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Association for Asian Union & Asia-Pacific Cooperation

A Non-Governmental Organization to promote the idea of UNITED ASIA (Founded 31 Aug. 2001)

Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE:  Asian Unity Day, 2 April 2017

This year on “Asian Unity Day”, April 2, 2017, let us take a pledge to work for a Democratic, Secular, Prosperous and United Asia, with a view to promoting World Peace. Pledge is to be taken by all Asians in Asia and in other continents and Non-Asians who want to promote World Peace. The pledge can be taken at any convenient time. This may be done individually or in groups.

The "Association for Asian Union & Asia Pacific Cooperation"(AAU&APC) is an NGO devoted to the cause of peace and prosperity in the world by focusing on the cause of Asian unity. It was founded in 2001 in New Delhi, India, by former Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal and other like-minded intellectuals.

The AAU&APC has been organizing Conferences, Seminars etc. since August 2001, and also started contacting Asian intellectuals and Governments to promote its goals from that time.

The AAU started commemorating the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” from April 2, 2012, though similar events were organized earlier on different days. A large number of days in a year are observed as special days for one cause or another, on which the UN Secretary General also issues special messages. There are special days for Europe, Africa and America and for Human Rights, Disarmament etc. but no day specially reminding us of the need for Asian Unity.

AAU had done some research and come to the conclusion that the 2nd of April should be declared as "Asian Unity Day" to be celebrated as such every year. It was from 23 March, to 2 April 1947 that the first Asian Relations Conference was organized in New Delhi. Delegations from 28 Asian countries had come to attend the Conference. The countries were: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia-Cochin China-Laos, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaya, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine Jewish Delegation, The Philippines, Siam, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. It was a truly pan-Asian gathering including participants from the extreme west of the continent like Egypt and Palestine to the extreme east like Korea and Vietnam and from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is interesting to notice that 8 of the 28 delegations were of the central Asian republics of what was then the Soviet Union and they are now independent countries. Observers from Arab League, Australia, London, Moscow, New York and the UNO were also present.

In his welcome address to the delegates, Jawahar Lal Nehru, then in the midst of Indian struggle for independence had said: “It is fitting that India should play her part in this new phase of Asian development. Apart from the fact that India herself is emerging into freedom and independence, she is the natural centre and focal point of many forces at work in Asia. Geography is a compelling factor, and geographically she is so situated as to be the meeting point of western and northern and eastern and south-east Asia. Because of this the history of India is a long history of her relations with other countries of Asia” Nehru became first Prime Minister of India later in August that year.

Addressing the Conference on the concluding day, April 2, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had said: "If you want to give a message of importance to the West it must be a message of love......The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of multiplication of atom bombs because such multiplication must destroy not merely all the West but the whole world.......It is up to you to deliver the whole world and not merely Asia from wickedness and sin. That is the precious heritage which your teachers and my teachers have left for us." How relevant this advice of Mahatma Gandhi is even today!

At the plenary session on the 2nd of April a Resolution (formally moved by the Chinese delegate, (Yuan-ning) was adopted, to establish an organization to be called “Asian Relations Organization”. A provisional “General Council”, consisting of 30 members from various countries was appointed. Nehru was chosen to be the first Head of the Council.

As it happened, this initiative of Indian leaders was overtaken by the coming of Cold War. Today the Cold War has been over for over two and a half decades. Europe has created an European Union, and Africa has created an African Union, while Asia still lacks a Pan-Asian body, which is a crying need of the day.

We all know how the institutions of the European Union have changed the scene in Europe. After the devastation of the two World Wars, and hundreds of years of struggle for the mastery of Europe, the European Union has transformed the continent which was the most dangerous region of the world into the most stable part of the world, while Asia has become the Continent of Instability and a potential source of future World Wars. Even the departure of UK from EU(Brexit)will not diminish the importance of this grouping of 27 countries.

It is felt that a positive idea celebrated annually will help in counteracting the various negative currents from time to time regarding relations among Asian countries, who have no option but to live in peace and amity in this nuclear age. If the 2nd of April is celebrated every year as “Asian Unity Day” it will promote the cause of peace and harmony in Asia as well as the whole World.

Fortunately the suggested date also falls in the spring season, a season of rebirth, renewal and hope and fit for celebrations.

