Conferences and Meetings

Conferences and Meetings

50th Anniversary of AAPSO 2nd Statement

Fifty Years of Solidarity in Defense of The Peoples of The South,

In this year 2007, Afro-Asian people’s Solidarity Organization (AAPSO) enters its fiftieth year. The year 1957 witnessed the formal inauguration of AAPSO in a conference attended by high international representative gathering in Cairo. In spite that the majority of the participants in this meeting are no longer with us, but their sustainable efforts and souls are deeply-rooted in the conscience of the movement providing it with strength to go forward in the 21st century.

The root cause for the creation of our organization was not conceived from an emergency situation which stimulated the Movement at the end of December 1957. Its historical roots extend longer by far. We will not deal here with the Afro- Asian revival at the dawn of this century; the establishment of the Indian National Congress Party in 1885; or the creation of the Muslim league parallel to it in 1906; the Boxers movement of 1900 in China that rose to struggle against foreign occupation, or other movements that are a strong manifestation of Afro-Asian revival. However, we shall deal with the fundamental roots that ushered the formation of AAPSO before and after the Second World War when national awareness reached its peak.

At the outset, let us commence with the Asian Relations Conference held from 22 March to 3April 1947 in Delhi in which 250 representative from 25 Asian countries participated. India then, had not yet gained its independence officially. Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister of the interim government. In this conference, Nehru reconfirmed the substantial principles of the Non- Aligned Movement that was yet to be born fifteen years later.

The world has taken strides from the Asian Relation Conference, to the Afro- Asian Conference held from 18-24 April 1955 in Banding then to The Conference for the founding of the Non- Aligned Movement held in Belgrade from 1-6 September 1961.

During this period the international arena was witnessing very important changes. In Africa, the momentum of liberation movements became more powerful. The fifth PAN African Conference that was convened in Manchester, Britain in 1945 augured a new stage in the struggle for African independence. Moreover, the July revolution in Egypt 1952 was a source of inspiration for many African countries. The outbreak of the Algerian peoples armed struggle as well as the struggles in Ghana, Kenya, Guinea and others were only a few examples of the growing African rejection of imperialist domination.

With regard to these developments and in the atmosphere of the Cold War initiated by imperialist countries: Leaders of newly independent Afro-Asian States felt the necessity for the solidarity between the peoples of the two continents.

Following the meeting of the Prime Ministers of Burma (Myanmar), India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka now) held in Colombo from 28 April to 2 May 1954, measures were taken to convene an Afro-Asian conference. This took place in Bandung, Indonesia from 18-24 April 1955 in which 29 countries participated, 22 were from Asia, and 6 were from Africa. The ten principles endorsed by the Bandung Conference established the basis of a new form of relations among states based on the principle of peaceful coexistence regardless of the differences in social systems, as an alternatives of the Cold War policy.

Before the convening of the Bandung Conference, a non- governmental conference held in New Delhi in 1955, by the Indian Peace Council and a number of Asian Peace Committees. Representatives from nearly all Asian countries were present .This conference decided the establishment of an Afro-Asian Committee which called for the convening of the first Afro-Asian Solidarity Conference in Cairo. The International Afro-Asian Solidarity Committee that emanated from the Delhi meeting was headed by Ramshwari Nehru, the outstanding Indian personality who came to Cairo at the head of the delegation with the support of Jawaharlal Nehru. They met President Gamal Adel Nassar and proposed to him the idea of creating an organization for the two continents with its headquarters in Cairo as an expression of Afro-Asian identity. President Nasser agreed to this request which was a symbol of Asian will.

In continuation of Nehru’s ideas and complementation of African Revival, the Conference convened on 26 December 1957 in Cairo gave birth to the Afro- Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization in 1st January 1958.

The choice of Cairo as the headquarters of AAPSO was but a recognition of the long heroic struggle of the Egyptian people whom contributed effectively to the downfall of colonial empires in the two continents and sparked the national struggle of Arab , African and Asian peoples.

