ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A WEEK of ceremonial airport receptions and send-offs, of gun salutes and colourful cavalcades, of speeches and applause in perhaps the best-appointed conference hall in Africa, of closed sessions and open resolutions and the clang of hundreds of press typewriters, is now over and it is time to make a rough balance-sheet of the Conference. The apparent immediate goodwill created by the Conference is evident on the faces of the participants. Closing the Conference, the President of Zambia burst into song calling his wife his girlfriend; Madame Binh beamed with pride as the delegates gave her thunderous applause: the leaders of the freedom movements in Rhodesia and Portuguese Africa were happy to have obtained more than a hearing, indeed even some tangible support, and Indira Gandhi exuded an aura of subdued satisfaction. In fact most delegates seemed happy to have attended. On the other side, the South African radio hurled abuse at the Conference for plotting to destroy Western civilisation while most other Western media played down the Conference. There is, of course, the obvious balance-sheet. The more important, long-term one, cannot be calculated till something is known about the follow-up to the Conference spirit and resolutions. But an immediate calculation is worthwhile as the events remain fresh in one's mind.

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