 

 

Press Release: Asian Unity Day, 2 April 2013

This year on “Asian Unity Day”, April 2, 2013, let us take a pledge to work for a Democratic, Secular, Prosperous and United Asia, with a view to promoting World Peace. Pledge is to be taken by all Asians in Asia and in other continents and Non-Asians who want to promote World Peace .The pledge can be taken at any convenient time. This may be done individually or in groups.

The "Association for Asian Union"(AAU) is an NGO devoted to the cause of peace and prosperity in the world by focusing on the cause of Asian unity. It was founded in 2001 in New Delhi, India, by former Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal and other like-minded intellectuals.

The AAU has been organizing Conferences, Seminars etc. since August 2001, and also started contacting Asian intellectuals and Governments to promote its goals from that time.

The AAU started commemorating the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” from April 2, 2012, though similar events were organized earlier on different days. A large number of days in a year are observed as special days for one cause or another, on which the UN Secretary General also issues special messages. There are special days for Europe, Africa and America and for Human Rights, Disarmament etc. but no day specially reminding us of the need for Asian Unity.

AAU has done some research and come to the conclusion that the 2nd of April should be declared as "Asian Unity Day" to be celebrated as such every year. It was from 23 March, to 2 April 1947 that the first Asian Relations Conference was organized in New Delhi. Delegations from 28 Asian countries had come to attend the Conference. The countries were: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia-Cochin China-Laos, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaya, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine Jewish Delegation, The Philippines, Siam, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. It was a truly pan-Asian gathering including participants from the extreme west of the continent like Egypt and Palestine to the extreme east like Korea and Vietnam and from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is interesting to notice that 8 of the 28 delegations were of the central Asian republics of what was then the Soviet Union and they are now independent countries. Observers from Arab League, Australia, London, Moscow, New York and the UNO were also present.

In his welcome address to the delegates, Jawahar Lal Nehru, then in the midst of Indian struggle for independence had said: “It is fitting that India should play her part in this new phase of Asian development. Apart from the fact that India herself is emerging into freedom and independence, she is the natural centre and focal point of many forces at work in Asia. Geography is a compelling factor, and geographically she is so situated as to be the meeting point of western and northern and eastern and south-east Asia. Because of this the history of India is a long history of her relations with other countries of Asia” Nehru became first Prime Minister of India later in August that year.

Addressing the Conference on the concluding day, April 2, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had said: "If you want to give a message of importance to the West it must be a message of love......The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of multiplication of atom bombs because such multiplication must destroy not merely all the West but the whole world.......It is up to you to deliver the whole world and not merely Asia from wickedness and sin. That is the precious heritage which your teachers and my teachers have left for us." How relevant this advice of Mahatma Gandhi is even today!

At the plenary session on the 2nd of April a Resolution (formally moved by the Chinese delegate, (Yuan-ning) was adopted, to establish an organization to be called “Asian Relations Organization”. A provisional “General Council”, consisting of 30 members from various countries was appointed. Nehru was chosen to be the first Head of the Council.

As it happened, this initiative of Indian leaders was overtaken by the coming of Cold War. Today the Cold War has been over for over two and a half decades. Europe has created an European Union, and Africa has created an African Union, while Asia still lacks a Pan-Asian body, which is a crying need of the day.

We all know how the institutions of the European Union have changed the scene in Europe. After the devastation of the two World Wars, and hundreds of years of struggle for the mastery of Europe, the European Union has transformed the continent which was the most dangerous region of the world into the most stable part of the world, while Asia has become the Continent of Instability and a potential source of future World Wars. It is felt that a positive idea celebrated annually will help in counteracting the various negative currents from time to time regarding relations among Asian countries, who have no option but to live in peace and amity in this nuclear age. If the 2nd of April is celebrated every year as “Asian Unity Day” it will promote the cause of peace and harmony in Asia as well as the whole World.

Fortunately the suggested date also falls in the spring season, a season of rebirth, renewal and hope and fit for celebrations.

 

 

Press Release-  2nd April 2012.

             Asian Unity Day, 2 April 2012, at India International Centre.

The "Association for Asian Union"(AAU) is an NGO devoted to the cause of peace and prosperity in the world by focusing on the cause of Asian unity. It was founded in 2001 by former Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal and other like-minded intellectuals. The AAU has been organizing Conferences, Seminars etc. and contacting Asian intellectuals and Governments to promote its goals. The AAU has decided to commemorate the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” every year.

