Jakarta (ANTARA) - The Asia-Africa Conference needs to be used as a forum to promote equal access to COVID-19 vaccines, an expert has said ahead of the 66th commemoration of the conference on April 18, 2021.

"The Asia-Africa Conference should be revived so that it can be used as a platform or a forum to promote the position of developing countries demanding equal rights of access to vaccines," Dinna Prapto Raharja, an international relations expert from Synergy Policies, told ANTARA here on Friday.

The Asia-Africa Conference as a forum is unique because its ideology recognizes the equal rights of nations, "instead of about who can pay how much, or who wants to follow whom”, she said.

Therefore, the conference can also be a forum for countries to make a joint effort to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic synergistically, she added.

She also emphasized that the Asia-Africa Conference serves as a reminder that in conditions of adversity, developing countries need to revert to solidarity as fellow countries who want peace and respect for human dignity, respect for state sovereignty, and equality of all nations.

Hence, the spirit of Dasa Sila Bandung (the Ten Principles of Bandung) -- which is the result of the first conference held from April 18-24, 1955 -- needs to be re-appointed, Raharja said.

"So that in a situation of distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic and globalization, which turns out to not fully humanize nations fairly, the spirit of Dasa Sila Bandung may guide countries not to prioritize short and narrow interests and go their separate ways," she remarked.

‘Humanity and Solidarity' is the theme proposed by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the commemoration of the 66th anniversary of the Asia-Africa Conference in 2021.

"The similarity of fate and the spirit of solidarity that gave birth to the conference of nations in Asia and Africa 66 years ago has again found its relevance when the world together builds solidarity to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," ministry said in a statement. (INE)

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Translator: Aria Cindyara, Yuni Arisandy
Editor: Suharto
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