Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Bandung Conference
By Mphahlele Kunene
25 March 2015
Moses Kotane, whose mortal remains were recently returned for reburial to South Africa and Indian Congress leader Maulvi Cachalia attended the Asia-Africa conference in Bandung, Indonesia, as representatives of the South African liberation movement in April 1955. Both men had been refused passports by the South African Government, but on arriving in London met Krishna Menon and Pandit Nehru at the Indian High Commission office and were given Indian travel documents.
On 25 March 2015, in less than two-weeks before the commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the Bandung Asian-African Conference in the Capital city of Indonesia, Jakarta, the Indonesian Embassy in South Africa held a dinner as part of promoting the event in South Africa.
The dinner was aimed at facilitating a dialogue between South African journalists and their Indonesian counterparts in discussing and reflecting on the importance of the conference, specifically what transpired on 19th April 1955. Two journalists from Indonesian mainstream media namely; Bagus Budi Tama Saragih, Journalist for the Jakarta Post and Hapy Ratna Sary, Journalist from Antara News came into South Africa over the weekend to participate in the SA-Indonesian media landscape about the Bandung conference and its meaning to both countries.
It also resulted in 10 points Bandung Declaration, in which most of the principles of the United Nations were incorporated. Among the guidelines they include; Recognition of diversity between and within the regions, including different social and economic systems; Attainment of practical and sustainable cooperation based on comparative advantage, equal partnership, common ownership and vision, as well as a firm and shared conviction to address common challenges; Promotion of sustainable partnership by complementing and building upon existing regional/sub-regional initiatives in Asia and Africa; Promotion of a just, democratic, transparent, accountable and harmonious society; Promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the right to development; Promotion of collective and unified efforts in multilateral fora.
The New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) shall emphasize the need to promote practical cooperation between the two continents in areas such as trade, industry, investment, finance, tourism, information and communication technology, energy, health, transportation, agriculture, water resources and fisheries. According to Endy Ghafur Fadyl, Head of Media Section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Indonesian, this year’s event promises to be huge as many heads of states activist and international organizations have confirmed their acceptance. In a brief discussion with South African journalists Ghafur Fadyl said more than 109 world leaders and 25 international organizations are expected to converge in the capital city of Jakarta between 19-24 April 2015.