The end of Second World War brought into being a number of new nations in Asia and Africa. These nations came into being as a result of the politics of decolonisation on the part of the imperialist powers and urge for nationalism on the part of the colonized countries.

The First World War which was fought to save the world for democracy had added to the urge for political independence and autonomy in the subjugated and colonised countries.

By the time of the outbreak of the Second World War, political scene in the whole of Asia and Africa was agitating to throw away the yoke of imperialism. India was the first country in Asia and Africa to get freedom from the imperialist yoke of Great Britain.

By 1949, Burma, Ceylon, Pakistan and Philippines emerged as new States in South and South-East Asia. The movement of freedom spread in the whole of Asia. Consequently, most of the subject countries of Asia became free by the end of fifties. Palmer and Perk remarked.


“Much of Asia of today is in the process of emerging into the modern era and of establishing an entirely new pattern of relations with the rest of the world.!’ Jawaharlal Nehru pointed to the “historic change in the relationship of forces in Asia.” This movement entered Africa in sixties.

Africa which did not play any role in world affairs, became a force to be reckoned with within only a few years. “Within a remarkable few years,” say Palmer and Perkins, “Africa has experienced a momentous awakening.

More than 35 States have emerged in nearly all parts of the continent, and these new States have already made a profound impact on the United Nations and on international life generally.”

Nomenclature of New States:

The countries of Asia and Africa which got independence, came to be referred to in scholarly journalists, writings as, “New nations”, “under-developed countries”, “developing nations” or as the “Third World”.


The old terms “backward countries” or “primitive societies” by which these countries were referred to by their imperial masters, were discarded. They were given the title of ‘Third World’ since the first category consisted of the Western industrialized nations and the second referred to nations in the Socialist bloc.

Impact of Emergence of New States on International politics:

The emergence of Afro-Asian States on the scene of inter­national relations since the end of the Second World War is one of the most significant and in certain respects the most revolutionary aspect of temporary world politics.

Attainment of independence gave them an Opportunity to determine their own future in their own way. It was the beginning of an era in which these so called backward countries or primitive societies began to assert themselves on the international scene.

Certain new values were introduced in truly international relations under the impact of which “Europe-centric” world politics was made truly inter­national in spirit. Before the emergence of these new nations, it was no exaggeration to regard world history in terms of European history.


England played the dominant role and Europe remained the arena of power politics round which other States of the world played only an insignificant role. Only a few nations of Europe determined destinies of the world.

Only the few European States decided the question of war and peace for the world. In fact, they dominated international relations in every manner. International relations was not only Europe-dominated, it was also Europe-centered.

With the emergence of these new nations, international relations has lost in a large measure its former European- dominated character. Its field has widened very much. “Great powers of the earlier times,” says Mahendra Kumar, “are no longer the sole guardians of the interests of the small powers.”

The impact of the emergence of new states has been that the con­cept of national interest and the means to achieve it has also changed. The study of international relations today has to include the national interest of not one or few nations but of all those nations which are independent or are soon likely to attain independence.


The problem of multi-State ‘interest’ has now come to the surface. This problem is ren­dered more serious on account of the fact that many of the new nations are faced with their internal problems of economic development, admi­nistrative stability and rise in the levels of armament.

These problems have had their influence on the determination of the national interest of the small State’.

Simultaneously with the emergence of new States, another develop­ment has also taken place. This development relates to the number of those individuals who formulate foreign policies.

Earlier, not only the States participating in the political process were few but their foreign policies were also directed by a small ruling group. Thus, international relations consisted of communications and accommodations between a manageable number of elite groups.


But now the whole of this concept is changed. The constant pressure towards nationalist movement and the carving out of new nations is a factor to be reckoned with. Once a nation comes into existence, its further drive is not so much towards internal freedom as towards economic and military self-sufficiency.

In order to achieve this objective, new nations present fresh political mechanisms, political beliefs and social attitudes—and all that affects the character of international relations.

These new beliefs and attitudes are formed as a result of the influence of public opinion. People in general have now come to have a greater say in foreign affairs. This, of course, is not the direct result of the emergence of new States.

In fact, it is the result of several factors that hive been working simultaneously right from the beginning of this centum and especially during the inter-war years and afterwards.


