The first large-scale Asian–African or Afro–Asian Conference—also known as the Bandung Conference (Indonesian: Konferensi Asia-Afrika)—was a meeting of Asian and African states, most of which were newly independent, which took place on 18–24 April 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia. The twenty-nine countries that participated represented a total population of 1.5 billion people, 54% of the world's population.  The conference was organised by Indonesia, Burma (Myanmar), Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and India and was coordinated by Ruslan Abdulgani, secretary general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.
The conference's stated aims were to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism or neocolonialism by any nation. The conference was an important step toward the Non-Aligned Movement.
In 2005, on the 50th anniversary of the original conference, leaders from Asian and African countries met in Jakarta and Bandung to launch the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP). They pledged to promote political, economic, and cultural cooperation between the two continents.
India's prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was a key organizer, in his quest to build a nonalignment movement that would win the support of the newly emerging nations of Asia and Africa. Nehru first got the idea at the Asian Relations Conference, held in India in March 1947, on the eve of India's independence. There was a second 19-nation conference regarding the status of Indonesia, held in New Delhi India, in January 1949. Practically every month a new nation in Africa or Asia emerged, with for the first time its own diplomatic corps and eagerness to integrate into the international system. China also played a role, with the Communists Taking full control in 1949, and eager to show their own peasant-based non—industrial Road to independence and revolution. At the Colombo Powers conference in April 1954, Indonesia proposed a global conference. A planning group met in Bogor, Indonesia in late December 1954 and formally decided to hold the conference in April 1955. They Had a series of goals in mind: to promote goodwill and cooperation among the new nations; to explore in advance their mutual interests; to examine social economic and cultural problems, to focus on problems of special interest to their peoples, such as racism and colonialism, and to enhance the international visibility of Asia and Africa in world affairs.
The Bandung Conference reflected what the organisers regarded as a reluctance by the Western powers to consult with them on decisions affecting Asia in a setting of Cold War tensions; their concern over tension between the People's Republic of China and the United States; their desire to lay firmer foundations for China's peace relations with themselves and the West; their opposition to colonialism, especially French influence in North Africa and its colonial rule in Algeria; and Indonesia's desire to promote its case in the dispute with the Netherlands over western New Guinea (Irian Barat).
Sukarno, the first president of the Republic of Indonesia, portrayed himself as the leader of this group of states, which he later described as "NEFOS" (Newly Emerging Forces). His daughter, Megawati Sukarnoputri headed the PDI-P party during both summit anniversaries, and the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo during the 3rd summit was a member of her party.
On 4 December 1954 the United Nations announced that Indonesia had successfully gotten the issue of West New Guinea placed on the agenda of the 1955 General Assembly, plans for the Bandung conference were announced in December 1954.
Major debate centered around the question of whether Soviet policies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia should be censured along with Western colonialism. A memo was submitted by 'The Moslem Nations under Soviet Imperialism', accusing the Soviet authorities of massacres and mass deportations in Muslim regions, but it was never debated. A consensus was reached in which "colonialism in all of its manifestations" was condemned, implicitly censuring the Soviet Union, as well as the West. China played an important role in the conference and strengthened its relations with other Asian nations. Having survived an assassination attempt on the way to the conference, the Chinese premier, Zhou Enlai, displayed a moderate and conciliatory attitude that tended to quiet fears of some anticommunist delegates concerning China's intentions.
Later in the conference, Zhou Enlai signed on to the article in the concluding declaration stating that overseas Chinese owed primary loyalty to their home nation, rather than to China – a highly sensitive issue for both his Indonesian hosts and for several other participating countries. Zhou also signed an agreement on dual nationality with Indonesian foreign minister Sunario. World observers knew little about the new Chinese communist government, and participants and journalists closely watched Zhou. He downplayed revolutionary communism and strongly endorsed the right of all nations to choose their own economic and political systems, including even capitalism. His moderation and reasonableness made a very powerful impression for his own diplomatic reputation and for China. By contrast, Nehru was bitterly disappointed at the generally negative reception he received. Senior diplomats called him arrogant. Zhou said privately, "I've never met a more arrogant man than Mr. Nehru."
Some nations were given "observer status". Such was the case of Brazil, who sent Ambassador Bezerra de Menezes.
A 10-point "declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation," incorporating the principles of the United Nations Charter was adopted unanimously:
The final Communique of the Conference underscored the need for developing countries to loosen their economic dependence on the leading industrialised nations by providing technical assistance to one another through the exchange of experts and technical assistance for developmental projects, as well as the exchange of technological know-how and the establishment of regional training and research institutes.
