always regarded the concept of neighborhood
priority to the development of relations with South East Asia. In 1947, India
organised the Asian Relations Conference. It chaired the International
Control Commission in 1954 and was a major player in the organisation of
the Bandung Conference in 1955. Today, India is implementing a ‘Look
East’ policy which is underpinned by important economic considerations.
Foreign Policy of Non-alignment
Non-alignment is the peacetime policy of avoiding political or ideological
affiliations with major power blocs in international relations. It was pursued
by countries such as India, Yugoslavia, and many of the new states of Asia
and Africa during the period of the Cold War (1945-90). They generally
refused to align themselves with either the communist bloc, led by the USSR,
or the Western bloc, led by the USA. Though neutralist in this sense, they
were not neutral or isolationist, for they participated actively in international
affairs and took positions on international issues. Non-alignment must also be
distinguished from neutrality, which is a term in international law referring to
rules that states are obliged to follow during a legal state of war in which they
are not belligerents.
    The movement was conceived at the Bandung Conference (1955) of 29
Afro-Asian nations, but the first meeting of the nonaligned nations was held
at Belgrade in 1961. A growing number of non-aligned nations met again in
1964, 1970, and roughly every three years thereafter. The 100-odd states that
eventually became involved in this movement justified heir position on a
number of grounds. They declined to assume that the United States, the
Soviet Union, or my other country necessarily intended to embark upon
aggressive action designed to violate their territorial integrity, and therefore
they refused to enter into alliances or collective defense arrangements
directed against particular states. The new nations of Asia and Africa, which
made up the largest group of non-aligned states, were mostly former colonies
of the western European powers. These new nations were, on the one hand,
wary of permanent and close alignments with these powers in the Western
bloc for fear of being drawn into a newer form of dependence; on the other
hand, though generally attracted by offers of economic assistance from (and
often the anti-Western rhetoric of) various communist countries, they feared