The impact of Wilsonian idealism, concern for peace and organization and the growth of intelligentsia may be counted among some such factors. But the rise of new nations has facilitated the growth of people’s participation in foreign affairs.

Therefore, one sense in which international relations of today Jeffers from that of past is that international relations today has hector democratic and the process of its democratization is still on.

In 1963, here was possibility of the government of India agreeing to the installation of a transmitter of the Voice of America in India. But it was shelved on account of the pressure of Indian public opinion against such a concession to the United States.

Similarly, the resignation of V.K. Krishna Menon from the Cabinet after the Chinese aggression of October- November, 1962 was the result of the pressure of public opinion.

This is not to say, however, that all foreign policy issues, big or small, are decided by public opinion. But public opinion in general has come to stay as a force of substance in international relations.

The arbitrariness with which decisions were taken at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 or the territorial and economic clauses were imposed on helpless nations in the Peace Settlements of 1919 cannot have its way now.

Due place is to be given to the wishes of the people. No nation, howsoever big, can afford today openly; to go against the ideals of peace, international justice, disarmament, freedom and international organization, all of which have now become the cherished values of the people all over the world.

Thus, international relations today has become not only really international but also in a sense democratic.

Chronological Impact of New States on International Rela­tions:

Chronologically (date wise), the impact of new states on Interna­tional Relations can be discussed as under:

I. Non-official Asian Relations Conference (1947):

It was in 1974 hat the first Non-official Asian Relations Conference was held at New Delhi with delegates of the Asian countries participating in it.

This conference discussed problems such as the movement for freedom, racial problems, anti-colonialism, economic and industrial development, inter- Asia migration and cultural co-operation.

The question of aid and assistance was also discussed. The representatives were generally in favour of receiving aid.

In spite of the fact that this conference was a great success, it introduced an element of apprehension among the small third world countries which came to realise that broader co-operation among Asian states may go against the very idea of their political independence.

The delegates of Burma, Malaya and Ceylon expressed this apprehension in clear terms.

2. First Asian Conference (1949):

At the Government level, the first Asian Conference was held in New Delhi in January, 1949.

This conference was called at the initiative of Indian Prime Minister Nehru with a view to considering the steps to be taken for the independence of Indonesia. It was truly a manifestation of the commitment to the values to which India subscribed.

The question of Indonesian independence gained importance because the Dutch Government had initiated policy action against the infant Republic of Indonesia in December, 1948.

It was, according to G.H. Jenson, the first inter-government con­ference on political level to be held in Asia. In all 20 countries including representatives from Pakistan, Arab-States, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Philippines, Syria and Ceylon participated in it.

The Dutch military action was condemned. Nevertheless, Nehru, the initiator of this conference clearly stated “We have been opposed to joining any bloc for any hostile purpose.

We can hardly, therefore, think of encouraging the formation of new bloc nations. The conference is not opposed to any country or people, it is not anti-European or anti-American or Anti- Western.”

The major contribution of this conference lay in the fact that it helped in forging unity between the various Asian nations outside and inside the United Nations.

The resolution adopted at the Conference recommended to the participating Government, whether or not the members of the United Nations that

(a) they should keep in touch with one another through normal diplomatic Channels;

(b) they should instruct their representatives at the headquarters of the U.N. or their representatives to consult among themselves.

In this way, the Asian group, though small in number, become distinct within the U.N. They came to be known as the ”Arab-Asian group” and played a considerable role to bring about peace in Korea.

3. The Bandung Conference (1955):

This Conference included representatives not only from the Asian but also the African States. In the words of President Sukarno of Indonesia, “The Bandung Conference was the first inter-continental conference of the so called coloured people in the history of mankind.”

This conference was dominated by the concept of positive neutralism advocated by Sukarno and Nehru. Sukarno admitted “Yes, there is diversity among us, who denies it ? Small and great nations are represented here, with people professing almost every religion under the sun—; and practically every economic doctrine has

its representative in this hall.” But he asserted : “All of us, I am certain, “All of us, I am certain, are united by more important things than those which superficially divide us. We are united, for instance, by common detestation of colonialism in whatever form it appears.

We are united by a common detestation of racialism. And we are united by a common determination to preserve and establish peace in the world. Even Chou En Lai, the Prime Minister of Communist China, pleaded for coexistence. The Conference condemned colonialism.

