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NAM Factfile

india Updated: Sep 21, 2006 20:39 IST

• The NAM was set up in 1961 in Belgrade by Third World nations that wanted to avoid being pawns in Cold War power games by not aligning with either Washington or Moscow.

• Its founding fathers were President Josip Broz Tito of Yugoslavia, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India, President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt, President Achmad Sukarno of Indonesia and President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana.

• Other founding countries were Afghanistan, Algeria, Yemen, Burma (now Myanmar), Cambodia, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia.

• Today, the NAM has 116 members, more than half the countries in the world. They represent 55 per cent of the planet's people and nearly two-thirds of the United Nation's members.

• The movement's last presidential summit was in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, three years ago. It has strived to find a relevant role since the Cold War ended.

• Cuba hosted the NAM summit of 1979. Cuban chairmanship of the movement was tarnished by its alignment with the Soviet Union over the invasion of Afghanistan just three months after the Havana summit.

• Cuba said it expects some 50 heads of state or government for the Sept 11-16 summit.

• Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro, who ceded power to his younger brother Raul after emergency surgery to stop intestinal bleeding in July, has said he will receive some of the visiting dignitaries, but is not expected to be strong enough to host the meeting. A brief appearance has not been discarded by Cuban officials.