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

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GEORGETOWN-A Purposeful Conference

A Purposeful Conference Harish Chandola THE conference of foreign ministers of non-aligned nations held here from August 8 to 12, marks a radical departure in the nature of the non-align- td movement. A non-aligned meeting for the first time ignored the established practice of reaching decisions through consensus and took a united stand on the basis of the views of the overwhelming majority of members. Also for the first time, issues were brought to a head, even at the cost of a walkout by some members. Though it wus only a conference of foreign ministers, it reversed two important decisions taken by heads of government at the non-aligned summit at Lusaka in September 1970 : it accorded full membership status for the duration of the conference to the Provisional Revolutionary Government of South Vietnam (PRG), which only had 'observer' status at Lusaka, and allotted the Cambodian seat at the conference to Prince Sihanouk's Royal Government of National Union. The Lusaka summit had kept the Cambodian scat vacant b cause it was unable to decide whether to give it to Sihanouk's Government or to Marshal Lon Nol's regime in Phnom Penh. If the struggle of the people of South Africa and the process of decolonisation had dominated the summit at Lusaka, it was the situation in South- Hast Asia, particularly in Indochina, which emerged as the major subject of deliberation at Georgetown.

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