President calls for unity in diversity in Asian, African countries

"I call on all the world leaders to continue promoting respect based on pluralism," Widodo said.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - President of Indonesia Joko Widodo called on Asian and African countries to promote unity in diversity during the commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference in the Presidential Palace on Tuesday.

Widodo emphasized that many countries have been agitated by the recent issues of tolerance, terrorism, extremism, and radicalism.

"I call on all the world leaders to continue promoting respect based on pluralism," Widodo said in his speech.

The spirit of the Asia-Africa Conference is equal to Indonesias motto "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika," meaning unity in diversity.

Therefore, Widodo expected Asian and African countries to improve their cooperation and become stronger with the same spirit.

The president recalled that Indonesia had become one of the initiators of solidarity among Asian and African countries, as well to inspire those countries to liberate themselves from colonialism.

During the commemoration of the first Asia-Africa Conference in 1955, international delegates wore national dress of different style, color, and pattern.

"This shows that the diversity in skin color, religion, and culture is not a hindrance for us to unite and build a strong solidarity," Widodo stated.

Meanwhile, former president of Indonesia Megawati Soekarnoputri, who is a daughter of the first president Soekarno, quoted the speech of his father during the same occasion.

"Live and let live, unity in diversity" Megawati noted.

The first female president of Indonesia also called on the world to work together in promoting harmony in diversity.

"The diversity is the natural rights of all beings," she remarked.

In 2015, Indonesia hosted the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference in Jakarta and Bandung.

As many as 89 heads of states and government from 109 countries of Asian and African countries, along with 17 observer countries and 20 international organizations, attended the commemoration held from April 19 to 24, 2015.(*)

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