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Afro-Asian unity and world peace

It is bound to be the wish of the majority of states of Asia and Africa, that the spirit of Afro-Asian solidarity which triumphantly re-emerged at the second Asian-African Conference and the commemorative summit of state leaders of the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, just held in Jakarta, would translate into the solid empowerment of these important continents of the globe, in the days ahead.

It has been our contention that Asian-African cooperation for the fashioning of a more equitable and just world, which found expression in the early Sixties in the launching of the Non-Aligned Movement, needs to be dynamically continued.

In fact, we say very boldly that the NAM has still a considerable amount of work to do, specially in view of the fact that economic globalisation has not proved the great equaliser it promised to be.

Accordingly, the NAM which was really born in the Afro-Asia solidarity conference held in Bandung, Indonesia, in 1955, has not outlived its usefulness and, indeed, has to be fully revived now that it is felt that the rationale for continued Afro-Asian solidarity remains uneroded.

While strengthened Afro-Asian unity could be considered an essential foundation for the making of an impactful presence on the world stage of the poor of the globe, it is the entry into the decision-making processes of multilateral global institutions, such as the UN system, by the poor of the world, which would prove decisive in the substantial empowerment of the latter.

Therefore, a principal point made by Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar at the Asian-African Conference that it is Asia's turn next to hold the position of UN Secretary General should be strongly considered by the Third World and the First World.

The very fact that the wealthy of the world are still falling short of their development assistance commitment to the developing countries, is strong proof of the disadvantages of the Third World remaining disempowered. This will continue to be the case as long as the poor of the world have no decision-making capability in global multilateral institutions, such as the UN, which are charged with ushering in a more equitable world.

Meanwhile the powerful of the earth need to realise that continued poverty and disempowerment in continents such as Asia and Africa, would only prolong conflict, war and global instability. The big powers and their peoples would have no peace either if the majority of mankind remains poor.

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