The 1972 Non-Aligned Ministers' Conference in Georgetown, Guyana, was thrown into confusion when Malaysia, Indonesian and Laotian delegates walked out on Wednesday (9 August) in protest over the admission of a Viet Cong delegation to represent South Vietnam, and the exiled Cambodian government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk in The People's Republic of China.
GV EXT Conference hall and sign (2 shots)
GV PAN INT Delegates seated around table
SCU PAN Rep. of South Vietnam Provisional Revolutionary Govt. (Viet Cong) representatives seated
CV EXT Pegasus Hotel
Viet Cong representative Mai Thai Chang speaks:
SOUND BEGINS: "You see, the..."
SOUND ENDS: "...Non-Aligned Countries."
GV EXT Ambassadors thatched-roof lounge
CU Malaysian delegate speaks
SOUND BEGINS: "There was a debate..."
SOUND ENDS: "...discuss outside."
CU Indonesian delegate speaks.
SOUND BEGINS: "A consensus...."
SOUND ENDS: "...meeting in Guyana."
MAI THAI CHAN (Viet Cong delegate): "You see, the Provisional Revolutionary Government has been a member...an observer member at the conferences of Non-Aligned Countries since 1970. And I think that at this time the conference and most of the delegates of Non-Aligned Countries will support our demands to become a full member of the Non-Aligned Countries."
MUHAMMED BIN SHAFIE (Malaysia): "There was a debate on the first day, and on that day 23 people...or 24 spoke in favour of admission and eight spoke expressing disapproval. And out of the eight, I think five are from Asia, and out of the five...(INDISTINCT)...expressing disapproval. And because of the at there was an adjournment on this particular subject and the matter has been referred to the bureau to discuss outside."
ADAM MALIK (Indonesia): "A consensus was eventually achieved to accept the P.R.G. as an observer. For the matter of accepting the P.R.G. (Provisional Revolutionary Government of the Viet Cong) as a full member to enter the Non-Aligned Foreign Ministers' Conference in Guyana, or future deliberations of non-aligned countries, would be changing the decision of the Non-Aligned Summit at Lusaka. The Indonesian delegation has no mandate to do that. I have no mandate to change from my Head of State's decision to the Ministers' Meeting in Guyana."
Initials BB/2200 CG/MR/BB/2300
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Background: The 1972 Non-Aligned Ministers' Conference in Georgetown, Guyana, was thrown into confusion when Malaysia, Indonesian and Laotian delegates walked out on Wednesday (9 August) in protest over the admission of a Viet Cong delegation to represent South Vietnam, and the exiled Cambodian government of Prince Norodom Sihanouk in The People's Republic of China.
The three south-east Asian members withdrew in the face of what they described as a 'bulldozer' decision to admit the two exiled regimes. They left Guyana on the first available aircraft back to their own countries.
On being allowed the seat at the conference, Prince Sihanouk's envoys hugged one another and raised their flag on the empty Cambodian pole. The Cambodian seat had been declared vacant at a Non-Aligned summit in Lusaka two years ago because of rival claims from Prince Sihanouk and the Phnom Penh Government of the newly-named Khmer Republic, whose delegation had also been busy lobbying for the seat this year at Georgetown.
The Viet Cong envoy said they deserved their seat and couldn't understand or take very seriously the walk-out by the three protesting countries. Their case was put to a Visnews reporter by representative Mai Thai Chan, and the Malaysian and Indonesian delegates also told their side of the issue.
SYNOPSIS: The Conference of Non-Aligned Ministers in Georgetown, Guyana, was thrown into confusion on Wednesday by the walk out of delegates from Laos, Malaysia and Indonesia. They were protesting against the admission of Viet Cong delegates to represent South Vietnam, and the admission of Prince Sihanouk's exiled Cambodian government. The Viet Cong envoys said they deserved their place at the conference, and decried the walk-out by the South-east Asian three. Mr. Mai Thai Chan put their case.
Why did Malaysia join the walk-out? Mr. Muhammad Bin Shafie, leader of the Malaysian delegation, gave his reason.
And Indonesia's Foreign Minister, Adam Malik, spoke also of his delegation's withdrawal from the conference.