination and unwillingness to accept interference into its internal affairs by Western countries.
The west, has for some time, directly and indirectly undermined the sovereignty of African countries in the guise of among others aiding their economies as well as giving aid, attached to conditions that disregard African cultures, values and beliefs.
A case in point is the recent backlash Uganda received from the U.S. and other Western countries for passing a law against homosexuality.
The countries and international organizations like World Bank ordered Uganda to repeal the law or else loses out on loans and other forms of funding.
These are explicit signs that Western countries and the U.S. do not view African countries as partners, and indeed not ready to advance equality and have an equal share at the international arena.
As such, leaders of African nations should use this Summit to make statement, they should tell off the West that Africa deserve better, that sovereign Africa can determine its future.
In fact, Western powers owe Africa a lot for their colonization of the continent, and now it is time for them to make amends instead of playing geopolitical games in Africa.
During the summit, which will be held at Speke Resort Munyonyo in January 2024, President Museveni will take over the chairmanship of the organization from the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev and his leadership will last up to 2026.
The NAM is an international organisation consisting of 120 countries as of April 2018 comprising 53 countries from Africa, 39 from Asia, 26 from Latin America and the Caribbean and 2 from Europe (Belarus, Azerbaijan) that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc and is the largest grouping of Member states worldwide after the United Nations (UN).
Uganda will officially chair the organisation on behalf of Africa for the period from 2023 - 2026.
The Summit should be used and an opportunity to strengthen the principles of multilateralism and consolidate the rule of law as well as support the efforts of developing countries in promoting peace and cooperation in the world.
One of the main goals of the NAM was to prevent military conflicts and reduce tensions between states. To achieve this goal, the States belonging to NAM used various methods of opposing military-political blocs.
They actively advocated the use of diplomatic solutions in international conflicts and support for peace negotiations.
In addition, states belonging to NAM sought to develop international cooperation in various fields such as science, technology, economics and culture.
They called for the creation of a global security system where military blocs do not have superior rights and oversight over other states.
An important component of the movement strategy was the development of partial weapons and the creation of a zone of neutrality in order to strengthen international peace and security.
The Value of the Non-Aligned Movement are justice and peace.
The Non-Aligned Movement plays an important role in the modern world because it is based on the principles of justice and peace.
It allows states to maintain their independence without submitting to military-political blocs and pursue their national interests.
This approach helps to establish a balance of power and prevent conflicts.
One of the main values of the Non-Aligned Movement is justice. The refusal to join military-political blocs makes it clear that all states have equal rights and freedom to choose their political and military course.
Such an approach contributes to strengthening the international legal order and reducing the possibility of exploitation of weak States by strong ones.
Another important value of the non-aligned movement is peace. The abandonment of military-political blocs helps reduce the likelihood of armed conflicts and disputes.
States belonging to the non-aligned movement strive for peaceful resolution of conflicts and maintaining diplomatic relations with various countries. This approach helps strengthen international security and cooperation between states.
Due to its values, NAM has broad support and is recognized by the multilateral community. It contributes to the creation of a peaceful, fair and stable international order, where states can develop and exist independently of the influence of military-political blocs.
This confirms the significance of the movement and its contribution to the preservation of peace and justice in international relations.
Joining the bloc may lead to restrictions on the political independence of the state. Participation in military-political blocs may mean that the state must make decisions in accordance with the interests and policies of the bloc, even if it contradicts its own national interests.
Also, blocks can aggravate conflicts, especially if the block participants support one of the conflicting parties. This could lead to an escalation of tension and a threat to peace and security in the region.
In addition, the participating states may face pressure from other states that are not members of the bloc and the possibility of leaving the bloc as a result of new political circumstances.
The Non-Aligned Movement actively promotes the use of peaceful methods of conflict resolution and the renunciation of military force as the main instrument of foreign policy.
It calls on states to cooperate and engage in dialogue to achieve mutual understanding and justice.
NAM was formed during the confrontation between two blocs - the Western, led by the USA, and the Eastern, led by the USSR. In the middle of the last century, the world stood on the threshold of a new global war.
However, the Non-Aligned Movement largely contributed to preventing the expansion of the two indicated opposing military-political blocs, which were NATO and the Warsaw Pact bloc.
After the collapse of the USSR, the Warsaw Pact ceased to exist. Accordingly, the need for NATO to exist has disappeared.
However, we see that the North Atlantic Alliance is still functioning, and, moreover, is actively involved in modern conflicts.
The reason for this is as follows. The United States remained the only superpower. Washington has a goal to establish dominance in the unipolar world.
However, to do this, the USA needed to justify the need to preserve NATO. And then international terrorism was found — a very convenient goal, since, if desired, terrorists can be found in almost any country in the world. NATO has finally taken shape as an instrument of collective aggression of the West
The countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America are strengthening their independence, more firmly defending their national interests, and increasing their competitive capabilities.
The potential for global development is being redistributed in favor of new centers of economic growth, one of which is Africa.
The West, led by the United States, does not intend to put up with what is happening and seeks to maintain its dominance.
They are rapidly increasing their military capabilities, trying to dictate their conditions more aggressively to states that depend on them economically and politically.
The United States and its allies are systematically destroying the system of international law that emerged after World War II, imposing on the world a so-called “rules-based order” - rules established solely by them, exclusively in their own interests, using a wide range of coercive tools, including blackmail, manipulation of public opinion, threats to use force, attempts at an unconstitutional change of power, including by using the mechanisms of international organizations under their control, such as the ICC, the World Bank, the IMF and others.
Special emphasis is placed on purposeful destabilization of the situation in undesirable countries, work on the creation and subsequent maintenance of crisis situations in various regions of the world. At the same time, NATO has finally taken shape as an instrument of collective aggression of the West.
To justify their actions, Washington, London and Brussels openly demonstrate "double standards" in assessing the events taking place and the compliance of certain actions with international law.
In the current international conditions, the Non-Aligned Movement is acquiring new significance in ensuring global stability and security, equality of rights for independent states defending their national interests, and protecting traditional values.
Uganda unconditionally supports the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and, as the chairman of the organization for the period from 2023 to 2026, intends to actively contribute to ensuring peace and security by promoting the ideas of non-alignment to military-political blocs, the most dangerous of which is NATO today.
The writer is a Ugandan journalist with passion for current African affairs.