For the US, the Conference accentuated a central dilemma of its Cold War policy: by currying favor with Third World nations by claiming opposition to colonialism, it risked alienating its colonialist European allies. The US security establishment also feared that the Conference would expand China's regional power. In January 1955 the US formed a "Working Group on the Afro-Asian Conference" which included the Operations Coordinating Board (OCB), the Office of Intelligence Research (OIR), the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the United States Information Agency (USIA). The OIR and USIA followed a course of "Image Management" for the US, using overt and covert propaganda to portray the US as friendly and to warn participants of the Communist menace.
The United States, at the urging of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles, shunned the conference and was not officially represented. However, the administration issued a series of statements during the lead-up to the Conference. These suggested that the US would provide economic aid, and attempted to reframe the issue of colonialism as a threat by China and the Eastern Bloc.
Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. (D-N.Y.) attended the conference, sponsored by Ebony and Jet magazines instead of the U.S. government. Powell spoke at some length in favor of American foreign policy there which assisted the United States's standing with the Non-Aligned. When Powell returned to the United States, he urged President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Congress to oppose colonialism and pay attention to the priorities of emerging Third World nations.
African American author Richard Wright attended the conference with funding from the Congress for Cultural Freedom. Wright spent about three weeks in Indonesia, devoting a week to attending the conference and the rest of his time to interacting with Indonesian artists and intellectuals in preparation to write several articles and a book on his trip to Indonesia and attendance at the conference. Wright's essays on the trip appeared in several Congress for Cultural Freedom magazines, and his book on the trip was published as The Color Curtain: A Report on the Bandung Conference. Several of the artists and intellectuals with whom Wright interacted (including Mochtar Lubis, Asrul Sani, Sitor Situmorang, and Beb Vuyk) continued discussing Wright's visit after he left Indonesia.
The conference was followed by the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Conference in Cairo in September (1957) and the Belgrade Conference (1961), which led to the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement. In later years, conflicts between the nonaligned nations eroded the solidarity expressed at Bandung.
To mark the 50th anniversary of The Summit, Heads of State and Government of Asian-African countries attended a new Asian-African Summit from 20–24 April 2005 in Bandung and Jakarta. Some sessions of the new conference took place in Gedung Merdeka (Independence Building), the venue of the original conference. Of the 106 nations invited to the historic summit, 89 were represented by their heads of state or government or ministers. The Summit was attended by 54 Asian and 52 African countries.
The 2005 Asian African Summit yielded, inter-alia, the Declaration of the New Asian–African Strategic Partnership (NAASP), the Joint Ministerial Statement on the NAASP Plan of Action, and the Joint Asian African Leaders’ Statement on Tsunami, Earthquake and other Natural Disasters. The conclusion of aforementioned declaration of NAASP is the Nawasila (nine principles) supporting political, economic, and socio-cultural cooperation.
The Summit concluded a follow-up mechanism for institutionalization process in the form of Summit concurrent with Business Summit every four years, Ministerial Meeting every two years, and Sectoral Ministerial as well as Technical Meeting if deemed necessary.
On the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Conference and the 10th anniversary of the NAASP, a 3rd summit was held in Bandung and Jakarta from 21–25 April 2015, with the theme Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity. Delegates from 109 Asian and African countries, 16 observer countries and 25 international organizations participated.
Abdul Rahman Pazhwak (Persian: عبدالرحمن پژواک; born March 7, 1919 – June 8, 1995) was an Afghan poet and diplomat. He was educated in Afghanistan and started his career as a journalist, but eventually joined the foreign ministry. During the 1950s, he became ambassador to the United Nations and served as president of the UN General Assembly from 1966 to 1967. During the early 1970s, he served for short periods as Afghan ambassador to West Germany and India. In 1976, he became ambassador to the United Kingdom. He served in that position until the 1978 Saur Revolution. He then returned to Afghanistan and was put under house arrest. He was allowed to leave for medical treatment in 1982 and received asylum in the United States, where he lived until 1991, before moving to Peshawar, Pakistan.
Abdul Rahman Pazhwak died in Hayatabad in Peshawar on 8 June 1995. He was in Baghwani village off Surkh Road in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan.Ahmad Shukeiri
Ahmad al-Shukeiri (January 1, 1908 – February 26, 1980) (Arabic: أحمد الشقيري) also transcribed al-Shuqayri, Shuqairi, Shuqeiri, Shukeiry, etc.), was the first Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, serving in 1964–67.Ahmed Ben Bella
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Ali Sabri (Arabic: على صبرى, IPA: [ˈʕæli ˈsˤɑbɾi]) (30 August 1920 – 3 August 1991, Cairo) was an Egyptian politician of Turkish origin.He was one of the second row of 1952 revolution officers, he was the head of Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate from 1956 to 1957
He was the 32nd Prime Minister of Egypt from September 1962 to October 1965.
