The Archives of Yugoslavia prepared the exhibition of archival documents The First Conference of the Leaders of the States or Governments of Non-Aligned Countries, Belgrade 1961, on the occasion of the sixtieth anniversary of the Conference. The exhibition is prepared in cooperation with the Achieves of Yugoslavia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia.
At the opening of the exhibition, Director of the Archives of Yugoslavia Dr. Milan Terzić delivered a speech as well as Nikola Selaković Minister of foreign Affairs who also opened the exhibition.
Director of the Archives of Yugoslavia, Dr. Milan Terzić addressed the public as a host saying that the Archives of Yugoslavia continue to mark important events from our history and today this exhibition is dedicated to the sixtieth anniversary of the Firsts Conference of Non-Aligned Countries held in Belgrade in September 1-6, 1961. "At that time, leaders of 25 countries from Asia, Africa, Europe and Latin America met, pointing out the aims of the nonaligned movement. It is the matter of principles having eternal value in international relations: peacekeeping, solving the problems of disarmament, colonialism and economic development. Those ideas, eternal social values were the reason that the Archives of Yugoslavia with the National Archives of Indonesia started procedure with UNESCO of nomination of Belgrade Conference to the register "Memory of the World".
Speaking about rich fonds of documents from that period that the Archives preserved and part of them represented at the exhibition panels, Terzić said that this is a story about the time when Belgrade, Serbia and Yugoslavia were in the limelight between two conflicting worlds of the "cold war" and "hot peace" – of the East and the West within their clashes between the blocks. "The participants of the conference were two leaders of the world greatest forces , Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America, Nikita Khrushchev and John Kennedy emphasized the threat to world peace and appealed to peacekeeping. At that time Yugoslavia achieved, besides political, economic, commercial, military, cultural and other benefits. However, starting from dichotomy of historical science, in other words, this period had both obverse and reverse and historian could do nothing but to notice; in Yugoslavia, feeling of the importance of its role in international relations had been created. This disconnected it from the reality and on the other side postponed its complicated internal situation that had "waited" for us and culminated in the nineties of the last century. Then it proved that it hadn’t withstood challenges of time”. His speech Mr. Terzić ended up by the words: "This is the occasion to remind us of the importance of Belgrade in international relations, achieved friendships which continuity remained till this day and which timely became tradition as well as mutual past of Yugoslav nations. Contribution to that is this exhibition that we open today".
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Serbia Nikola Selaković expressed great pleasure to address the public at the opening of this exhibition, emphasizing that it is obviously a good introduction and announcement of the Conference that is going to mark 60th anniversary of the first conference of nonaligned countries in Belgrade that will be held on October 11th and 12th. "Documents that are here presented and that you will be able to see at this exhibition remind us of important moments when the Movement appeared at the Global political scene. Created at the time of Cold War, the Movement of the Nonaligned Countries contributed to peacekeeping and protection of universal principles embedded in the EU Charter and the First Nonaligned Movement we remember as the moment of its "birth" when the principles of peaceful coexistence established several years earlier in Bandung were confirmed.
Stressing that the time that preceded Belgrade conference was marked with many challenges such as was conflict between East and West resulting in construction of Berlin Wall and Cuban crises and that military interventions in Africa and Asia imperiled the world peace, leaders of the states and governments that met at the Conference in Belgrade realized that "policy of peaceful coexistence" is the only alternative of the Cold War. "They understood it as an effort to remove historic injustice as well as the way to the independent development since they advocated for self-determination, independence, free choice of individual way of economic, cultural and social development, insisting on open and constructive approach to the global politics.
Decisions made in Belgrade undoubtedly showed that the idea that gathered the leaders and prime ministers that were not connected to either block, presentewd concept that is alternative to the blocks and division of the world to blocks. At the Belgrade Conference following documents were passed: Declaration of the Leaders of the States and the Governments of the Nonaligned Countries and Statement on War Risk and Appeal for Peace.
Sixty years later, when the world faces countless political, economic, social and other challenges, ideas of peace and solidarity, respectability of equality and sovereignty that are foundations of the Movement are still matter. Nonaligned countries still have a lot in common that is reflected in their courage, dignity and altruism and aspiration towards free and peaceful development. Serbia has always been sincere partner to everyone who is ready to share responsibility in creation of more stable, just and more prosperous world."
At the end of his speech, Mr. Selaković opened the exhibition, and representatives of diplomatic corpse, scientific and cultural milieu of our capital city and our colleagues went through exhibition consisting of 253 documents with photographs presenting history of origin of the Non-Aligned Movement, preparations preceding the Conference, work of the Conference as well as the events that happened after the Conference.
The exhibition will be opened to the public till October 23, 2021.
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE OPENING IN BELGRADE