Delegates from nearly 90 countries on Friday marched from 131-year old Hotel Savoy here to another historical location “Gedung Merdeka”, which had hosted the 1955 Bandung Conference in which 25 countries including India, under the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru participated.
The purpose was to commemorate 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference and reiterate its values espousing human rights, sovereignty and equality.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj could not take part in the walk because of leg injury but made to the venue where the walk culminated.
Gedung Merdeka (building of Independence) which has now been converted into a museum has laid out same chairs of dignitaries today which were laid out 60 years ago.
Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe were among the some leaders walking on the lane dotted with Dutch heritage buildings.
The entire road was full of posters of leaders like Nehru, Indonesia’s first President Sukarno, then Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai, Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Naseer and other top leaders.
The 1955 conference called by Sukarno passed 10 declarations which incorporated famous ‘Panchsheel’ doctrine which became the cornerstone of India’s foreign policy.
The conference saw some of the underdeveloped third world countries coming together to resolve that they will not be party to any big powers of Cold War era, respect human rights, equality, and sovereignty of nations.
Tight security arrangements were made in the capital of West Java which is 153 kilometres from the national capital Jakarta. Seeing the congregation of such a large number of leaders, no vehicles were permitted on the road on which the walk has to take place.