Asia-Africa conference to reaffirm support for Palestine`s independence

Asia-Africa conference to reaffirm support for Palestine`s independence

(ANTARA FOTO/Muhammad Adimaja)

Jakarta, March (ANTARA News) - The Asia-Africa Conference (ACC) was first organized in Bandung, West Java, on April 18-24, 1955, at the initiative of Indonesia, Myanmar (Burma), Ceylon (Sri Lanka), India, and Pakistan.

It was seen as a symbol of freeing countries from colonialism, besides being a symbol of resurgence of Asian and African nations.

Some 29 countries representing more than half of the worlds population had sent their delegates to the conference.

The conference resulted in the "Dasasila" Bandung, or the 10-points Bandung Declaration, on the Promotion of World Peace and Cooperation.

Most of the principles of the United Nations were incorporated in the Declaration, which had become the guideline for colonized countries in their fight for Independence.

It had also become the basis of fundamental principles for promoting world peace and international cooperation.

The conference was followed by the Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity Conference in Cairo in September 1957 and the Belgrade Conference in 1961, which had led to the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM).

Sixty years since the conference, all countries have been freed and gained their independence except for Palestine.

Israeli Zionists has illegally occupied Palestine for the past 68 years with the support of its main ally the United States and some other western countries such as Britain, Canada, France, Australia, and Germany.

Palestine, however, is certainly never forgotten nor alone although more than six decades have passed since the Bandung Conference.

The Indonesian government will highlight the Palestinian cause during the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference and the 10th New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP) to be organized in Jakarta and Bandung, on April 19-24, 2015.

The upcoming commemorative event is expected to yield three documents, including one dedicated to reiterate support for Palestines independence, according to Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi.

The two other documents will be respectively a Bandung Message and on the strengthening of NAASP, Minister Retno Marsudi said when hosting a breakfast meeting attended by senior pressmen.

Earlier, Indonesian President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo reportedly stated that he would highlight the Palestinian issue during a summit organized as the peak event of the 60th Anniversary of AAC.

"The other important issue which will be discussed at the event is political solidarity. In this respect, we will reiterate our support for the Palestinians struggle for independence," acting Director of Inter-regional Cooperation of Asia Pacific and Africa Ferdy Piay said in Jakarta, on January 15, 2015.

Since the establishment of AAC in 1955, the intercontinental

organization had been encouraged, promoted and supported the independence of each nation, and from the 109 members, only Palestine who had not obtained complete independence as a state, he noted.

"We already have a joint statement, and we highly expect there will be a further and stronger declaration, such as recognition and so on. But we have to look at its dynamic discussion (on the AAC summit)," he noted.

"The AAC is our legacy on how we free the colonized nations, and we will keep the spirit of it," Piay added.

Palestinians struggle for independence is a crucial issue of political solidarity to be discussed at the event because the spirit of the Bandung Conference is aimed at eliminating colonialism.

Indonesia as the host of the AAC summit will also promote the issue of Palestinian capacity building to prepare them as a nation when they reach independence.

The Indonesian government has committed to allocate funds amounting to Rp2 billion to support Palestinian capacity building in the police and tourism fields.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abdurrachman M Fachir confirmed that the independence of Palestine will be one of the main issues that will be discussed in the Bandung conference next April.

"The conference is into its 60th year and there is still a member, Palestine, who has not got complete independence as a state," he pointed out.

The Indonesian government, Fachir said, also regretted the failure of the UN General Assembly in New York, the US, in December 2014, in recognizing Palestine as a state for lack of support.

"If only we got just one more vote from the assembly," he added.

Hence, the commemoration of the 60th AAC next year will bring the issue of Palestines independence as one of its main agenda.

Sri Lankas Ambassador to Indonesia Anoja Wijeyesekera has hailed Indonesias plan to hold the ACC commemorative event and supported Indonesia in endorsing the Asia-Africa Conferences principles that are considered important in settling international disputes.

On Palestine, the ambassador stated that Sri Lanka has been a supporter of Palestinian independence.

"Sri Lanka is fully behind Palestines aspiration to become free and independent nation. We would like to see peace in the Middle East," the ambassador stated in January 2015.

The Indonesian government has invited some 109 world leaders and representatives of 25 international organizations to attend the 60th AAC and the 10th NAASP.

So far, The Indonesian government has received confirmations from 17 foreign leaders regarding their participation in the events.

Yuri O. Thamrin, the foreign ministrys director general for Asia-Pacific and Africa affairs, informed the press that

confirmations were received from China, Japan, and Pakistan, among other things.

To commemorate the AAC, the Indonesian government will organize a series of events, which will begin with a meeting of senior officials and a ministerial-level meeting in Jakarta from April 19 to 21, 2015.

Following the two meetings, the Asia-Africa Summit will be held on April 22 and 23 in Jakarta.

An Asia-Africa Business Summit will also be organized in Jakarta, on April 21-22, as part of the AAC anniversary celebrations.

The final event will be organized in Bandung on April 24, which will bring together leaders from the Asian and African continents to trace back the conference held 60 years ago.

(F001/KR-BSR/S012)



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