This Day in International Law–April 24

By: Liana Solot |

On April 24, 1955 The Bandung Conference came to an end. This Conference, held in Bandung, Indonesia, was the first large-scale Asian-African Conference in which Asian and African states, mostly newly independent, aimed to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and oppose colonialism by any nation. The conference reflected what the organizers viewed as a reluctance by the Western powers to consult 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 peaceful relations with themselves and the West, their opposition to colonialism (especially French influence in North Africa and Algeria), and Indonesia’s desire to promote its case in the dispute with the Netherlands over western New Guinea.

The Conference further established a ten-point declaration on promotion of world peace and cooperation, incorporating the principles of the United Nations Charter, which was adopted unanimously. Finally, the Conference underscored the need for developing countries to loosen their economic dependence on the leading industrialized nations by providing technical assistance to one another through the exchange of experts and assistance for development projects, as well as the exchange of technological know-how and the establishment of regional training and research institutes. The 1957 Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Conference in Cairo and the 1961 Belgrade Conference, which led to the Non-Aligned Movement, followed the Bandung Conference. However, in later years, conflicts between the non-aligned nations eroded the solidarity and cooperation expressed at Bandung.

In 2005, at the fiftieth anniversary of the original Bandung Conference, the Asian African Summit established the Declaration on the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP). The NAASP is a manifestation of intra-regional bridge-building, forming a new strategic partnership commitment between Asia and Africa, standing on three pillars: (1) political solidarity, (2) economic cooperation, and (3) socio-cultural relations, within which governments, organizations, and people of Asian and African nations interact. One hundred and six countries attended the 2005 summit—fifty-four Asian countries and fifty-two African countries.

Liana Solot is an L.L.M. Candidate at Berkeley Law. She is a student contributor for Travaux.