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|11th Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference|
|Dates||8–17 March 1961|
|Chair|| Harold Macmillan |
The 1961 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the eleventh Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in March 1961, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.
Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conferences were biennial meetings of Prime Ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominion members of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Seventeen Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conferences were held between 1944 and 1969. As well, the prime ministers met for a Commonwealth Economic Conference in 1952. These series of conferences were a continuation and regularisation of the earlier Imperial Conferences which had been held periodically from 1887 to 1937. Since 1971, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings have been held.
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally known as the Commonwealth, is a unique political association of 53 member states, nearly all of them former territories of the British Empire. The chief institutions of the organisation are the Commonwealth Secretariat, which focuses on intergovernmental aspects, and the Commonwealth Foundation, which focuses on non-governmental relations between member states.
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
While Commonwealth conferences were normally held biennially, this conference was held after an interval of only a year as the May 1960 conference due to disagreement over South Africa and whether the country should be removed from the Commonwealth due to its policy of racial segregation with Malaya's Prime Minister demanding South Africa's expulsion.
The Union of South Africa is the historical predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of the Cape Colony, the Natal Colony, the Transvaal, and the Orange River Colony. It included the territories that were formerly a part of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.
The Federation of Malaya was a federation of what previously had been British Malaya comprising eleven states that existed from 1 February 1948 until 16 September 1963. The Federation became independent on 31 August 1957, and in 1963 Malaysia was formed from the federation by incorporating the Singapore, North Borneo, and Sarawak Crown Colonies.
South African Prime Minister H.F. Verwoerd, attended the conference to give formal notice that his country was to become a republic in May 1961 after having approved the constitutional change in an October 1960 referendum. South Africa's application was opposed by the leaders of African states under black majority rule, as well as Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Malaya's Tunku Abdul Rahman, and the other non-white Commonwealth countries as well as Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker due to South Africa's policy of apartheid. Canada was the only member of the old white Commonwealth to oppose South Africa's application. The "Keep South Africa In" group included Britain's Harold Macmillan, Rhodesia and Nyasaland's Roy Welensky, Australia's Robert Menzies and Keith Holyoake of New Zealand.Canadian prime minister John Diefenbaker proposed that South Africa only be re-admitted if it joined other states in condemning apartheid in principle. Once it became clear that South Africa's membership would be rejected, Verwoerd withdrew his country's application and left the conference.
Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru was a freedom fighter, the first Prime Minister of India and a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence. He emerged as an eminent leader of the Indian independence movement under the tutelage of Mahatma Gandhi and served India as Prime Minister from its establishment as an independent nation in 1947 until his death in 1964. He is considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state: a sovereign, socialist, secular, and democratic republic. He was also known as Pandit Nehru due to his roots with the Kashmiri Pandit community while Indian children knew him as Chacha Nehru.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah II, ; was a Malaysian politician who served as the first Chief Minister of the Federation of Malaya from 1955 to 1957, before becoming Malaya's first Prime Minister after independence in 1957. He remained Prime Minister following the formation of Malaysia in 1963, when Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore joined the federation, until his resignation in 1970.
Concerns were also expressed about Britain's prospective membership in the Common Market and the possible impact on trade relations between the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.The Commonwealth also expressed its support for worldwide disarmament "subject to effective inspection and control".
Cyprus' application to join the Commonwealth, following its independence the previous year, was approved over the opposition of the United Kingdom which objected as Cyprus had not applied for membership prior to independence as had been customary. Cyprus' President, Archbishop Makarios III, joined the conference once the decision on his country's membership was made. The membership application of Sierra Leone was also accepted and became effective upon its independence on 27 April.
Cyprus, officially the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece.
Makarios III was a Greek Cypriot clergyman and politician, who served as the Archbishop and Primate of the autocephalous Church of Cyprus (1950–1977) and as the first President of Cyprus (1960–1977). In his three terms as president he survived four assassination attempts and a coup d'état. He is widely regarded by Greek Cypriots as the Father of the Nation or "Ethnarch".
Sierra Leone, officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, informally Salone, is a country on the southwest coast of West Africa. It has a tropical climate, with a diverse environment ranging from savanna to rainforests. The country has a total area of 71,740 km2 (27,699 sq mi) and a population of 7,075,641 as of the 2015 census. Sierra Leone is a constitutional republic with a directly elected president and a unicameral legislature. Sierra Leone has a dominant unitary central government. The president is the head of state and the head of government. The country's capital and largest city is Freetown. Sierra Leone is made up of five administrative regions: the Northern Province, North West Province, Eastern Province, Southern Province and the Western Area. These regions are subdivided into sixteen districts.
This was the first Commonwealth conference in which one of the heads of government was a woman, Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike, who was also the first female prime minister in the world.
|Harold Macmillan||Prime Minister (Chairman)|
|Robert Menzies||Prime Minister|
|John Diefenbaker||Prime Minister|
|Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike||Prime Minister|
|Jawaharlal Nehru||Prime Minister|
|Tunku Abdul Rahman||Prime Minister|
|Keith Holyoake||Prime Minister|
|Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa||Prime Minister|
|Sir Roy Welensky||Prime Minister|
|H. F. Verwoerd||Prime Minister|
John George Diefenbaker was the 13th prime minister of Canada, serving from June 21, 1957 to April 22, 1963. He was the only Progressive Conservative party leader after 1930 and before 1979 to lead the party to an election victory, doing so three times, although only once with a majority of seats in the House of Commons of Canada.
