Answer :

After the Second World War the two superpowers, USA and USSR, emerged on the scene. There was an ideological war going between the two. Due to the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the cold war ended, and the USA was left as a single power to dominate over the world.

When the cold war was going on, there were newly independent countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America which emerged due to decolonization. These countries did not want to join either the Soviet Union or the USA. The leaders of these newly independent nations wanted to end insecurity, and other social problems of their countries and hence in 1955, Bandung Conference was held in Indonesia which was attended by 29 nations. It paved the way for the Non-Alignment Movement.

The role of NAM in this context can be summarised as:

1. The NAM helped countries like India to take an independent stand when the two superpowers fell apart and pulled countries to their side.

2. It also helped the newly emerging countries to bargain for space and assistance from the superpowers by playing one against the other.

3. To some extent, it has also helped to ease tensions amongst the NAM countries.

4. The cooperation between NAM countries helped them to fight the serious problems like poverty, hunger, unemployment, diseases, social inequalities, etc.

5. It was aimed at cultural and economic cooperation among the NAM countries.

But NAM has faced severe criticisms from the developed countries as they view it as both neutral and isolationist policy.

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