policy, that emerged then, have stood the test of time. They include a belief in
friendly relations with all countries of the world, the resolution of conflicts by
peaceful means, the sovereign equality of all states, independence of thought
and action as manifested in the principles of non-alignment, and equity in the
conduct of international relations.
    Under the leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, India was the founder member
of the Non-Aligned Movement. India has played an active role in
strengthening the movement and making it an effective voice in representing
the collective aspirations and interests of the developing countries on such
vital issues as development, peace and stability. India has also been at the
forefront of the world community in the struggle against colonialism. Indeed,
the independence of India itself played the role of a catalyst in removing the
vestiges of colonialism in other parts of the developing world, particularly in
Africa. India was also the first country to raise the question of racial
discrimination in South Africa in 1946. A notable feature of Indian foreign
policy has been its strong advocacy of general and complete disarmament,
with nuclear disarmament being accorded the highest priority. Towards this
end, India has taken several initiatives within the United Nations and outside.
    As a founder member of the United Nations, India has been firmly
committed to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and has made
significant contributions to its various activities, including peace-keeping
operations. India has been a participant in all UN peace-keeping operations
including those in Korea, Egypt and Congo in earlier years and in Somalia,
Angola and Rwanda in recent years. India has also played an active role in
the deliberations of the United Nations on the creation of a more equitable
international economic order. Other issues, such as environmentally
sustainable development and the promotion and protection of human rights,
have also been an important focus of India’s foreign policy in international
    Commensurate with national interests and security, the improvement of
bilateral relations is an important component of any foreign policy, and India
has succeeded in establishing a network of mutually beneficial relations with
all countries of the world. In particular, improvement of relations with its
neighbors has always been one of the pillars of India’s foreign policy.
    India’s foreign policy has