The Bandung Conference

The Bandung Conference

At the conference which took place from 18 to 24 April 1955 in Bandung, Indonesia, delegates from newly independent African and Asian countries met to affirm their desire for independence and their refusal to align with the world powers. The conference was chaired by Indonesian President Sukarno, and was attended by representatives from 29 countries: 23 from Asia and 6 from Africa. Participants included Gamal Abdel Nasser for Egypt, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou Enlai, Premier of the People’s Republic of China.

They were united in their opposition to colonialism, and urged countries still under colonial rule to fight for independence. They demanded:

- the decolonisation and emancipation of the peoples of Africa and Asia;

- peaceful coexistence and economic development;

- non-interference in internal affairs.

The conference had a considerable psychological impact. It underlined the fundamental rights of colonised peoples and demonstrated the strength of their resistance to European domination. Feeling that their positions in their overseas territories were increasingly under threat, the European powers would soon have no choice but to turn towards unity and to consider how best to preserve privileged relations with their colonies. The Bandung Conference therefore marked the emergence of Third-World countries on the international stage.

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