The second stage of the European Security Conference, the major meeting of East and West, opened on Tuesday (18 September) in Geneva.
The second stage of the European Security Conference, the major meeting of East and West, opened on Tuesday (18 September) in Geneva. Officials and experts from 33 European States, the United States and Canada will be spending about six months drafting measures to ensure greater security on the Continent and to expand economic and scientific cooperation and human contacts between the Blocs. Only Albania, of all the nations of Europe, has declined to take part.
The Conference is described as the brainchild of the Soviet Union, whose draft declaration (submitted during the first stage of the Conference in Helsinki in July 1973) calls in effect, for an acceptance of the post-War status quo in Europe. It will be discussed under the first item on the agenda -- matters relating to security in Europe.
But the first day was dominated by five hours of arguments on the final item -- human contacts -- until a procedural compromise for its discussion was reached. There was further disagreement over possible participation of Mediterranean countries who are not conference members. This was resolved with a schedule which will allow six of the nations to put their views to the Conference later this year.