In19-24 April 2015, the Asian-African Conference (AAC) will be held in Bandung, Indonesia. Even though it will take place in the same city as it was in 1955, de-idiologisation occurs in this meeting and cooperation among Asian-African countries.
Sukarno was the one who initiated AAC with the Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru, the North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and other third world country leaders. By all means,AAC today can not be separated from the attempt to strengthen the economic cooperation and solidarity between countries in Asia and Africa to face the colonialism and imperialism that still occurs in those countries.
In front of hundreds of representatives of the people of Asia and Africa on the first AACBandung in 1955, Sukarno shouted, “No one of the people feels they are independent, as long as there are still parts of the our land is not free. As if peace, freedom could not be divided. There is nothing called half-independent, as there is nothing that can be called a half-life, people often tell us, that colonialism is dead. Don’t we want to be deceived, or be settled by it! Ladies and gentlemen, colonialism is not dead !. “
The great idea of AAC has made the western powers opposed it. After World War II and the cold war between great powers of United States of America (USA)with its liberalism-capitalism influence and Uni Soviet (USSR) which carried the ideology of communism-socialism, AAC has become a new political force. Until the end of 1961, as a follow-up of AAC, the Non-Block Movement (Non-Aligned Movement) was born.This movement aimed to set an independent and neutral side during the feud between two blocks.
This AAC movement had inspired the struggle of people in Asian, African and South American countries (three continnental countries). They aimed to be free and independent by opposing all forms of colonialism and imperialism. Since the first held in 1955, there had been 73 new states were born or proclaimed its independence from the suffering of colonialism.
Further, through his revolutionary idea, Soekarno admonished to be aware of and against the new embodiment of colonization which he described as neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism (Necolim). The shape of this Necolim is no longer as colonization by military conquest, but through the dictation of the economy, thus the colonized country has no political sovereignty.
Because of Necolim, Sukarno worried the philanthropcal politic of western countries put particular interest behind for instance through a political debt from certain institutions such as IMF and world bank. Morever “the political aid”from UN (United Nation) were criticized by Sukarno because its structural bodies are dominated by western countries. Sukarno once said “Go to hell with your aid” to the Ambassador of the United States who attended the general meeting on 25 March 1964.
In opposing the force of Necolim then an idea to form the New Emerging Force. It is included in the Trisakti which is Soukarno’s idea, he explained that every countries must have sovereignity in the political, economic self-reliance in the field of culture and personality. Every time Sukarno visited several third world countries, he always voiced the idea of decolonization, Trisakti, Pancasila and to establish a New Emerging Force. These ideas also inspired many revolutionary movements around the world, one of which was Che Guevara through the idea of the new world and the Cuban revolution.
After 60 years of post-KAA in Bandung in 1955, AAC will be held in the same place in 2015 which will bring the reversed idea. Now, AAC becomes a forum and a tool that is able to approve the neo-liberal agenda and programs alike, for instance, through the Asian-African Strategic Partnership (New Asian and Africa Strategic Partnership).
The AAC held on 19-24th April 2015 themed “Strenghtening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity” conduct its negotiating process in New York, USA. The country that once Sukarno opposed since become the representative of Necolim in the world, ironically now be a place for negotiations of AAC, though the initial idea of first formation of the AAC was to be a force for decolonization and revolutionary ideas towards independence.
AAC 2015 is also an integral part of the Asian African Business Summit which is uutilized to realize the cooperation in trade, investment, innovation, education and SMEs cooperation under the auspices and intervention of the USA. In this time coming, AAC will no longer be attended by the revolutionary leaders around the world who are struggling to create justice and prosperity of the world, but instead it will be attended by CEOs and entrepreneurs leaders to the expansion of capital seeking new territory.
At this moment on AAC, President Jokowi touts the concept of TRISAKTI as his political campaigns at the election in several months ago, containing “political sovereignty, self-sufficient in the economy and personality in culture”. It becomes ridiculous when he makes Indonesia, as if it were a company offered to investors, as what he said in his speech at the peak of the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), in Beijing on November 10, 2014.
We are dreaming of Jokowi on the AAC will stand up and speak out to inflame the initial idea of the AAC which is to oppose all forms of oppression and create a world with justice by opposing neo-colonialism and neo-imperialism in the world. Apparently our dream will just remain a dream because the policy agenda carried out by the President in his tenure is also entangled in the neo-liberal policies as it was in post-65 former leader. The removal of subsidies, the rising price of electricity, gas and rice as well as the land conversion, privatization and reliance on debt and foreign investment will be his policy agenda.
Asian-African Conference which used to be the arena of the struggle of the third world countries to fight for independence and sovereignty, now has become a means for creating colonialism and insovereignty. AAC, that’s your history. But certainly the idea of the initial AAC will definitely remain relevant today and has inspired the people’s struggle for independence and equity all over the world.