It recommended for the establishment of a special UN fund for economic development And also for the allocation of more funds to the poor nations by the International Bank.

However, the main emphasis of the conference was laid on the concept of positive neutralism, that is the new nations should keep aloof from the super power rivalry. The basis of the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) can be traced in the recommendations of this Conference.

4. Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Council:

It Was towards the end of 1957 that a Conference of the nations that attended the Bandung plus four other nations, was called at Cairo to set up a permanent orga­nisation for Afro-Asian solidarity.

But India and many other nations refused to participate on account of the fact that it was organised by nations which were pro-Communist in leanings.

However, the Conference was held and it agreed to meet once a year and to place its headquarters at Cairo.

This meeting gave evidence of a clear shift in the policy of positive neutralism as advocated by Nehru at the various Afro-Asian nations.

The Council met in 1960, 1963 and 1965, each time taking a more radical stand. At the 1965 meeting, the UN was accused of going away from the principles of its Charter and reflecting the will of the imperialists instead that of the peoples.

The next meeting followed the principle of inviting Latin American States also. The next meeting was called in Havana. This brought about to the surface the split in the Afro-Asian solidarity.

This split had indeed appeared at the Bandung Conference held in 1955 when certain nations opposed the concept of positive neutralism (later called non-alignment).

5. The Belgrade Conference (1961):

The big three of the non- aligned—Tito, Nehru and Nasser—agreed to call a meeting to evolve a group behaving on the political realism of non-alignment as a strategy in contemporary world.

This meeting was called at Belgrade in 1961. The Heads of States or Governments of Afghanistan, Algeria, Burma, Cambo­dia, Ceylon, Cango, Cuba, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mali, Moracco, Nepal, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Africa, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAR, Yeman and Yugoslavia were invited.

In spite of the fact that the countries invited had different patterns of ideo­logies, a 27 point declaration was unanimously adopted.

Among other things the declaration stressed on narrowing the differences between the super-powers with a view to establishing peace and stability in the world and the ever widening gap in the standards of living between the rich and poor countries.

The conference clearly sought to bring about a change in the international system favour of the Third World countries.

6. The Cairo Conference (1964):

At the next meeting held at Cairo in 1964, the Afro-Asian nations condemned imperialism and neo-colonialism in all its forms. It also condemned the ever-wideing gap between the rich and the poor nations.

By the time this Conference was held, the poor nations had come to realise that poverty has been imposed upon them through exploitation by the imperialist powers.

7. The Havana Tri continental (1966):

It was in January, 1966 that a Conference representing nations of Asia, Africa and Latin America was held at Havana.

The delegates represented Governments, political parties and national liberation movements. The declared object of the meet was to oppose imperialism through a common strategy to be followed all over.

Consequently, colonialism and neo-colonialism were condemned. Even the UN was condemned for acting as a neo-instrument of US imperialism.

8. The LASO Conference (1967):

The first LASO (Latin American Solidarity Organisation) Conference was held in Havana in 1967. Repre­sentatives of all the Latin American States and those of North Vietnam and NLF of South Vietnam were invited.

It passed resolution calling for guerrilla warfare, opposition to the Organisation of American States, Pan- Americanism, and extending support to the NLF and the Black Power movement in the United States.

9. The UNCTAD’s:

It was the ever-widening gap between the rich and poor nations, first pointed out at the Bandung Conference, that the UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) was held at Geneva in 1964.

Its main terms of reference were “to promote international trade, especially with a new accelerating economic develop­ment, particularly, trade between countries at different stages of develop­ment between developing countries and between countries and different systems of economic and social organisation.”

It was at the second UNCTAD held at Delhi in 1968 that a sort of trade-union of the poor nations later known as the “group of 77” appeared. They pleaded that economies of the developing countries were under a permanent handicap.

They expressed concern over the fact that the export earnings of the developing countries were continually falling in comparison to those of the industrialised nations.

They urged upon the advanced and industrialised countries to raise the prices of their exports and giving preference to their goods in the developed nations. Moreover, they sought aid as a compensation for the decreasing value of their exports.

On the other hand, the rich countries such as USA, USSR, Britain, France, West Germany, other West European States and Japan did not appear to accept any of the proposals. Rather, they preferred to work within the existing arrangements of their own spheres of influence.

