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At BRICS, Indonesian President Invokes ‘Bandung Spirit’ against Threats to Human Life

Aug. 25, 2023, 2022 (EIRNS)—“My presence today is not only as a leader of Indonesia, but as a fellow leader of the Global South, which represents 85% of the world’s population, who wants a win-win formula,” President Joko Widodo stated in his address to the BRICS-Africa Outreach and BRICS Plus Dialogue on Aug. 24. Speaking in his capacity as the current chair of ASEAN, the Indonesian President situated the mission of the BRICS as a continuation of the anti-colonial movement launched out of the historic 1955 conference in Bandung, Indonesia: “My presence here is also based on the desire to continue to revive the ‘Bandung spirit’ which is still very relevant today, where solidarity, solidity and cooperation between developing countries need to be strengthened.”

President Jokowi (as he is commonly called) worries that the current world situation of war and conflict “threatens human life,” the Presidential Office reported. He is then quoted: “War and conflict have caused a human tragedy, the food crisis has resulted in tens of millions of people falling into poverty.... The threat of climate change ... stalks humanity” also.

Discrimination against the progress of developing countries must end, he insisted, and the injustice in the world economic order that increases the gap in economic development between developing countries and other countries be resolved immediately. “Industrial downstreaming”—the right of nations to process their raw materials themselves—“must not be hindered. We must all continue to voice equal and inclusive cooperation.”

As for Indonesia itself joining the BRICS, Jokowi told the press in Johannesburg that Indonesia has not submitted a “letter of expression of interest” in joining the group. He left the door open to doing so, but said that “until now, Indonesia has not submitted the letter because we want to study it first, calculate it first, we don’t want to be hasty. Also, our relations with the five BRICS members are also very good and especially in the economic field.”

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