A large number of days in a year are observed as special days for one cause or another, on which the UN Secretary General also issues special messages. There are special days for Europe, Africa, America etc., but no day specially reminding us of the need for Asian Unity. In this context AAU has done some research and come to the conclusion that the 2nd of April should be declared as "Asian Unity Day" to be celebrated as such every year, and that India should take the initiative for doing this.

It was from 23 March, to 2 April 1947 that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Minister, Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachary and Maulana Abul kalam Azad and others    organized the first Asian Relations Conference in Purana Quila of New Delhi. The fact that they did it in the mist of the Independence Struggle and just 5 months before August 15, 1947 shows the importance the Asian Idea had in their mind. Delegations from 28 Asian countries had come to attend the Conference. The countries were: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia-Cochin China-Laos, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaya, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine Jewish Delegation, The Philippines, Siam, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

It was a truly pan-Asian gathering including participants from the extreme west of the continent like Egypt and Palestine to the extreme east like Korea and Vietnam and from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is interesting to notice that 8 of the 28 delegations were of the central Asian republics of what was then the Soviet Union and they are now independent countries. Observers from Arab League, Australia, London, Moscow, New York and the UNO were also present.

In his welcome address to the delegates, Nehru said: "It is fitting that India should play her part in this new phase of Asian development. Apart from the fact that India herself is emerging into freedom and independence, she is the natural centre and focal point of many forces at work in Asia. Geography is a compelling factor, and geographically she is so situated as to be the meeting point of western and northern and eastern and south-east Asia. Because of this the history of India is a long history of her relations with other countries of Asia.

Addressing the Conference on the concluding day, the April 2, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had said: "If you want to give a message of importance to the West it must be a message of love......The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of multiplication of atom bombs because such multiplication must destroy not merely all the West but the whole world.......It is up to you to deliver the whole world and not merely Asia from wickedness and sin. That is the precious heritage which your teachers and my teachers have left for us." How relevant this advice of Mahatma Gandhi is even today!

At the plenary session on the 2nd of April a Resolution (formally moved by the Chinese delegate, (Yuan-ning) was adopted, to establish an organization to be called “Asian Relations Organization”. A provisional “General Council”, consisting of 30 members from various countries was appointed. Nehru was chosen to be the first Head of the Council.

As it happened, this initiative of our leaders was overtaken by the coming of Communism to China in 1948 and the subsequent Cold War. Nehru had to remould his Asian vision into the Non-aligned movement by bringing in Africa and others. Today the Cold War has been over for over two decades and Africa has already created an African Union, while Asia still lacks a Pan-Asian body, which is a crying need of the day.

We all know how the institutions of the European Union have changed the scene in Europe. After the devastation of the two world wars, and hundreds of years of struggle for the mastery of Europe, the European Union has transformed the continent which was the most dangerous region of the world into the most stable part of the world, while Asia has become the Continent of Instability.

If the 2nd of April is observed and celebrated every year as Asian Unity day it will remind us of the great vision of our leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and others of the period prior to our independence, and will also promote the cause of peace and harmony in Asia. We appeal to our Government to declare the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” to be commemorated as such every year. Once our Government does this, other countries of Asia may follow suit. Fortunately the suggested date also falls in the spring season, a season of rebirth, renewal and hope and fit for celebrations.

In the above context, the "AAU” has organized an Interactive Seminar on 2nd April, 2012, The subject chosen is: "Progress of Democracy in Asia is the Key to an Asian Union". Foreign and Indian Ambassadors as well as Intellectuals from all fields will participate.The AAU fervently believes that the dream of a Pan-Asian Organization will be fulfilled before too long. It is also felt that a positive idea celebrated annually will help in counteracting the various negative currents from time to time regarding relations among Asian countries, who have no option but to live in peace and amity in this nuclear age.

The AAU has also written a letter on 16th of January 2012 to the Prime Minister of India, with a copy to the External Affairs Minister requesting that the 2nd of April may be declared as “Asian Unity Day” and commemorated every year in a suitable way. It is hoped the Government will act soon on the request. The subject was also raised at the Annual General meeting of India International Centre on 31 March 2012, with a suggestion that an Asia Day may be introduced in the annual calendar of IIC.  The President of the Centre, Soli Sorabji welcomed the suggestion whole-heartedly.. We hope it will take the shape of an “Asia Week”, culminating in an “Asian Unity Day” on the 2nd of April every year.

