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Kamis, 07 Mei 2015

A Brief Story from Asian-African Forum 2015

On Thursday, April 30, 2015 I received an invitation to attend the Asian-African Forum (AAF) 2015 organized by Office of International Affairs, Gadjah Mada University (UGM). The theme “Asian-African Collaboration on Education, Economy, Technology and Culture towards the Excellence and Leadership of New Emerging Countries” has been appealed me. Despite in fact I've signed up, I was getting a special invitation. I did not expect to this good news. I will tell you what is that, after these short story. Please allow me to tell you about my experience during AAF 2015. Let me start to show you the background of this conference. (
With Mr.Meena :p

The Bandung Conference has given Indonesia particular meanings. It revived the “bebas aktif” foreign policy, and now it has become a national heritage in the gallery of Indonesian as well as Bandung history. For younger generations of the country, however, the conference and its meaning have unfortunately turned out to be less appealing than other more recent inter-state initiatives such as APEC, ASEM and G20. The Bandung Conference is also an icon in the history of Indonesian diplomacy. It is a symbol of independence. The Bandung Conference Independence in policy, in action and in making choices. In the present context of international relations, cooperation between Asian and African countries remains critical, and even becomes more important than ever before. Both Asia and Africa continue to experience changes. Geo-economically speaking, Asia has become more and more strategic. With the rise of the South, and emerging economy like Indonesia, Asia is in a position to contribute to global growth. Democracy in Asia is also taking roots — becoming more substantive after a long process, whereas democratization in countries in North Africa and the Middle East has just begun by the phenomenon of “Arab Springs”. In the current globalization context wherein the world has become multi-polar and shrinkage and the humanitarian and ethical issues became world concerns. Poverty remains a pressing issue in both continents. 

The situation in Africa is more difficult because the poorest people of the world’s total seven billion population lives there. Moreover, it has become worse and worse whenever armed conflicts — often fueled by the illicit trade of small arms and light weapons — break out in countries on the continent. In view of the situations, it is very critical to reflect on the best ways to tap the practical and normative meanings of the Bandung Principles. One of the Bandung Principles clearly underlines the abstention from intervention or interference in the internal affairs of another country. But in reality, there are conditions that humanitarian intervention will eventually be invoked if all other efforts have failed. The sixty years commemoration of Asian-African Conference is an important step and momentum to develop a collective understanding on the need to enhance spirit of Bandung Conference towards the excellence of Asian-African countries while emerging the humanitarian and ethical norms and fighting against poverty of the region. Quoting president Sukarno’s opening speech at the Bandung Conference entitled “Let a New Asia and a New Africa be born,” the answer is that Asia and Africa can do much.

Mr. Meena from India (Political Geography lecturer)

Above all, in view of the issues, we perceive that the synergy of academicians, government, and experts within the region is needed, especially to set, drive and facilitate the needs of soft diplomacy through education towards the region’s excellence. The role of universities is also a key aspect to initiate the spirit to grow up together and to realize sustainability and peace in Asian-African region. The AAF 2015 has addressed this turmoil. Starting with opening ceremony by rector of Gadjah Mada University, the AAF 2015 presented some inspiring speakers from local and international level. It was an honor to meet H.E. Arif Havas OegrosenoAmbassador of Rep. of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, and the European Communities. He presented an interesting topic "Rethinking University Ranking: New alternatives in evaluating university quality in Asian-African Region". I learned how to judge the quality of a university from that indicators. But the main point was, the absence of 'social indicator' among them. We did not include that indicator to be an important consideration. We only know of the various aspects such as the reputation, journal publication, website activation, etc. We do not think about how the university has contributed to the society.
It was a honor to meet him, Mr. I Made Andi Arsana (a famous person) :p
I just wanted to peel my favourite presentation from Mr.Ahmad Yuniarto (Chairman of Schulmberger Indonesia) and Dr. Krishnendra Meena, a Political Geography lecturer from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India. Mr. Ahmad told the participants "Emerging Powers in Global Industry: Reviewing readiness of human resourcesin emerging countries for global industries". What a stunning presentation when he deliver with strong spirit, inspiring values, and his life stories. You have aroused my enthusiasm to pick up the dreams. After that we listened a speech from Dr. Meena. Overall he talked about the geopolitic of Asian countries, especially Indonesia towards that potential to Indo-Pacific Construction. There were three roles. The first one was because its location in strategic area in Southeast Asia. The second one was because the regional maritime leadership. And the last but not least, was because its geography view. Indonesia has many resources and it needs to be processed as possible. Sure, we don't expect foreigners to pick it up, right ?

Before the closing ceremony, Prof. Ir. Dwikorita Karnawati, M.Sc., Ph.D as a rector of UGM gave concluding remarks and declaration of statement. I took a point, it was about the role of youths and students to implement The Spirit of Bandung through contributions to the society, dedications, achievemnets, and youth partnership between Asian-African continent. Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to the committee. I learned many things from this forum. It was not only about a meeting but also learning. 

And...thank you Allah for this gift.  My  essay entitled "Strengthening Asian-African Cooperation: The New Spirit to Resolve Global Challenges" was chosen to get second prize in essay competition.


All AAF 2015 Speakers

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