The historical Bandung conference: Part Three…eradicate any trace of racism among regional members


THE third and final segment of the Asian-African conference of Bandung 1955 was centred on the topic of politics.
Political independence, at this time, was a right and privilege that was enjoyed by very few regional members owing to colonisation.
After the pan-European wars, inaptly remembered as world wars, the League of Nations was founded with a mandate to avoid fully fledged warring in the world.
It had just become the United Nations (UN) and had a declaration called the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This was held as a common standard of achievement for all people and nationalities.
The conference supported the notion that self-determination was a prerequisite to the full enjoyment of fundamental human rights.
Though the UN has proved less efficient in upholding the rights of African and Asian nations in relation to European and North American nations, the ideals laid down were found favourable by the conference.
One burning issue that bothered the nations of Africa and Asia was their ill representation in the UN’s Security Council.
Most of the permanent seats in the Security Council were held by North American and European nations and this was deemed unfair and a conflict of interest.
The conference thus moved to demand that more regional members be admitted in the Security Council and accorded permanent seats.
This would extend them veto powers and stronger voting powers. Such a move would strike a healthy balance which would effectively contribute to the promotion and maintenance of world peace.
The conference also shunned racial segregation and discrimination.
Africa was by far the biggest victim of racism.
At this time, there were gross human rights violations being perpetrated against Africans in and out of the continent.
This was accompanied by a blatant denial of dignity for mankind, all because of the colour of their skin.
Settler-regimes like that of South Africa were condemned because they took negative traits such as racism and set them up as the basis of their governments.
The conference extended sympathy and support to the victims of South Africa’s foul play, particularly southern Africa, India and Pakistan.
One of the main goals of the conference was to eradicate any trace of racialism among regional members.
Asians and Africans had not victimised each other and it was their hope that they did not learn hostile mannerisms by emulating the people of the West in terms of trying to violently dominate nations for mere resources.
The regional members pledged to use full moral influence to avoid falling into the same evil that they despised and were trying to eradicate.
Thus a verbal peace treaty was made among the nations of Africa and Asia to maintain peace and eradicate any form of racialism and oppression among each other.
Independence was promoted and colonisation was shunned.
It was quoted that: “Colonisation in all forms and manifestations is an evil that must speedily be put to an end.”
The conference addressed the evil that was arising from foreign subjugation, domination and exploitation of regional peoples.
It was deemed a gross violation of the UN’s charter and an impediment to world peace.
Thus all regional member-countries that attended the conference declared support for the cause of freedom and independence and demanded that nations like Britain (UK), France, and the Netherlands, among others, grant independence to the nations that they had colonised.
In this period, many French colonies were in a state of turmoil, namely Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.
They were fighting for independence and France was violently resisting and refusing to grant it.
The conference urged France to yield to the demands of the North Africans and bring about a peaceful settlement without delay.
One burning issue that was also discussed was that of the settler-regime in Palestine.
The Zionist government had entered Palestine as refugees in the 1940s and cunningly coerced Britain to grant them independence as opposed to the Palestinians.
From this point onwards, Palestinians were killed, imprisoned and deported to other lands and were relegated to refugee status.
Their land and houses were violently seized and an apartheid system was put in place.
This dire situation remains unchanged.
The conference criticised the UN for tolerating and endorsing the colonisation of Palestine and pledged support for the Palestinians victimised by the Zionist government.
They also extended support for Indonesia, which was being victimised by the Netherlands.
The risk of global war was discussed and all types of armament, including nuclear and thermo nuclear weapons, was discouraged. Plans were made to totally prohibit nuclear and thermo nuclear weapons as a measure to save mankind from mass destruction.
Japan’s Hiroshima and Nagasaki were devastated by US atomic bombs about a decade before this point and the effects were still evident in the land, air and offspring of the survivors.
Africa and Asia, as custodians of humaneness, were given the duty to prevent such acts from repeating themselves.
The conference urged the West to suspend all experiments that made use of nuclear energy for the cause of armament, pending prohibition.
The conference also addressed the issue of regional members getting caught up in proxy wars.
Tensions existed between communists and capitalists of the West.
The region of Africa and Asia, which had no part in any of the schools of thought and systems of governance, were being forced to align themselves with one or the other in this period.
The Korean War was an example of a proxy war which had recently taken place and such was discouraged.
The communists allied with the northern side of Korea while the US replaced the presence of Japan in the south of Korea.
Former Japanese captive nations like Vietnam and the Philippines were also riddled with US presence.
The war in Korea was not a result of enmity between Koreans who were one people and one land, but it was a squabble over the above stated bipolar international systems of governance which resulted in the nation splitting into two and the situation remains the same 70 years down the line.
The conference condemned such situations where Asians and Africans are made pawns in a superpower struggle in which they have no vested interest.
This led and continues to lead to the destruction of lives and infrastructure on Asian and African home soil.
The conference ended with a declaration for world peace; with equal rights and justice for all as a prerequisite.
The regional members in attendance commended the effort and recommended that the five sponsor-nations consider convening a follow-up meeting after consulting the other member-countries.


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