Postscript to Press Release of 2nd April, 2012, regarding Seminar of Association for Asian Union,On"Progress of Democracy in Asia is the Key to an Asian Union".

"There was a well-attended and thought-provoking Interactive - Seminar on the evening of 2nd April which threw up several interesting and useful ideas.   The emphasis was not on listening to long speeches of one or two VIPs and then forgetting all about it but a real Socratic Dialogue through questions and answers from the enthusiastic audience.

There was a general consensus that Democracy is necessary for the long-term success of a future Asian Union, though it need not be a pre-condition for admission, as long as there is adequate participation of the people in the Government.

Some participants also said even a country which is not fully Democratic was bound to change once it is in the Asian Union. The example of change in Myanmar after admission into ASEAN, was cited as an example.

One participant said the AAU is sowing the seed of an Asian Union, just as the then French Foreign Minister did for the European Union.

One useful idea which emerged was that the internet can be of great help in establishing an Asian Union.  Members of the Executive Committee and some other enthusiasts are already working on this idea. Facebook and Twitter will be fully used and an Electronic Newsletters will be started in India and elsewhere."

 

Press Release: Asian Unity Day, 2 April 2013

This year on “Asian Unity Day”, April 2, 2013, let us take a pledge to work for a Democratic, Secular, Prosperous and United Asia, with a view to promoting World Peace. Pledge is to be taken by all Asians in Asia and in other continents and Non-Asians who want to promote World Peace .The pledge can be taken at any convenient time. This may be done individually or in groups.

The "Association for Asian Union"(AAU) is an NGO devoted to the cause of peace and prosperity in the world by focusing on the cause of Asian unity. It was founded in 2001 in New Delhi, India, by former Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal and other like-minded intellectuals.

The AAU has been organizing Conferences, Seminars etc. since August 2001, and also started contacting Asian intellectuals and Governments to promote its goals from that time.

The AAU started commemorating the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” from April 2, 2012, though similar events were organized earlier on different days. A large number of days in a year are observed as special days for one cause or another, on which the UN Secretary General also issues special messages. There are special days for Europe, Africa and America and for Human Rights, Disarmament etc. but no day specially reminding us of the need for Asian Unity.

AAU has done some research and come to the conclusion that the 2nd of April should be declared as "Asian Unity Day" to be celebrated as such every year. It was from 23 March, to 2 April 1947 that the first Asian Relations Conference was organized in New Delhi. Delegations from 28 Asian countries had come to attend the Conference. The countries were: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia-Cochin China-Laos, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaya, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine Jewish Delegation, The Philippines, Siam, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. It was a truly pan-Asian gathering including participants from the extreme west of the continent like Egypt and Palestine to the extreme east like Korea and Vietnam and from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is interesting to notice that 8 of the 28 delegations were of the central Asian republics of what was then the Soviet Union and they are now independent countries. Observers from Arab League, Australia, London, Moscow, New York and the UNO were also present.

In his welcome address to the delegates, Jawahar Lal Nehru, then in the midst of Indian struggle for independence had said: “It is fitting that India should play her part in this new phase of Asian development. Apart from the fact that India herself is emerging into freedom and independence, she is the natural centre and focal point of many forces at work in Asia. Geography is a compelling factor, and geographically she is so situated as to be the meeting point of western and northern and eastern and south-east Asia. Because of this the history of India is a long history of her relations with other countries of Asia” Nehru became first Prime Minister of India later in August that year.

Addressing the Conference on the concluding day, April 2, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had said: "If you want to give a message of importance to the West it must be a message of love......The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of multiplication of atom bombs because such multiplication must destroy not merely all the West but the whole world.......It is up to you to deliver the whole world and not merely Asia from wickedness and sin. That is the precious heritage which your teachers and my teachers have left for us." How relevant this advice of Mahatma Gandhi is even today!

At the plenary session on the 2nd of April a Resolution (formally moved by the Chinese delegate, (Yuan-ning) was adopted, to establish an organization to be called “Asian Relations Organization”. A provisional “General Council”, consisting of 30 members from various countries was appointed. Nehru was chosen to be the first Head of the Council.

