YOGYAKARTA- After the Asian-African Conference on 19 April 1955 in Bandung, member countries, including Indonesia, continued to develop themselves, especially in the field of economy. In terms of independence, all countries in the Asia-Africa continents are now free, except for Palestine. Currently, Asian-African countries are also keen to promote their economy, eradicate corruption, alleviate unemployment and reduce poverty.
"The progress is very rapid. The spirit of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung is still enlivened up to now, especially the spirit in developing countries to improve the economy, counter corruption, and alleviate poverty," said a member of the Presidential Advisory Council and former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Hassan Wirajuda, on the sidelines of the International Seminar on Diversity in Globalised Society The Role of Asia and Africa for a Sustainable World The Commemoration of The 55th Anniversary of 1955 Bandung Asian-African Conference that was held at UGM Graduate School on Monday (25/10).
Wirajuda added that the problems of poverty, unemployment, economy, and corruption are now important to be solved by Asian-African countries. This is important because they will impact on other sectors, including education and health. Therefore, intensive cooperation of countries in Asia-Africa, particularly in advancing economy, is indispensable. "The key is cooperation between the countries of Asia and Africa if we want to be as advanced as Europe," Hassan explained.
Hassan was convinced Asian-African countries will soon be as equal as European countries and the U.S. Hassan gave an example that in year 2040, Asian countries are predicted to contribute some 65% of Gross Domestics Product (GDP) for the world. For example, the ratio between GDP and Indonesia's debt after the monetary crisis showed a quite drastic decrease as compared with that in European countries. "So, in fact Indonesian economic foundation is better than that of European countries if it is seen from the ratio between the debt and GDP," Hassan said.
Meanwhile, in the same place, National Coordinator of the International Seminar, Dr. Widya Nayati, M.A., added that for more than half a century after the Conference, expected changes did not show a bright spot. The world’s order that puts forward the principle of equality, solidarity and non-violence does not become a recognized world order, let alone an alternative idea. The reality now is that the Asian-African countries remain dominated by the North group. "This triggered the intention to reproduce the spirit and solidarity of the past," said the lecturer of UGM Archaeology.
Through six main topics (religion, culture, economy, environment, urban, and politics) the seminar that is held from October 25 to 27 is also expected to map the new powers that can be explored by the countries in Asia and Africa. "UGM together with the University of Le Havre in France have a role in facilitating experts, practitioners and activists of civil society in countries of the world to engage in this activity," she said.
The event attended by 30 countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe is also expected to reactivate the South-South. The event opened by Prof Dr. Retno S. Sudibyo, M.Sc., Apt., UGM Senior Vice Rector for Academic, Research and Community Service, was marked with playing a traditional toy, othok-othok, by all participants and seminar speakers.