There is an argument that the Third World countries are not enjoying their sovereignty regime due to the interference by the Western countries. Instead of freedom being based on the idea of nations, it is now defined as freedom with little interference. The term later became the definition of decolonization as colonies were not leaving their subjects entirely alone. For the new states to be decolonization-free, they had to fight for universal sovereignty. Therefore, the Third World countries had to strategize means that could enable them to escape the pangs of the powerful countries by first claiming neutrality when a fight broke between the states. Through this, they could move away from the negative sovereignty, which allowed them articulate norms and conducts that could govern them in the post-war global order.
The first meeting of the people of color in the history of humanity occurred in Asia after World War II. Five states sponsored the meeting: India, Pakistan, Ceylon, Burma, and Indonesia, and it was referred to as the Conference of South-East Asian Prime Ministers or Colombo powers. It was attended by 29 countries from Asia and Africa, while Pre-independence Cyprus and African National Congress were the observers. One can argue that other meetings had taken place previously in Brussel (1927) and New Delhi (1947), but the one in Bandung (1955) was a necessity rather than a choice. The condition was because the nations were no longer colonies and were free, self-governed, and independent. The Delhi meeting was declared unofficial as the yet-independent states attended while the host country was still under colonial rule. On the other hand, the New Delhi meeting focused on the cold war issues and the military alliances. The Bandung meeting was declared official and addressed topics such as colonialism and self-determination.
Some of the issues discussed in the Bandung meeting include: racial problems, labor problems, cultural problems, and women’s status and movements. In the forum, there was an agreement not to offer help to the foreign domination in Asia. Again, immigrants should identify themselves as the nationals of the country they live in at the moment. There was no room for any discrimination in these states, the existence of religious freedom, and the equality of law irrespective of one’s nationality. These steps were to help the countries achieve sovereignty rather than mainly focusing on building international relations. Additionally, there was the need to address the hostility issues arising from the pressure from the powerful states on the Third World countries. Through this, the Asian and African countries could be allowed to establish friendliness environment and neighborhood status between themselves. An agreement was reached that one country’s government formation and way of life should not be interfered with by the other. Breaking this rule will mean going against the non-interference policy set by the Colombo countries. This central idea was prioritized since the US and the Soviet Union were the culprits, especially in Southeast Asia.
The meeting was characterized by two significant controversies: communism and objectivity in deciding the international relations norms. In communism, some leaders felt like communism was a newer colonialism form; therefore, leaders should oppose it like they did with Western imperialism. Ceylon, Iraq, Turkey, and some sections of the Philippines, while China saw it as a liberal way of association. On the norms of international relations, Nehru’s leader felt that Pakistan’s sovereign status was compromised if they entered into regional pacts. Nehru predicted the existence of spheres of influence led by Turkey as a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) that could lead to interference in other state affairs. These two controversies were linked as regional pacts could lead to the possibility of sovereignty undermining through communist invasions. This could damage the professed doctrine of non-interference they were propagating. In the end, they decided to eliminate all aspects of colonialism, ranging from imperialism to communism.