Twelve years ago, the peoples of Africa and Asia met in the revolutionary capital of the United Arab Republic to map out a strategy for the eviction of colonialists from Africa and Asia, and for the liquidation of world imperialism. They formed the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation, which soon grew into a great collective - a movement of the peoples, not only of Asia and Africa, but of the whole of the progressive world.
Today, the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation meeting in Council in the revolutionary capital of Libya, can proudly cast its eyes to the east of Tripoli, to the west, to the African land mass in the south, and even to the north across the waters of the Mediterranean, and will there see great young independent nations growing on the ruins of colonial domination - and all those who participated in the historic meeting of 1958 share the sense of achievement we all feel today, as we enter the dynamic, and highly explosive decade of the 1970s.
But even as we survey the world scene from this northern city of Africa, we not only see the new flags of freedom flying where once colonialism ruled supreme, we also see the banners of revolutionary anti-imperialist detachments as they engage the enemy in fierce and bitter conflict in different parts of the world. Indeed, this Council meets at a time when, as never before, the strongholds of imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism and racism are being challenged, harassed and attacked in a global anti-imperialist offensive which, even in the short space of time since the last meeting of the Council, has assumed a new intensity and a new ferocity, precisely because of the resolute determination of the peace-loving peoples of the world to seize, and retain, their dignity and independence - a determination which is matched by the equally resolute determination of the imperialists not only to retain what remains of their shrunken empires, but also to reconquer and nullify the hard-won gains of the national liberation movement, the world socialist system and the toiling workers and peasants of the world. Thus the struggle of the great and heroic people of Vietnam against United States imperialism continues unabated; United States intervention in the internal affairs of the people of Indo-China falls into line with Washington's global strategy for domination; the intransigence of Israel in its continued occupation of Arab lands and its denial of the just demands of the Palestinian people has turned the Middle East into an explosive battle ground seriously endangering world peace and security; the courageous people of Guinea-Bissau are pushing the NATO-supported Portuguese colonialists out of Africa in the course of bitter armed confrontation, while the black masses and youth of America wage a militant struggle against racial discrimination, exploitation and United States imperialism, with the continuing resistance of the revolutionary people of Cuba and Latin America to the same imperialism; and in the embattled southern Africa, the peoples of Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe are fighting wars of liberation against an imperialist-backed alliance of Portuguese colonialists, Rhodesian racists and South African fascists.
An Unfinished Revolution
There is clear evidence that imperialism is losing ground, but it is also clear that the bitterest battles have yet to be fought in the course of Africa and Asia and for the complete defeat of imperialism.
It follows from what I have said that the Afro-Asian revolution which AAPSO was formed to accelerate remains, and will yet remain, an unfinished revolution, especially if the mighty anti-imperialist forces continue in their present state of disunity, and if "massive" or "increased" material assistance to fighting peoples ends, where it begins, in speeches and resolutions.
If therefore, I have any message for this Council meeting, comprising militants and revolutionaries from the battle fronts of armed conflict it is a simple one.
Firstly, with the object of launching a decisive offensive to crush all resistance to the forces for peace and progress, let AAPSO initiate a new and powerful campaign to sink all differences and forge a solid united front of all anti-imperialist forces.
Secondly, let this Council adopt a resolution in which it deplores the fact that the tens of thousands of millions of peoples of the world who support the national liberation movement cannot provide enough firearms, trucks, food, medicine and funds for even the handful of liberation movements fighting against colonialism and racism in Africa.
In conclusion, I wish to salute this Council meeting in the name of the fighting people of South Africa and to acknowledge the valuable assistance and support given by our independent brothers and sisters in Africa and by AAPSO countries, and by our brothers in the socialist countries in Europe. In particular, I salute the leaders of the new, dynamic and revolutionary Republic of Libya which joined the vanguard of the anti-imperialist forces at a crucial moment in the history of the Middle East, and which has already played a historic role in its massive assistance to the struggle of the Palestinian people against Israeli domination. And here it is appropriate to recall the tragic and ill-timed death of one of Africa's political giants and an unequalled leader of his people, the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-70), President of Egypt (1956-70), passed away in 1970. He fell, like the great soldier he was, in the forefront of the fierce struggle for the rights of man, for justice, for freedom, for peace.
It is our historic task, as the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organisation, to continue that struggle with added vigour until final victory is won.
Long Live AAPSO!
Long Live the Cause of Freedom!