President U Thein Sein left Jakarta for Bandung on Friday morning to attend the 60th anniversary Asian African Summit.
The summit, held at the Museum of Asian African Summit in Gedung Merdeka, Bandung, aims to strengthen cooperation between the two continents and promote worldwide peace and prosperity.
Indonesian President Mr Joko Widodo welcomed the leaders in a speech, while Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe delivered an address on behalf of African nations.
Afterwards, President U Thein Sein gave a speech on behalf of Asian countries.
In his speech, President U Thein Sein said it was a pleasure to speak on the 60th anniversary of the Asian African Summit held in 1955. The entire people of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar extended their warm greetings, he said.
The long-lasting friendship and successful relations between Asia and Africa originated from
the first Asian African Summit 60 years ago in Bandung, the city of Asian African Unity, the president added.
Following World War II and at the beginning of the cold war, countries from Asia, Africa and Latin America were struggling for independence and shared the common desire to establish international relations based on equality and mutual respect, while promoting economic development, he said.
The president continued that he was proud to be from one of the five countries that initiated the first Asian African Summit held on 24 April 1955.
At the first summit, leaders of participating countries decided to lay down the Bandung principles that included 10 points to promote world peace and cooperation and shape a new model for international relations, the president explained.
Afterwards, the president pointed out that recent years have seen significant developments in the various sectors of international relations, with today’s challenges more complicated than those of 60 years ago.
Poverty, underdevelopment, infectious diseases, environmental damage, water shortages and desertification are among the major concerns that need to be tackled, and it is necessary for the two continents to work together across a variety of sectors including trade, technology and health, the president said.
The Bandung Declaration 2005, a declaration on Reinvigorating a New Asian African Strategic Partnership and Declaration on Palestine were adopted two days ago, the president added. Similarly, the leaders reiterated the principles of self-determination of the final declaration of the Asian African Summit 1955 and the Bandung Declaration on a New Asian African Partnership adopted April 2005, according to the president.
In conclusion, the president expressed his hope that the Bandung spirit of principles of unity, friendship and cooperation will continue to flourish among Asian and African countries.
Later, Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza made a speech on behalf of observers to the summit.
King Mswati III of Swaziland, Chinese President Mr Xi Jinping and Indonesian President Mr Joko Widodo signed the Bandung declaration.
The ceremony concluded with traditional dance shows.In the afternoon, the Indonesian president and the mayor of West Java hosted a luncheon in honour of the leaders of Asia and Africa. President U Thein Sein and party left Bandung and arrived in Yangon at 8.20 pm.
The president was welcomed back at the airport by Union ministers U Nyan Tun Aung and U Win Shein, Yangon Region Chief Minister U Myint Swe and region ministers.
The president was accompanied on his Indonesian tour by Union Ministers Lt-Gen Ko Ko, U Wunna Maung Lwin, U Aung Min, Dr Kan Zaw and U Ye Htut and officials.