Since independence, with Jaja Wachuku as the first Minister of Foreign Affairs and Commons, later called External Affairs, Nigerian foreign policy has been characterised by a focus on Africa as a regional power and by attachment to several fundamental principles: African unity and independence; capability to exercise hegemonic influence in the region: peaceful settlement of disputes; non-alignment and non-intentional interference in the internal affairs of other nations; and regional economic cooperation and development. In carrying out these principles, Nigeria participates in the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Non-Aligned Movement, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the United Nations.There are many Nigerian organizations outside the country. Prominent among them is the Houston, Texas United States-based Nigerian Union Diaspora (NUD), which is the umbrella Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) for the economic and political empowerment of the people of Nigerian descent outside Nigeria.
A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm is independent from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the Minister of the Crown in the Canadian Cabinet who is responsible for overseeing the federal government's international relations and heads the Department of Global Affairs, though the Minister of International Trade leads on international trade issues. In addition to the Department, the Minister is also the lead in overseeing the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development and the International Development Research Centre.
Dimitri Tsafendas was a Mozambican lifelong political militant and the assassin of Prime Minister of South Africa Hendrik Verwoerd on 6 September 1966. Tsafendas, while working as a parliamentary messenger, stabbed Verwoerd to death during a sitting of the House of Assembly in Cape Town.
Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd[fə'vu:rt] was a South African politician, sociologist and journalist. As leader of South Africa's National Party he served as the last prime minister of the Union of South Africa from 1958 until 1961. In 1961 he proclaimed the founding of the Republic of South Africa, and continued as its prime minister from 1961 until his assassination in 1966 by Dimitri Tsafendas.
The National Party, also known as the Nationalist Party, was a political party in South Africa founded in 1914 and disbanded in 1997. The party was originally an Afrikaner ethnic nationalist party that promoted Afrikaner interests in South Africa. However in the early 1990s it became a South African civic nationalist party seeking to represent all South Africans. It first became the governing party of the country in 1924. It was in opposition during World War II but it returned to power and was again in the government from 4 June 1948 until 9 May 1994.
Balthazar Johannes "B. J." Vorster, served as the Prime Minister of South Africa from 1966 to 1978 and as the fourth State President of South Africa from 1978 to 1979. Vorster was known for his staunch adherence to apartheid, overseeing the Rivonia Trial in which Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment for sabotage, and the Terrorism Act, the complete abolition of non-white political representation, the Soweto Riots and the Steve Biko crisis. He conducted a more pragmatic foreign policy than his predecessors in an effort to improve relations between the white minority government and South Africa's neighbours, particularly after the break-up of the Portuguese colonial empire. Shortly after the Internal Settlement in Rhodesia, in which he was instrumental, he was implicated in the Muldergate Scandal and resigned the premiership in favour of the ceremonial presidency, which he was forced to give up as well eight months later.
The Anti-Apartheid Movement (AAM), originally known as the Boycott Movement, was a British organisation that was at the centre of the international movement opposing the South African apartheid system and supporting South Africa's non-White population who were persecuted by the policies of apartheid. The AAM changed its name to ACTSA: Action for Southern Africa in 1994, when South Africa achieved majority rule through free and fair elections, in which all races could vote.
A referendum on becoming a republic was held in South Africa on 5 October 1960. The Afrikaner-dominated right-wing National Party, which had come to power in 1948, was avowedly republican, and regarded the position of Queen Elizabeth II as head of state as a relic of British imperialism. The National Party government subsequently organised the referendum on whether the then Union of South Africa should become a republic. The vote, which was restricted to whites, was narrowly approved by 52.29% of the voters. The Republic of South Africa was constituted on 31 May 1961.
Commonwealth of Nations membership criteria are the corpus of requirements that members and prospective members must meet to be allowed to participate in the Commonwealth of Nations. The criteria have been altered by a series of documents issued over the past eighty-two years.
In the Commonwealth of Nations, a high commissioner is the senior diplomat in charge of the diplomatic mission of one Commonwealth government to another. Instead of an embassy, the diplomatic mission is generally called a high commission.
Foreign relations of South Africa during apartheid are studied as the foreign relations of South Africa between 1948 and 1993. South Africa introduced apartheid in 1948, as a systematic extension of pre-existing racial discrimination in the country. Initially the regime implemented an offensive foreign policy trying to consolidate South African hegemony over Southern Africa. These attempts had clearly failed by the late 1970s. As a result of its racism and foreign interventionism in Angola and the occupation of Namibia, the country became increasingly isolated internationally, with few allies except similarly isolated countries or countries facing allegations of human rights and foreign intervention, such as Israel, Taiwan, Morocco, and Chile, until apartheid was ended and racial equality introduced in the early 1990s.
The "Wind of Change" speech was a historically significant address made by the UK Prime Minister Harold Macmillan to the Parliament of South Africa, on 3 February 1960 in Cape Town. He had spent a month in Africa visiting a number of what were then British colonies. The speech signalled clearly that the Conservative-led UK Government had no intention to block the independence to many of these territories. The Labour government of 1945–51 had started a process of decolonisation, but this policy had been halted by the Conservative governments from 1951 onwards.
Commonwealth free trade is the process or proposal of removing barriers of trade between member states of the Commonwealth of Nations. The preferential trade regime within the British Empire continued in some form amongst Commonwealth nations under the Imperial Preference system, until that system was dismantled after World War II due to changes in geopolitics and the pattern of global trade, and the United Kingdom's entry into the European Economic Community. The idea of promoting renewed inter-Commonwealth trade emerged in the late 20th century as a response to the evolution of the global economy. At one extreme, proposals have been raised for the creation of a multilateral free trade area comprising all member states of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The 1949 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the fourth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in April 1949 and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Clement Attlee.
The 1957 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the ninth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in June 1957, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.
The 1960 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the tenth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in May 1960, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan.
The 1964 Commonwealth Prime Ministers' Conference was the thirteenth Meeting of the Heads of Government of the Commonwealth of Nations. It was held in the United Kingdom in July 1964, and was hosted by that country's Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Home.