As it happened, this initiative of Indian leaders was overtaken by the coming of Cold War. Today the Cold War has been over for over two and a half decades. Europe has created an European Union, and Africa has created an African Union, while Asia still lacks a Pan-Asian body, which is a crying need of the day.

We all know how the institutions of the European Union have changed the scene in Europe. After the devastation of the two World Wars, and hundreds of years of struggle for the mastery of Europe, the European Union has transformed the continent which was the most dangerous region of the world into the most stable part of the world, while Asia has become the Continent of Instability and a potential source of future World Wars. It is felt that a positive idea celebrated annually will help in counteracting the various negative currents from time to time regarding relations among Asian countries, who have no option but to live in peace and amity in this nuclear age. If the 2nd of April is celebrated every year as “Asian Unity Day” it will promote the cause of peace and harmony in Asia as well as the whole World.

Fortunately the suggested date also falls in the spring season, a season of rebirth, renewal and hope and fit for celebrations.

 

 

Press Release:  2nd April 2012.

             Asian Unity Day, 2 April 2012, at India International Centre.

The "Association for Asian Union"(AAU) is an NGO devoted to the cause of peace and prosperity in the world by focusing on the cause of Asian unity. It was founded in 2001 by former Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal and other like-minded intellectuals. The AAU has been organizing Conferences, Seminars etc. and contacting Asian intellectuals and Governments to promote its goals. The AAU has decided to commemorate the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” every year.

A large number of days in a year are observed as special days for one cause or another, on which the UN Secretary General also issues special messages. There are special days for Europe, Africa, America etc., but no day specially reminding us of the need for Asian Unity. In this context AAU has done some research and come to the conclusion that the 2nd of April should be declared as "Asian Unity Day" to be celebrated as such every year, and that India should take the initiative for doing this.

It was from 23 March, to 2 April 1947 that Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Minister, Sarojini Naidu, C. Rajagopalachary and Maulana Abul kalam Azad and others    organized the first Asian Relations Conference in Purana Quila of New Delhi. The fact that they did it in the mist of the Independence Struggle and just 5 months before August 15, 1947 shows the importance the Asian Idea had in their mind. Delegations from 28 Asian countries had come to attend the Conference. The countries were: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia-Cochin China-Laos, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaya, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine Jewish Delegation, The Philippines, Siam, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

It was a truly pan-Asian gathering including participants from the extreme west of the continent like Egypt and Palestine to the extreme east like Korea and Vietnam and from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is interesting to notice that 8 of the 28 delegations were of the central Asian republics of what was then the Soviet Union and they are now independent countries. Observers from Arab League, Australia, London, Moscow, New York and the UNO were also present.

In his welcome address to the delegates, Nehru said: "It is fitting that India should play her part in this new phase of Asian development. Apart from the fact that India herself is emerging into freedom and independence, she is the natural centre and focal point of many forces at work in Asia. Geography is a compelling factor, and geographically she is so situated as to be the meeting point of western and northern and eastern and south-east Asia. Because of this the history of India is a long history of her relations with other countries of Asia.

Addressing the Conference on the concluding day, the April 2, 1947, Mahatma Gandhi had said: "If you want to give a message of importance to the West it must be a message of love......The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of multiplication of atom bombs because such multiplication must destroy not merely all the West but the whole world.......It is up to you to deliver the whole world and not merely Asia from wickedness and sin. That is the precious heritage which your teachers and my teachers have left for us." How relevant this advice of Mahatma Gandhi is even today!

At the plenary session on the 2nd of April a Resolution (formally moved by the Chinese delegate, (Yuan-ning) was adopted, to establish an organization to be called “Asian Relations Organization”. A provisional “General Council”, consisting of 30 members from various countries was appointed. Nehru was chosen to be the first Head of the Council.

As it happened, this initiative of our leaders was overtaken by the coming of Communism to China in 1948 and the subsequent Cold War. Nehru had to remould his Asian vision into the Non-aligned movement by bringing in Africa and others. Today the Cold War has been over for over two decades and Africa has already created an African Union, while Asia still lacks a Pan-Asian body, which is a crying need of the day.

We all know how the institutions of the European Union have changed the scene in Europe. After the devastation of the two world wars, and hundreds of years of struggle for the mastery of Europe, the European Union has transformed the continent which was the most dangerous region of the world into the most stable part of the world, while Asia has become the Continent of Instability.

