Conferences of Nonaligned Countries

Conferences of Nonaligned Countries

 

conferences of heads of state and government of a large group of countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe that had proclaimed as the basis of their foreign policy the principle of nonparticipation in military and political blocs and had refused to allow the establishment of foreign military bases on their soil. By the mid-1970’s, the nonaligned countries had held four conferences.

Belgrade Conference. Held in Yugoslavia on Sept. 1–6, 1961, the Belgrade Conference was attended by representatives of 25 states: Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Cambodia, Ceylon, the Congo (Léopoldville), Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, the Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen, and Yugoslavia. Bolivia, Brazil, and Ecuador sent observers. The delegates conducted a broad discussion of questions related to the ultimate abolition of colonialism, to universal and total disarmament, to the peaceful coexistence of states with different social and political systems, and to the role and structure of the UN. They adopted a Declaration on the Threat of War and an Appeal for Peace, as well as a Declaration of the Heads of State and Government of the Nonaligned States. These documents formulated the principles of the policy of nonalignment.

Cairo Conference. Held in Egypt on Oct. 5–10, 1964; the Cairo Conference was attended by the representatives of 47 states. In additon to the countries that had participated in the Belgrade Conference, 23 countries were represented in Cairo: Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Congo (Brazzaville), Dahomey, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Syria, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia. The Democratic Republic of the Congo (until August 1964, the Republic of the Congo [Léopoldville]), which had attended the Belgrade Conference, was not represented at the Cairo Conference. Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Jamaica, Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, and Venezuela sent observers to Cairo.

The Cairo Conference condemned any form of interference by one state in the affairs of another and demanded the end of such interference in the affairs of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Cyprus, and the countries of Southeast Asia. Declaring that disarmament is the fundamental and foremost task of the contemporary world, the conference called on all states to sign the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty of 1963. The participants in the Cairo Conference announced that they favored the prohibition of nuclear tests in all environments. They emphasized that imperialism, colonialism, and neocolonialism are the chief sources of international tension.

Lusaka Conference. Held in Zambia on Sept. 8–10, 1970, the Lusaka Conference was attended by 54 states, including many that had been represented at the Cairo Conference. In addition, the conference in Lusaka was attended by Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guiana, Jamaica, Lesotho, Malaysia, the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen, Ruanda, Singapore, Swaziland, and Trinidad and Tobago. Of the countries that had participated in the Cairo Conference, Angola, Burma, Cambodia, Dahomey, Malawi, and Saudi Arabia were absent from the Lusaka Conference. Argen-tina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Finland, Mexico, Uruguay, and Venezuela sent observers. Attending the conference as guests were representatives of several African and Asian people’s liberation movements, including FRELIMO (the Liberation Front of Mozambique), the MPLA (the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola), and the Palestine Liberation Movement.

The conference condemned the policy of imperialism and reaffirmed and deepened the progressive traditions of the policy of nonalignment. The declaration On Peace, Independence, Economic Development, Cooperation, and the Democratization of International Relations formulated the major political aims of the policy of nonalignment, which include ensuring peace throughout the world and peaceful coexistence by strengthening the role of the UN, struggling against colonialism and racism, and settling disputes by peaceful means. In addition, the nonaligned countries favor the cessation of the arms race, to be followed by universal disarmament, and they support the struggle for economic independence and cooperation between states on the basis of equality and mutual advantage.

In special resolutions the delegates to the conference firmly condemned the actions of the USA in Indochina and of Israel in the Middle East. They demanded the withdrawal of American armed forces from Vietnam and the immediate liberation of the Arab territories seized by Israeli troops.

Algiers Conference. Held in Algeria on Sept. 5–9, 1973, the Algiers Conference was attended by the representatives of 75 states, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Gambia, the Ivory Coast, the Malagasy Republic, Malta, Mauritius, Niger, Oman, Peru, Qatar, the Republic of South Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, and Upper Volta, which had not participated in the previous conferences. Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Uruguay, and Venezuela sent observers to Algiers. Attending the conference as guests were representatives of 16 popular liberation movements.

The delegates reviewed the progress that the policy of non-alignment had made since it was declared, discussed its perspectives, and defined its goals for the future. The political declaration adopted by the conference as its main document expressed the nonaligned countries’ attitude on such vital problems as relaxation of international tensions, disarmament, struggle for peace in Indochina, and the situation in South Africa. The economic declaration of the conference formulated the demands of the nonaligned countries for the protection of their economic interests. The conference also adopted a number of resolutions on various international issues and approved a coordinating committee composed of the representatives of 16 states, with H. Boumedienne as its chairman. The committee has been vested with the organization of future conferences of nonaligned countries.

D. ASANOV

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