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Leaders relive Bandung Spirit in walk
By Qin Jize (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-04-25 06:06

JAKARTA: The leaders and representatives of approximately 100 countries yesterday walked some 50 metres from the Savoy Homann Hotel to the white and gold Gedung Merdeka in Bandung, Indonesia, to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa summit.

Smiling and waving to the public, President Hu Jintao was among the leaders present to commemorate the golden jubilee of the 1955 conference.

Leaders relive Bandung Spirit in walk
President Hu Jintao (second left), Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (centre), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (second right) and other Asian and African leaders at a walk yesterday for the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung, Indonesia, which gave birth to the Non-Aligned Movement. Representatives of approximately 100 Asian and African nations, including more than 40 heads of state, visited Bandung yesterday to mark the occasion. (AFP)
Asian and African leaders of a new generation replayed the well-known Bandung Walk made by delegates of 29 countries to the 1955 conference, who strolled the same distance to the Merdeka Building for the opening of the talks.

Inside the Gedung Merdeka, also known as the Freedom Building, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and others delivered short speeches.

Susilo said: "We come here today to remember and honour but also to reaffirm, to rejuvenate.

"We will pull together the tremendous creative energies of Asia and Africa to solve some of the most persistent problems of development we are facing," he said.

The 1955 Bandung Conference adopted a final communique containing 10 principles, basic guidelines for promoting global peace and co-operation. The Bandung Spirit, with the core principles of solidarity, friendship and co-operation, guided the fight made by newly independent countries against colonialism and hegemony at the time and led to the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Bandung celebration came hot on the heels of the Asia-Africa summit in Jakarta, a two-day conference intended to reinvigorate the spirit of the Bandung Conference.

Leaders and officials from 106 Asian and African countries signed and passed a declaration on the building of a new strategic partnership between the two continents on Saturday.

The new partnership, which accounts for three quarters of the world's population, outlines steps to improve Asian-African political solidarity as well as trade, economic and cultural links and expand co-operation in the war against terrorism and transnational organized crime.

Meeting in South Africa in 2009

The summit, which was targeted for having a lack of a mechanism after failing to have a follow-up in 50 years, laid down that the event will be held every four years together with a business summit. A foreign ministerial conference will also take place every two years. The leaders have agreed to meet again in South Africa in 2009.

The leaders also signed a joint statement on the two continents' co-operation in the instance of natural disasters on Saturday.

The declaration got the final blessing from the leaders inside the Gedung Merdeka yesterday.

Also on Saturday, President Hu held separate meetings with his Tajikistan counterpart Emomali Rakhmonov, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and United Nations chief Kofi Annan.

(China Daily 04/25/2005 page1)

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