If the 2nd of April is observed and celebrated every year as Asian Unity day it will remind us of the great vision of our leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru and others of the period prior to our independence, and will also promote the cause of peace and harmony in Asia. We appeal to our Government to declare the 2nd of April as “Asian Unity Day” to be commemorated as such every year. Once our Government does this, other countries of Asia may follow suit. Fortunately the suggested date also falls in the spring season, a season of rebirth, renewal and hope and fit for celebrations.

In the above context, the "AAU” has organized an Interactive Seminar on 2nd April, 2012, The subject chosen is: "Progress of Democracy in Asia is the Key to an Asian Union". Foreign and Indian Ambassadors as well as Intellectuals from all fields will participate.The AAU fervently believes that the dream of a Pan-Asian Organization will be fulfilled before too long. It is also felt that a positive idea celebrated annually will help in counteracting the various negative currents from time to time regarding relations among Asian countries, who have no option but to live in peace and amity in this nuclear age.

The AAU has also written a letter on 16th of January 2012 to the Prime Minister of India, with a copy to the External Affairs Minister requesting that the 2nd of April may be declared as “Asian Unity Day” and commemorated every year in a suitable way. It is hoped the Government will act soon on the request. The subject was also raised at the Annual General meeting of India International Centre on 31 March 2012, with a suggestion that an Asia Day may be introduced in the annual calendar of IIC.  The President of the Centre, Soli Sorabji welcomed the suggestion whole-heartedly.. We hope it will take the shape of an “Asia Week”, culminating in an “Asian Unity Day” on the 2nd of April every year.

 

 

Postscript to Press Release of 2nd April, 2012, regarding Seminar of Association for Asian Union, On "Progress of Democracy in Asia is the Key to an Asian Union".

"There was a well-attended and thought-provoking Interactive - Seminar on the evening of 2nd April which threw up several interesting and useful ideas.   The emphasis was not on listening to long speeches of one or two VIPs and then forgetting all about it but a real Socratic Dialogue through questions and answers from the enthusiastic audience.

There was a general consensus that Democracy is necessary for the long-term success of a future Asian Union, though it need not be a pre-condition for admission, as long as there is adequate participation of the people in the Government.

Some participants also said even a country which is not fully Democratic was bound to change once it is in the Asian Union. The example of change in Myanmar after admission into ASEAN, was cited as an example.

One participant said the AAU is sowing the seed of an Asian Union, just as the then French Foreign Minister did for the European Union.

One useful idea which emerged was that the internet can be of great help in establishing an Asian Union.  Members of the Executive Committee and some other enthusiasts are already working on this idea. Facebook and Twitter will be fully used and an Electronic Newsletters will be started in India and elsewhere."

 

 

60th Anniversary of the First Asian Relations Conference of March 1947

                                                       23rd March 2007

The "Association for Asian Union" is an NGO devoted to the cause of peace and prosperity in the world by focusing on the cause of Asian unity. It was founded in 2001by former Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal and other like-minded intellectuals. The AAU has been organizing Conferences, Seminars etc. and contacting Asian intellectuals and Governments to promote the goals.

               Nehru was a man of vision and had organized the first Asian Relations Conference from March 23 to April 2 in Purana Kila, even before our independence. Delegations from 28 Asian countries had come to attend the Conference. The countries were: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Burma, Cambodia-Cochin China-Laos, Ceylon, China, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Malaya, Mongolia, Nepal, Palestine Jewish Delegation, The Philippines, Siam, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. It was a truly pan-Asian gathering including participant ant from the extreme west of the continent like Egypt and Palestine to the extreme east like Korea and Vietnam and from Mongolia in the north to Indonesia in the south. It is interesting to notice that 8 of the 28 delegations were of the central Asian republics of what was then the Soviet Union and they are now independent countries. Observers from Arab League, Australia, London, Moscow, New York and the UNO were also present.

               In his welcome address to the delegates, Nehru said: "It is fitting that India should play her part in this new phase of Asian development. Apart from the fact that India herself is emerging into freedom and independence, she is the natural centre and focal point of many forces at work in Asia. Geography is a compelling factor, and geographically she is so situated as to be the meeting point of western and northern and eastern and southeast Asia. Because of this the history of India is a long history of her relations with other countries of Asia."

