Geneva Conference

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Geneva Conference

Geneva Conference, any of various international meetings held at Geneva, Switzerland. Some of the more important ones are discussed here. 1 International conference held Apr.–July, 1954, to restore peace in Korea and Indochina. The chief participants were the United States, the Soviet Union, Great Britain, France, the People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam, the Viet Minh party, Laos, and Cambodia. No agreement was reached on transforming the Korean armistice into a permanent peace, but three agreements were reached providing for an armistice and political settlement in Indochina. (For the main terms, see Vietnam; Cambodia; Laos.) 2 The so-called Summit Conference, held in July, 1955, was an attempt to restore mutual trust between East and West. President Dwight D. Eisenhower (United States), Premier Nikolai Bulganin and First Secretary Nikita Khrushchev (Soviet Union), Prime Minister Anthony Eden (Great Britain), and Premier Edgar Faure (France) discussed German reunification, European security, disarmament, and cultural and economic interchange. Although no substantive agreements were reached, the meeting closed on a note of optimism. Directives were issued for a meeting of the foreign ministers of the four countries to be held later that year to reach agreement on German reunification, disarmament, and other issues. For the Geneva conferences of foreign ministers in 1955 and 1959, see Foreign Ministers, Council of. 3 Conference beginning Oct., 1958, between Great Britain, the United States, and the Soviet Union, held in an attempt to reach an accord on banning tests of nuclear weapons. Since then, most international meetings held at Geneva have concerned the basic problems of the limitation of nuclear arms and provisions for international inspection and control. The UN Disarmament Commission, which began meeting in Geneva in 1960, has met there permanently since 1962. See disarmament, nuclear.

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