Towards 50th Anniversary of Bandung

To all national committees and friends

The year 2005 commemorates the 50th anniversary of the historic Ban dung of 1955. The five decades that passed has seen tremendous changes in the world. The great advancement of the Information Technology has made world smaller and people are in a position to get to know the daily happenings of the world in a matter of few minutes. These achievements certainly are a great step forwards for the well being of humankind. The world also has made many advances in other fields such as in Education, Health and Agriculture. But the hegemonistic globalisation has created serious impediments to reach these achievements to great majority of the people. As a result poverty,

disease and illiteracy are increasing specially in the South. Uneven distribution of wealth has made rich, richer and poor, poorer. The huge resources of Africa, Asia and Latin America are controlled by transnational corporations. Over a billion of people today earn less than a dollar a day. More children in the South go to sleep without a proper square meal a day. Violence is spreading everywhere. The civil society is confronted with enormous challenges. How should the people face these challenges? Can globalisation be reversed? Is there a way out to overcome these challenges? Many more such questions are before the people today. It is the duty of the civil society to analyse this situation rationally. As we all know globalisation is irreversible. But peoples' power is capable to turn globalisation from hegemony to solidarity with a people-centred agenda. In the recent past we have seen the immense mobilisation of millions of people through out the world against war, WTO, IMF and World Bank. The World Social Forum continues
this process as we have seen in Mumbai. Similarly, the Civil Society could be mobilised to campaign to make internet a province of the United Nations and to break the monopoly of transnational corporations which only serve the interest of the few. Bandung provided a new dynamism and dimension to the hitherto subjected nations who were awakening after dismantling colonialism. Both Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation and the Non-Aligned Movements were the result of the Bandung spirit. The historic conference brought the two continents of Africa and Asia together for a collective movement of development through solidarity; which later was extended to Latin America. Bandung was a conference of new leaders of these two continents. Nehru, Chou-Enlai and Sokarno from Asia; Gamal Abdul Nasser and Kwame N'Krumah from Africa and several others. It laid the foundation for a world where dignity of humankind was enshrined with equal respect to all the nations irrespective of its size. The Bandung conference proposed the ten principles known as Dasa Sila. These principles were based on the five principles (Pancha Sila) enunciated between the leaders of China and India in relation to inter-state co-operation. The ten principles which the conference accepted on April 24, 1955 as follows:

1. Respect for fundamental human rights and for the purposes and principles for the Charter of the United Nations.
2. Respect for the sovereignty and territories integrity of all nations.
3. Recognition of equality of all races and of the equality of all nations large and small.
4. Abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country.
5. Respect for the right of each nation to defend itself, singly or collectively, in conformity with the charter of the United Nations.
6. (A) Abstention from the use of arrangements of collective defence to serve the particular interests of any of the big powers.
(B) Abstention by any country from exerting pressures on other countries.
7. Refraining from acts or threats of aggression or the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any country.
8. Settlement of all international disputes, by peaceful means, such as negotiation, conciliation, arbitration of judicial settlement as well as other peaceful means of the parties' own choices, in conformity with the charter of the United Nations.
9. Promotion of Mutual interest and co-operation.
10. Respect for justice and international obligations

The countries which attended and accepted these principles in the conference, 18-24 April 1955 were Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Peoples' Republic of China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gold Coast, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Laos, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Nepal, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, Democratic Republic of Vietnam, State of Vietnam and Yemen. Bandung spirit was a pillar of the United Nations. It enshrined the United Nations Charter as the corner stone of nation building in consolidation of peace and stability in
the world. It rejected the hegemonism of big powers and firmly campaigned for the democratisation of international relations. In the historical perspective Bandung spirit is still relevant and need to be consolidated for the benefit of humankind. These principles would be effectively utilised through the social forum to build and consolidate a strong world wide movement. At a time when there is a great challenge from hegemonism, to the very existence of the United Nations, it is the duty of all those concerns to uphold the spirit of Bandung to protect and enhance the United Nations. The Non-Aligned Movement which was born out of Bandung was a formidable force in the 60s and 70s. But today it has been much weakened for which the NAM countries are primarily responsible. It is owing to the departure from the ten principles by the NAM countries that has helped to strengthen hegemonosim. Hence all these countries have to be reminded of the ten principles of Bandung which should be implemented if a meaningful economic development in their respective countries is to take place. There is no basis to point a finger outside and "cry for wolf" when the wolves were within the movement who were well protected and nurtured to destroy their own
The Permanent Secretariat appeals to all National Committees and our friends that this heavy task has fallen on the shoulders of the people of Asia-Africa and Latin America to mobilise to re-invigorate the Bandung principles.
The Permanent Secretariat is preparing to hold a seminar on Bandung +50 and we hope our national committees will take appropriate steps to popularise this event in their respective countries.

Nouri Abdul Razzak Hussain Dr.Morad Ghaleb
Secretary-General President