Prime Minister Narendra Modi will, for the second time in a row, skip the 18th Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) summit on 25-26 October in Azerbaijan's Baku, the government said late Tuesday (22 October), reports Times Of India.
Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu will represent India at the summit. PM Modi did not attend the last NAM summit held in Venezuela in 2017.
This is a paradigm shift in India’s foreign policy and a transformation from a non-aligned country to a multi-aligned necessity in fast-changing global geopolitics.
For a long period, the NAM summit for India was just symbolic which had helped deal with challenges like apartheid and colonialism from a bygone era and many foreign policy experts feel, NAM as having outlived its usefulness and it is time to pursue an independent foreign policy.
However, heads of states from the neighbourhood like Nepal and Bangladesh have again reposed trust in NAM with their PMs, K P Oli and Sheikh Hasina, confirming their participation.
The theme for the Baku summit is ‘Upholding the Bandung Principles to ensure concerted and adequate response to the challenges of the contemporary world.’
In Baku, Naidu will underline India’s concerns over terrorism and wants NAM to stop paying just lip service to acts of terrorism and wants members to a take firm position on terrorism which should be as unambiguous as it once was on apartheid and colonialism.