Editorial: After a Week of Talks, We Need Real Action on Palestine

APRIL 23, 2015

Despite all of its domestic problems Indonesia has never shied away from engaging with the world, and has become a force in mediating for peace in many disputes and conflicts.

Throughout our history, we have never been an inward-looking nation, regardless of how miserable life in the country has been. We have always been an open and cosmopolitan nation, one that absorbs universal values — respect for human rights and democracy above all.

Just 10 years after its independence from colonial rule, Indonesia held the Asian-African Conference in Bandung, one of the most impactful events in the post-war era. The spirit of that event inspired nations in Asia, Africa and elsewhere to break the shackles of imperialism and injustice.

The United States recognizes this.

“Indonesia has long been a champion for peace and cooperation on the international stage. Very notably, however, over the past 17 years Indonesia also has become a model of democratic transformation, religious pluralism and tolerance, and economic development,” US Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., said at the Asian-Africa Conference on Thursday.

The 10 principles of the Bandung Spirit, which emphasize peace, independence and social justice, are still very relevant today. And if Asian and African nations can work together and united under the principles, they could make a difference and help solve the most pressing global problems.

But a conference and its declarations are just talk unless followed by action.

We can start acting by making a real push for an independent Palestinian state. If the countries can come out with a united voice and action in compelling the United States and the United Nation to realize the two-state solution, then they can break the chains of the last nation under colonization.

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