Since its establishment AAPSO has been inspired by the spirit and objectives of Bandung. The founding Conference in Cairo declared that the principles adopted at Bandung in April 1955 should be the basis for international relations. Furthermore, it also mobilized world public opinion to support the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) since its creation as a continuation of the Bandung’ spirit.

AAPSO with its National Committees and in its capacity as a peoples’ organization of the third world and countries of the South has adopted the concepts of NAM and seek to disseminate its ideas and decisions. The Solidarity Movement gradually broadened and established its committees in different places of the world .Under AAPSO’ umbrella a number of Afro-Asian movements were constituted in different sectors of the society as Afro-Asian Writers Union ,Afro-Asian Youth Conference, Afro-Asian Women Conference ,Afro-Asian Lawyers conference, economic conferences and businessmen conferences…..etc.

From the first Cairo Solidarity Conference in1957 till now, AAPSO convened more than 130 conferences, seminars, meetings and roundtables in different fields like Meeting in Solidarity with Peoples of Africa; Meetings of Arab Solidarity Committees; Meetings in support of Arab Peoples; Meetings devoted to Asia and the Pacific; Economic Problems; Problems of Afro-Asian Women; Conferences on the historical Bandung Meeting; development, human rights, South-South Cooperation and Peace and Disarmament …etc.

AAPSO has entertains an observer status in the NAM. AAPSO shared and backed NAM in its positive role that it played in supporting liberation movements; realizing freedom and independence of the subjected peoples, achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace; setting up a fair system for international economic relation and disarmament.

At the dawn of third millennium, the founding principles of AAPSO is valid and still valid for the peoples suffering from the imperialist policy. AAPSO aware of the realities and challenges of present day situation, had to adopt its work and activities to the new realities of our present World. One of the most important tasks is completing liberation and independence process; peaceful solution for world conflicts; combating terrorism; disarmament; achieving sustainable development; combating poverty; benefiting from scientific revolution especially the one in information and mass communications.

Today and in spite of the difficulties that AAPSO faced, it succeeded in disseminating the positive thinking among peoples of the two continents despite the different historical situation from fifty years ago, but the issues that face the two continents are in essence the same. If the peoples of the two continents suffered from the neo –colonialism in the past, today the economic hegemony doesn’t constitute only the dangerous impact on the peoples but the most dangerous since the period of colonialism due to new and complicated operation technology. With the technological and scientific revolution, the powerful economies become capable to impose its condition on the weaker side. The only way to overcome this is to build a strong and a big solidarity movement … so we hope that our committees and friends to benefit from this situation and to unite and join together to build a strong organization for the solidarity of Afro-Asian peoples to face these new challenges.

AAPSO under the current circumstances has to undertake additional task beside its own ordinary tasks as:
1) Setting up an international anti-globalization front in coordination and cooperation with anti-globalization movements, social forums, and NGOs to achieve alternative globalization.
2) Seeking to form economic blocs in the developing countries as an attempt to achieve fair and comprehensive economic development.
3) Rejecting and resisting all forms of imperialists’ Military occupation of any country under any pretext.
4) To put an end through international legality to wars, armed conflicts, aggression, occupation, and foreign intervention.
5) Establishing of an international economic system based on justice and equal opportunities.
6) Reforming our national committees to be truly popular and reflective of the peoples’ of aspiration for a better future.
7) Restructuring NAM to be a popular movement to confront the policy of hegemony, and arrogance and world economic injustice.

The fifth anniversary of AAPSO will be on 26 December, 2007, AAPSO secretariat intended to hold an international celebration and has taken steps towards this. AAPSO secretariat issued statements not only to recall the role of AAPSO but also to discuss the future priorities. The secretariat also held a meeting in Philippine about this occasion and discussed this matter with the Chinese Committee in June 2007.

The Participants in the meeting of Arab Solidarity committees - held during the period of 26-27 June 2007 in Cairo – discussed the celebration, emphasizing on the importance of reviving the past in order to forge the way for the future.

AAPSO calls upon its solidarity committees to celebrate this event and to contribute to the strengthening of the World Solidarity Movement.