When Gamal Nasser died in 1970, Anwar Sadat was regarded as Nasser's most likely successor, but Sabri was regarded as the next most likely. Both Sadat and Sabri had heart attacks which they survived at Nasser's funeral.
Sabri was the vice-president and regarded as the no. 2 figure in Sadat's government. However shortly after Sadat came to power he was the most notable casualty of Sadat's "Corrective Revolution", and was imprisoned.
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Ali Sabri was a grandson of nationalist Amin Shamsi Pasha (1833-1913) a member of the General Assembly and Provincial Council who in 1881-82 was a principal financial backer of Ahmed Urabi Pasha. Following the failure of what historian term the "Urabi Rebellion" of 1882, Khedive Tewfik imprisoned Shamsi Pasha later releasing him on a hefty bail. He resumed his seat at the General Assembly until his death.
Sabri was also a nephew of Ali Shamsi Pasha (1885-1962) co-founder of the Wafd Party and a several-time minister during the reign of King Fouad later to become the first Egyptian to head of the National Bank of Egypt which acted as the country's Central Bank.
One of Ali Sabri’s paternal grand-uncles was Mohammed Faizi Pasha (1840-1911), a director-general of the Awqaf Department during the reign of Khedive Abbas Hilmi II.
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Khalid al-Azm (Arabic: خالد العظم ; 11 June 1903 – 18 November 1965) was a Syrian national leader and five-time interim Prime Minister, as well as Acting President from 4 April to 16 September 1941. He was a member of one of the most prominent political families in Syria, al-Azm (also known as Alazem or Al Azem), and the son of an Ottoman minister of religious affairs.Kojo Botsio
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Mochtar Kusumaatmadja (born April 17, 1929) was the fifteenth minister of law and the twelfth foreign minister of Indonesia.
Kusumaatmadja served as the foreign minister between 1978 and 1988 at which point he was succeeded by Ali Alatas. During his tenure, he was heavily involved in the 1972 treaty that helped to delineate the Australia–Indonesia border, as well as the conversion of the site of the Bandung Conference into a retrospective museum.Mohammad Natsir
Mohammad Natsir (17 July 1908 – 6 February 1993) was an Islamic scholar and politician. He was Indonesia's fifth prime minister.
After moving to Bandung from his hometown Solok, West Sumatra for senior high school, Natsir studied Islamic doctrine extensively. His first articles were published in 1929, and during the 1930s he wrote for several Islamic-themed papers. He entered politics in the mid-1930s, rising through the ranks of Islamic parties. On 5 September 1950, he was chosen as prime minister, a term which he served until 26 April 1951. After his term as prime minister, he became increasingly vocal about Islam's role in Indonesia and was eventually arrested for doing so. Released in 1966 after the New Order government took power, Natsir continued to be critical of the government, eventually leading to him being banned from traveling.
Natsir wrote extensively on Islam, totaling 45 books and hundreds of articles. He viewed Islam as an intrinsic part of Indonesian culture and was disappointed by the Sukarno and Suharto governments' handling of the religion. He was given three honorary doctorates during his lifetime, one from Lebanon and two from Malaysia. On 10 November 2008, Natsir was honoured as a national hero of Indonesia.Momolu Dukuly
Momolu Dukuly (1903 – 1980) was a politician in Liberia. He was the second foreign minister under William V.S. Tubman (Dukuly replaced Gabriel Lafayette Dennis, who died in office in 1954). Dukuly was the first "Native" Liberian to be appointed foreign minister. Dukuly was of Mandingo descent. He was a Muslim in his early life. He, however, left Islam and embraced Christianity before he became foreign minister. He was preceded by Gabriel Lafayette Dennis and was replaced by Joseph Rudolph Grimes.Muhammad Fadhel al-Jamali
Muhammad Fadhel al-Jamali (Arabic: محمد فاضل الجمالي) (April 20, 1903 – May 24, 1997) was an Iraqi politician, Iraqi foreign minister, and prime minister of Iraq from 1953 to 1954. In 1945, al-Jamali, as Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, signed the United Nations Charter on behalf of his country.Richard Wright (author)
Richard Nathaniel Wright (September 4, 1908 – November 28, 1960) was an American author of novels, short stories, poems, and non-fiction. Much of his literature concerns racial themes, especially related to the plight of African Americans during the late 19th to mid-20th centuries, who suffered discrimination and violence in the South and the North. Literary critics believe his work helped change race relations in the United States in the mid-20th century.Wan Waithayakon
Wan Waithayakon (full title: His Royal Highness Prince Vanna Vaidhayakara, the Prince Naradhip Bongsprabandh), known in the West as Wan Waithayakon (1891–1976), was a Thai royal prince and diplomat. He was President of the Eleventh Session of the United Nations General Assembly (1956–1957), while serving as Thailand's Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He was a grandson of King Mongkut (Rama IV).