3In its first annual report of October 3, 1953
the Commission recommended to the GeneralAssembly:"The United Nations might suggest ways and means in which the Union might draw up anew policy: for example, a round table conference of members of different ethnic groupsof the Union, which would, in an effort toward conciliation, make proposals to theGovernment to facilitate the peaceful development of the racial situation in the Union of South Africa. The United Nations might offer its help to that conference by sending anumber of United Nations representatives, so that all parties might be sure that thePrinciples of the Charter would guide the debates."In a joint memorandum to UNCORS in 1954
the African National Congress of South Africa andthe South African Indian Congress referred to this recommendation and said:“In view of the intransigence of the Union Government it is almost impossible to expectsuch a recommendation receiving a favourable response from Dr. Malan's Government inthe foreseeable future."However, the African National Congress has taken initiative in the matter and togetherwith the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats andthe South African Coloured People's Organisation is proposing to convene a Congress of the People by not later than June 1955
“For the first time in the history of South Africa all racial groups are co-operating tobring about an assembly elected directly by the people throughout the country to frame aFreedom Charter embodying the demands and aspirations of all sections of the SouthAfrican population.”
The Commission noted this initiative with satisfaction.
It devoted a section of its report to theGeneral Assembly in 1955
to the Congress of the People, and reproduced the full text of the“Freedom Charter” unanimously adopted by the Congress.Two months before the Congress of the People, in April 1955
the Asian-African Conferencewas held in Bandung, Indonesia, and was attended by all independent States in the twocontinents. The conveners excluded the Union of South Africa from the list of invitees. Adelegation from South Africa, composed of Moses Kotane of ANC and Molvi Cachalia of theSouth African Indian Congress, attended the Conference as observers and met with many of theHeads of State or Government of Asia and Africa.
Second report of the United Nations Commission on the Racial Situation in the Union of SouthAfrica (A/2719), paragraph 203.
., paragraph 371.