The U.S.A. insisted on maintaining neo-colonial control over the econo­mies of all the members of the NATO, SEATO, the Pacific Security Treaty and the Organisation of the American States.

Great Britain insisted on similar control over the Commonwealth. France insisted on controls on the French African Community.

Consequently, UNCTAD was established as a permanent organ of the United Nations. However, after having learnt of the attitude of the developed nations, most of the developing nations did not send delegates to the subsequent UNCTAD’s.

Various UN Conferences on Trade and Development have been held since 1964. The first UNCTAD was held in 1964 at Geneva, the second, in 1968 at Delhi, and the third in 1972 at Santiago (Chile), the fourth in 1976 at Nairobi, and the fifth in 1976 at Manila.

The idea underlying these UNCTAD’s is to make efforts for the establishment of a new international economic order in which the developing countries are encouraged to develop, their resources as equal partners, in the world.

The developing countries demand a greater share of the world’s wealth and a more equitable, just distribution and utilisation of the resour­ces of the world.

It assumes the development and expansion of economic co-operation on the basis of complete equality, mutual benefit, equal rights, mutual understanding and trust between States, consideration of each other’s interest, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, recognition of the right of each State to solve independently all issues relating to its own country, and strict respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries.

The Fourteenth Principle passed at the first UNCTAD says: “Complete decolonisation in compliance with the United Nations Declaration on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples and the liquidation of the remnants of colonialism in all its forms is a necessary condition for economic development and the exercise of sovereign rights over natural resources”.

Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries:

Most of the developing countries realised that the UNCTAD is not in a position to change the system that is operating in the world. They felt convinced that they will have to do something of their own if they want to assert themselves.

Consequently, the oil exporting countries agreed among them­selves to form an organisation with a view to- safeguarding their legitimate interest in the world.

It was in retaliation against the high prices charged by the highly developed and industrialised countries of their commodities that they decided to raise the price of petrol and petroleum products.

By now, the price of oil has been raised four times. It has adversely affected the economies of the highly developed and industrialised countries. They feel constrained at finding alternative sources of energy.

But the sad aspect of this rise in the prices of oil have affected adversely the economies of the developing countries also. The main portion of their budget expen­diture goes towards the oil bill which goes on increasing every year.

The OPEC has promised to give assistance to the developing countries to neutralize the effect of price rise in oil but it has yet to take a practical shape.

Non-alignment Movement:

The newly independent nations, among which India was the leader, realised that they should follow a policy in the international field which should ensure their independence.

It was with this end in view that they decided to keep themselves aloof from the rivalry of the super-powers. Alignment with one or the other bloc meant that they would be dictated terms.

Non-alignment, on the other hand, means taking independent decision on world issues on merit without being subjected to any pressure from any quarter whatsoever.

Non-alignment had its political, economic and social roots in the anti-colonial struggle of the era of the post-World War II. It may have taken organizational form during the Cold War, but it is certainly not a product of the Cold war.

It is a policy adopted by the new nations with a view to ensuring peaceful co-existence on equal basis in the international system.

It aimed at ensuring that the States should not be discriminated against because of their history, their racial origin and size.

Most of the newly liberated States were formed as a result of arbitrary boundaries imposed upon them by the colonial empires which cut across historical, social and cultural groupings.

So, majority of these nations, were concerned not only with the question of liberty and equality but also with the creation of secular societies whereby a number of diverse cultural and religious groups could co-exist within the framework of a modern nations-State.

The countries in Asia, Africa and LatinAmerica shared similar problem of national integration and came together to join the non-aligned movement.

All these countries were faced with an international system that encouraged unequal exchange. This made them dependent upon the world capitalist system. In order to extricate themselves from such a situation they had to create not only national societies but also to create a system of economic equality.

It is for these political, social and most importantly economic reasons that the newly independent nations have come together as non- aligned in order to form a broad Third World coalition to restructure the international system.

The first Conference of the non-aligned nations was held at Belgrade in 1961 in which 25 Governments were represented. The second Conference met at Cairo in 1964 with 47 Governments. The third Conference was held at Lusaka in 1970 which was attended by 63 Governments.

The fourth Conference which was held at Algiers in 1973 which was attended by 63 Governments. The fifth one was held at Colombo in 1976 which was attended by 85 Governments. It is important to note that even those countries-which were technically aligned, wanted to attend the Colombo meet.

