The founders of the Non-Aligned Movement and their successors recognized that the Movement would probably be destroyed if they created such formal structures for the Movement as a constitution and internal secretariat.
A multilateral trans-national organisation made up of states with differing ideologies and purposes could never create a rational administrative structure to implement its policies that all could accept.
The Non-Aligned Movement has created a unique form of administrative style. Non-Aligned administration is non-hierarchical, rotational and inclusive, providing all member states, regardless of size and importance, with an opportunity to participate in global decision-making and world politics. The Summit is the occasion when the Movement formally rotates its Chair to the Head of State of the host country of the Summit, who then holds office until the next Summit. The Chair is at the same time also delegated certain responsibilities for promoting the principles and activities of the Movement.
By creating the practice of a rotating chair, Non-Aligned countries therefore place the onus of an administrative structure on the country assuming the Chair. When a country assumes the Chair of the Movement, it creates or designates an entire section of the Foreign Ministry to deal specifically with Non-Aligned issues. Secondly, since Non-Aligned countries meet regularly at the UN and conduct much of their work there, the Chairs’ Ambassador at the United Nations essentially functions as the “Minister of Non-Aligned Affairs”. The work of the non-aligned often consumes the activities of the Chairs’ Permanent Mission in New York. To facilitate the Chairs’ responsibilities a number of structures aimed at improving the coordination and functioning of the existing Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees of NAM were created. The structures also exist in order to promote the process of achieving a commonality of positions and interests and to see to it that Non-Aligned countries speak with one voice in international meetings and negotiations.
2.2 Coordinating Bureau
The Coordinating Bureau is the vocal point for coordination. The Bureau reviews and facilitates the harmonization of the work of the NAM Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees.
The Heads of State or Government entrusted the Coordinating Bureau with the task of intensifying its actions to further strengthen coordination and mutual cooperation among Non-Aligned countries, including unified action in the United Nations and other international fora on issues of common concern.
2.3 Coordination by the Coordinating Bureau and role of the Chair
The Chair has the responsibility of leading and coordinating the activities of NAM within the United Nations and, as appropriate, in other international fora.
Besides the Coordinating Bureau, the Chair may therefore also preside over NAM mechanisms as necessary. Working Groups could be presided over by other members.
2.4 Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees
All NAM Working Groups, Contact Groups, Task Forces and Committees meet as often as necessary. In the fulfilment of their mandates due regard is paid to coordination, efficiency and preparedness.
2.5 Non-Aligned Security Council Caucus
It is necessary that the NAM countries elected to the Security Council, and who form the NAM Caucus in the Security Council, constantly strive to adopt unified positions, and that the decisions and the positions of NAM as adopted at its Summits and Ministerial Conferences and by the Coordinating Bureau be properly reflected by them in the Security Council, without prejudice to their sovereign rights. At the Cartagena Summit the Heads of State or Government called for the need to continue to enhance this coordination, including the possibility of holding consultations on a regular basis, between members of the NAM Caucus and other members of the Coordinating Bureau.
The Chair of the Coordinating Bureau in New York should attend and address the Security Council on matters of particular importance to members of the Movement. To enlarge the scope of coordination, the Chairman of the Coordinating Bureau may at the invitation of the Non-Aligned Security Council Caucus attend the meetings of the Caucus.
The Chair of the Coordinating Bureau should hold regular meetings with each coordinator of the Non-Aligned Security Council Caucus with a view to being briefed on the work of the Council and in turn, to convey to the Caucus coordinator the positions of the Movement. Similarly, the Caucus coordinator should keep the Chair apprised of upcoming discussions and issues of general importance to the Movement.
The Coordinator of the Non-Aligned Security Council Caucus should also periodically brief the Movement through the Coordinating Bureau.
2.6 Joint Coordinating Committee
In order to promote coordination and cooperation between the NAM and the Group of 77 in promoting the interests of developing countries in international fora, a Joint Coordinating Committee of the two groups was established in 1994, which meets regularly in New York.
2.7 Coordination of Non-Aligned countries in other UN centres
The Chair of the Movement is also responsible to give expeditious consideration to the establishment of arrangements for coordination of Non-Aligned countries in all United Nations centres and international organisation headquarters. The establishment of these arrangements facilitates coordination and
cooperation with the Coordinating Bureau and enhances the role of the Movement in international fora.
2.8 The Troika
At a meeting of Foreign Ministers of NAM, representing past, present and future Chairs, in New Delhi on 6 April 1997, the concept of a Troika (of the past, present and future Chairs) started to emerge. The Chair, the Colombian Foreign Minister, at the meeting announced that the first meeting of the Troika would take place at the 52nd UN General Assembly. The Troika subsequently formally met for the first time in New York in September 1997.
2.9 Group of past, present and future Chairs (Group of Ten)
During the aforesaid meeting Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the format of the meeting of past, present and future Chairs and suggested that the Group meet more frequently as a discussion forum. It was also suggested that the Group would meet at other levels, e.g. on the level of officials to discuss issues that arise and require direction or a stance by the NAM.
2.10 Panel of Economists
The Foreign Ministers decided in New Delhi to set up an ad-hoc Panel of Economists from Non-Aligned countries to assess the current international economic situation from the perspective of developing countries and to identify and analyse major issues of concern to them. The Chair of the Movement (Colombia), in association with the host country (India), had to consult with member States on the establishment of the panel and on its work program and report to the XIIth Summit in South Africa in 1998.
The preparation of all documents is the responsibility of the host country and should be the object of the widest possible consultations. Host countries should aim at circulating the First Draft as early as possible but not later than one month before the meeting. Documents should be concise, non-repetitive and succinct, highlighting issues of particular importance or urgency. Emphasis should be placed on practical, action-orientated measures that could be implemented.
The Cartagena Document on Methodology, which was issued in May 1996, emphasises that the documents of Summit Conferences, which are the supreme organ of the Movement, should, while remaining comprehensive, be condensed. Every effort should also be made to avoid repetition.
Separate appeals or declarations and resolutions on important issues can also be issued.
2.12 Decision makingby consensus
The practice of the Movement is to make all decisions by consensus. Consensus has enhanced the solidarity and unity of the Movement.
This concept presupposes understanding of and respect for different points of view, including disagreement and implies mutual accommodation on the basis of which agreement can emerge by a sincere process of adjustment among member nations in the true spirit of Non-Alignment. The Cartagena Document on Methodology states that consensus, while signifying substantial agreement, does not require implying unanimity.
on sensitive issues, the NAM tradition is to pay attention to openness and the holding of extensive consultations with the broadest possible participation. The Bureau of the Meeting, with its representative capacity, should render its assistance .