• Short Summary

    Final arrangements have now been made in Helsinki for the European Security conference which opens in the Finnish capital on Tuesday, (3 July).

  • Description

    Final arrangements have now been made in Helsinki for the European Security conference which opens in the Finnish capital on Tuesday, (3 July). The gathering in the 'Finlandia' conference centre of representatives of 35 states is the biggest of its kind since the war.

    Among the aims of the conference will be the lowering of East-West tension, the reinforcing of national sovereignty and the provision for greater contact between the citizens of the member nations.

    This first stage of the conference is expected to last a week, and will be formally opened on Tuesday (July 3) by Finland's President Uhro Kekkonen.

    Working along guidelines produced at the conference, committees will then meet for about six months, starting in Geneva, probably in mid-September. Depending on the progress made at this second stage, there could then be a final session at summit level, again in Helsinki, by next spring or early summer.

    SYNOPSIS: In the Finnish capital, Helsinki, preparations are now complete for the long-awaited European Security Conference opening on Tuesday. A total of thirty-five states will be meeting here at the 'Finlandia' conference centre in an effort to reduce East-West tension, and foster better relations.

    The signs are that the conference will get off to as good start, especially after the recent successful summit talks between the Soviet leader Mr. Brezhnev and President Nixon, Chancellor Brandt of West Germany and France's President Pompidou. The Soviet Union, which has wanted a conference like this for twenty years, will be spelling out its main aims in a major policy speech on the opening day.

    Journalists covering the conference will work from a specially equipped communication centre.

    Strict security is in force at Helsinki airport as the first delegations start to arrive.

    Working along guidelines produced here, government officials will then meet in committee in a second session in Geneva, probably in mid-September. This stage could last up to six months, and, depending on progress made, could be the prelude to a final session at summit level. It's envisaged that this could take place by spring or early summer 1974, again in Helsinki.

    In all, thirty-three European States, together with the United States and Canada are taking part.

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