This is enough to show if any proof is required to establish the growing importance of the non-aligned concept in the world. As such, there were many countries which were allowed to attend as observers. It was at this Conference that Pakistan also wanted but was not allowed admission.

Another Summit was held at Havana in 1979. It was at this Con­ference that differences in the approach of certain countries towards non- alignment reached to a point of confrontation. President Castro of Cuba considers Russia as a naturally ally of the non-aligned movement.

This stand was contested by many. Moreover, the controversial role played by him in Africa made certain countries such as Somalia to oppose the idea of holding the summit at Havana (Cuba) which they considered more aligned than non-aligned.

Certain Arab countries wanted the expulsion of Egypt from the non-aligned movement due to its role in forging friendship with the USA and Israel. The non-aligned movement was faced with another serious problem as to which Government whether of the Pot Pot or that of Heng Samarin should represent Kampuchea (new name for Combodia).

However all these questions were settled or deferred for settlement at a later meeting. The latest non-aligned summit was held at New Delhi in March, 1983.

Along with the increase in the number of the non-aligned countries, the importance of the concept of non-alignment has also increased. It raised many issues connected with Imperialism, Racialism and Economic Independence of the under-developed countries.

The Algiers Conference declared: As long as colonial wars, apartheid, imperialist aggression, alien domination and foreign occupation and power politics, economic exploitation and plunder prevail, peace will prove limited in principle and scope.

The Colombo Conference noted that the people of the world had intensified their struggle for political and economic independence on the principle of self-determination, justice, equality and peaceful co-existence.

It is noted that “Non-alignment had proved to be one of the most dynamic factors in promoting the genuine independence of States and peoples and the democratic nations of international relations and in creating conditions more conductive to peace, justice, equality and inter­national co-operation in the world.”

Critics argue that non-alignment has lost its validity because it was evolved at a time when the world was divided into two hostile- military, political and ideological blocs.

With the break up of the monolithic Communist world into two or more blocs and the emergence of new centers of economic, political and military power such as the EEC, COMECON, OPEC, Japan and China, the importance of non- alignment, especially for the developing countries, has decreased and its role weakened in international affairs.

Critics point out that meetings of the non-aligned are nothing more than an opportunity for officials and ministers and their entourage to travel and purchase duty-free goods in the various State capitals.

This is, however, not true. Firstly, the new centers of power have not decreased but increased the threat to political and economic inde­pendence of the non-aligned countries almost all of which are still developing and need greater safeguards for ensuring their sovereignty and independence.

Secondly, in spite of signs of detente between USA and Soviet Union, USA and China, the ideological rivalries between the socialist and the capitalist countries have become still stronger. We find tussle in areas such as South Asia, South East Asia, Iran, Gulf countries and Arab-Israel conflict, in South West Africa as well as the Caribbean and Latin America.

Detente between the USA and China and Japan and China have only encouraged the present Chinese leadership in launching their expansionist designs in South East Asia.

Their unsuccessful attempt to browbeat united Viet-Nam led them to encourage Pot Pot’s Kampuchea to violate the South Vietnamese borders and thus divide the Indo-China states with a view to dominating them. China is now trying to topple the independent non-aligned State of Laos by setting up a puppet Laotian Government in exile in China.

The Soviet Union has also occupied Afghanistan on the pretext of helping a friendly Government in Afghanistan. It is for the third time in less than two years that the Afghan Government has been changed presumably under the Soviet directions.

The critics should not forget that non-aligned summits bring together the heads of States or Governments of non-aligned countries and provide an opportunity to discuss the present state of international relations. Summits enable those countries to develop a common strategy on a number of issues.


In spite of the fact that the new nations have come to exercise a considerable impact on the course of international relations through non-alignment, UNCTAD, OPEC and so on, the developed nations have managed the affairs in such a way as not to lose sight of their own national interest.

They have been acting in a way as not to end exploitation, thereby retarding the progress towards the establish­ment of a New International Economic Order.

It cannot be denied that the policy of non-alignment did have its impact on the course of international relations but the non-aligned movement has itself been practically split into the followers of Soviet Russia, USA and those still trying to follow a policy of equidistance. Non-aligned countries such as Viet-Nam and Afghanistan have been subjected to intervention.