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Exploring the Relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement: Insights from Dr. Connie Bakrie

Islamabad, 30 August, 2023 (GNP): The ongoing international Online Internship Program co-organized by the Indonesian Embassy and the Baharia University, Islamabad, held its Session 12 on August 29, 2023. Dr. Connie Rahakundini Bakrie, Executive Director of Institute of Defense and Security Studies was the speaker at the session who shared her insight with the participants on the topic of Indonesia & Non-Aligned Movement: is it still relevant in today’s global politics?

The Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) has become the largest grouping of states worldwide after the United Nations; however, with hanging global politics, its relevance has been widely debated. The importance of NAM as a political power in the current international scenario is being frequently questioned.

The speaker highlighted the significant transition in global geopolitics following the collapse of communism in the USSR and Eastern Europe, which was supposed to end the cold war. She emphasized the ongoing Cold War, which is increasingly becoming ultra-cold

Commenting on the situation between Russia and Ukraine she stated that “the Cold War is still present and becoming increasingly ultra-cold”.

In the context of NAM Jakarta conference in 1992, the speaker stressed that despite the end of the cold war, the NAM struggle must continue. She reminded that in in resolving Russia Ukraine armed conflict, UN Multilateral crisis management has not been successful and the UN agencies were unable to prevent and provide solutions such as peace accords, ceasefires and new appeasements.

Dr. Connie said that in the current global scenario NAM should more proactive role and cited “the NAM ‘RE-NEW’ Declaration that advocates for equality, sovereignty, friendly relations, peaceful resolution of international disputes, opposes force and weapon of mass destruction and aims to protect the entire human race”.

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“The Asia Pacific is facing growing geopolitical tensions between China and the US, intensifying competition between the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework and Belt and Road initiative, and increasing security threats of cyber-attacks that could disrupt and undermine critical infrastructure” Dr. Connie elaborated.

She stressed that NAM should oppose military alliances, call for a world power balance, opposes Cold Supra War models and advocate for dispute resolution through negotiation and diplomatic means.

She made special reference to Indonesian President Soekarno’s famous 1960 United Nations speech, “To Build the World A New,” that emphasized the importance of a fair World Order Conception.

“Indonesia’s President Jokowi has proposed building the country as the nexus of international maritime and airspace, as it is at the heart of strategic sea line communication” she explained when sharing Indonesia’s respond to the emerging situation.

The Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955 was the initial process for the birth of the Non-aligned Movement (NAM). The Conference was held on 18 – 24 April 1955 and was attended by 29 Heads of State and Heads of Government from the newly independent countries.

The NAM, central to Indonesia’s foreign policy, focuses on issues such as disarmament, economic development, poverty alleviation, climate change, and establishing a just world order. Indonesia supports NAM’s role in international peace, security, counter terrorism, environmental concerns, and achieving Sustainable Development Goals.

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She concluded that NAM should continue maintain its influence on the world peace and should campaign for a new international and regional economic order based on political and economic equality and continue to contribute its support in strengthening the UN organization.

The next session on Commitment to Islam as “Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamiin” will host Dicky Sofjan, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies on August 31, 2023.