               Addressing the Conference on April 2, 1947 Mahatma Gandhi had said: "If you want to give a message of importance to the West it must be a message of love......The West is today pining for wisdom. It is despairing of multiplication of atom bombs because such multiplication must destroy not merely all the West but the whole world.......It is up to you to deliver the whole world and not merely Asia from wickedness and sin. That is the precious heritage which your teachers and my teachers have left for us." How relevant this advice of Mahatma Gandhi is even today!

                 Nehru had emphasized that the idea underlying the Conference was "in no way aggressive or against any other continent or country." He added, "Ever since news of this Conference went abroad some people in Europe or America have viewed it with doubt imagining that it was some kind of a Pan-Asian movement directed against Europe or America. We have no designs against anybody; ours is the great design of promoting peace and progress all over the world."

              This passage from Nehru’s speech of 1947 was also quoted by Rajiv Gandhi when he organized the 40th anniversary of the 1947 Conference in 1987 in Delhi.

             At the end of the Conference of 1947 a resolution, moved by Wen Yuan-Ning of China, was adopted to set up an "Asian Relations Organization". A provisional General Council, consisting of 30 members from various countries was also appointed, with Jawahar Lal Nehru as its first Head.

              As it happened Nehru's initiative was overtaken by the Cold War and he had to remould it into the Non-aligned movement by bringing in Africa and others. Today the Cold War is over and Africa has already created an African Union, while Asia still lacks a Pan-Asian body. It is time to remind ourselves of Nehru’s great vision. Rajiv Gandhi's commemoration also happened before the end of the Cold War, though the fact it was on the eve of the end of the Cold War shows that he had some premonition of that and considered it worthwhile to revive the idea. Now when the Cold War is actually over, revival of Nehru's vision is very appropriate. Therefore the Association for Asian union has organized the present Seminar on the 60th Anniversary of the First Asian Relations Conference. The Association for Asian Union fervently believes that the dream of a Pan-Asian Organization will be fulfilled before too long.

              This Seminar will be attended by eminent persons from all walks of life as well as Heads of Diplomatic Missions and other diplomats from Asia and beyond. In his keynote address to the Seminar today, Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, Minister for Panchayati Raj, Youth Affairs and Sports and Development of the North Eastern Region , Government of India says that having become free we should use that freedom" to restore our countries, our region and our shared continent to their civilizational and historical eminence, so that Asia might resume its millennial role as the beacon-light to all humankind and so that the 21st century becomes the 'Asian Century' He also says "It is necessary to ensure that this Asian Century is based on mutual cooperation and respect as embodied in the Panchsheel-the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence adumbrated by Prime Minister Jawahar lal Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai half a century ago. He has also suggested a plan "to bring together the energy surplus and energy deficit countries of Asia on to a common platform of Asian Energy Security"

Post Script- The Seminar was held successfully with a large attendance. Apart from the key-note address of Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, there were speeched by Ambassadors of Turkey and Kazakhstan and Deputy Head of European Commission as well as a Political Attaché of the Chinese Embassy. All the speakers were very positive about the idea of an Asian entity.

 

 

                                            7th May 2005

              In preparation for the 60th Anniversary of the first Asian Relations Conference held in New Delhi in March 1947, the “Association for Asian union” held a Seminar on “Asia in 21rst Century-Peace and Prosperity through Unity”, at India International Center on & 7May 2005. This was the second in a series started on 10 February 2005, with inauguration by Shri Mani Shankar Aiyar, Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Panchayati Raj. Diplomats, defense experts, technocrats, university professors, and representatives of NGOs, journalists and businessmen addressed the Seminar. There was unanimity about need for an Asian Union, which may be preceded by an Asian Economic Community.

              Dr. Beni Prasad Agarwal, Former Indian Ambassador and Professor of Political Science, who founded the AAU in August 2001, gave the background and also said he was assured by Government of India that the 60thAnniversary of the 1947 Conference arranged by Jawahar Lal Nehru will be celebrated in a befitting manner in 2007.

            In a message received form the External Affairs Minister, Shri K.Natwar Singh, the need for Asians “to come together” was emphasized. Representative of the European Union said the ideal of Asian unity was worth pursuing for the benefit of all. A senior diplomat of Iran referred to the benefits, which may accrue from a gas pipeline form Iran

             The Association for Asian Union has been entrusted with the task of preparatory work for the 2007 Conference and is planning a major Conference in 2006 of intellectuals from all countries of Asia.