Asian, African leaders vow to improve trade, fight crime, support Palestinians

World Today

A view of the venue of the Asian-African Summit prior to its start in Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, on April 22, 2015. (Xinhua/Lui Siu Wai) (nxl)

JAKARTA — A summit aimed at reinvigorating cooperation between Asian and African countries concluded Thursday with three major outcomes. Leaders signed the Bandung Message which vows to bolster efforts to combat transnational organized crime and terrorism, they also signed the Declaration on Reinvigorating the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP), and the Declaration of Palestine, which reaffirmed support for Palestinian people to retain their right to self-determination.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo said common challenges between the participating countries can be overcome with closer cooperation. Widodo said the leaders and delegates from Asian and African countries worked hard to produce concrete steps in ensuring the financial availability for infrastructure development, among others, through the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Co-chairman of the summit Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe also said that Asian and African countries will pursue a fair multilateral trading system to contribute to growth, investment and job opportunities, as well as promotes sustainable development.

The summit also recognized the centrality of the maritime sector as well as the strategic importance of the Indian Ocean in bridging the economic development in Asia and Africa.

“Maritime cooperation will become one of the pillars of the New Asian African Strategic Partnership,” Mugabe said.

Leaders also agreed to hold the conference every 10 years. Biennial ministerial consultations at the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York will also be held.

They will also rotate the co-chairmanship of the NAASP every four years and they declared April 24 as Asia-Africa Day and Bandung as the capital city of solidarity of Asia-Africa.

The two-day summit was held under the theme “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity”.

Story by Xinhua News.