The Asian-African ministerial meeting, which will discuss major international issues, has opened in Jakarta, Indonesia.
South Africa’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane is also participating in the meeting.
The first Asian-African Conference, also known as the Bandung Conference, was first held in Indonesia in 1955 hosting delegations from 29 countries.
The 1955 conference signalled the emergence of the developing countries as a rising force in the world arena, resulted in the nonaligned movement and the formation of the Third World.
A declaration was issued at the conference, containing 10 principles for handling international relations which was termed as the Bandung Spirit.
In her opening address at the summit on Monday, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said the event will enable Asia and Africa to enhance the structural and systematic cooperation as the struggle for a better world is far from over.
The Minister said the two continents need the same spirit they had when they overcame the legacies and impediments growth and development to become leading players in a new, equitable, global order.
“Institutions of global governance remain unchanged. Neo-colonialism is staring us in the eyes. Poverty and inequality are a reality all over the world. War and insecurity continue to afflict many of our countries.
“Our struggle is far from over! Afro-Asian solidarity is as relevant today as it was 60 years ago,” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane who is also co-chairing the summit.
The Minister also used her speech to gather support for the reform of the United Nations as it turns 70 years.
“We as Asia and Africa have a unique opportunity to ensure that the United Nations is fundamentally reformed and representative of the new global reality of today. A better world is within reach. We must seize the opportunity,” she said.
Source : SAnews.gov.za