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Sound the Bamboo
[CCA Hymnal]



Towards a Common Future

[CCAnews Sept.02] More than 150 people, including thirty participants from Tanzania, South Africa, Senegal, Egypt, Lebanon, Myanmar, Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, China, Hong Kong, India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan and two observers from the Netherlands and Switzerland attended the program on Asia-Africa beyond Globalisation on 25-27 June in Bandung, Indonesia.

Bandung was a historic place for this meeting as it was in Bandung that the conference of Asian and African states met on 18-24 April 1955 in order to respond to the Cold War and where the seeds of the nonaligned movement were planted.

In his keynote speech, the former President of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, spoke of how important it is for the countries of Asia and Africa to be independent and to release themselves from the strong hands of other countries. He said that there is no escape from globalisation, and neither can we continuously blame those powerful countries. Instead, Asians and Africans have to face globalisation independently with great self-reliance. He cited the example of China, which is able to provide its people with inexpensive food and clothes.

Other speakers focused on international policies related to globalisation, which are unfair to Third World countries, and on issues of terrorism and interreligious cooperation for peace and justice.

The participants reaffirmed the significance of revitalising the Spirit of Bandung for people of Asia and Africa and other nations who advocate independence and freedom. Having been subjects of colonialism historically, many Asian and African countries are now finding themselves being victimised by the negative impact of globalisation. Hence an alternative just and peaceful world is envisioned through the spirituality of a common future.

The Spirit of Bandung is not the spirit against certain powerful countries, faiths or groups. It is the movement towards a common future of human beings who seek peace and justice for all. It is based on the belief that all human beings are equal and that people have the same basic human rights. It is a movement against economic globalisation--a situation that has brought about suffering, misery, famine and millions of deaths, especially among children and women.

In their communiqu�, participants called for, among other things, a serious implementation of economic, social and cultural rights that would enable countries of Asia and Africa to develop their own people-centered economies. This includes debt cancellation (of illegitimate debts), a campaign for payment of historical, social and ecological debts, and a call for transforming the IMF, World Bank and WTO into more democratic agencies.

Participants also called for the settling of all disputes through conflict resolution and dialogue because, as history teaches, war never resolves any dispute. They also called upon all Asian and African nations to establish just and democratic institutions, implement all UN resolutions and adopt all human rights declarations in order to eliminate all forms of discrimination, which fuel conflicts and violence.


13 March - We are now working to make CTC bulleting available online in html format. We hope you will find this resource useful for your work and ministries. Please click on the CTC Bulletin Logo on the right.

posted by cbs on Monday, May 05, 2003  

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