Govt gets plaudits for UNSC seat win

Jakarta, (ANTARA News) – The election of Indonesia as a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council drew widespread appreciation for the government, including from the opposition party.

The country began its campaign for the seat in 2016 with the focus on global peace and stability, sustainable development, and the fight against terrorism, radicalism, and extremism.

In the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Friday, 144 of the 190 countries that voted chose Indonesia to represent the Asia-Pacific region, only 46 favoured the Maldives.

Four others too became non-permanent members – South Africa for the African region, the Dominican Republic for Latin America and the Caribbean, and Germany and Belgium for West Europe and other countries.

Previously Indonesia was member of the UNSC in 1973-1974 and 1995-1996 under President Soeharto, and 2007-2008 under President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Indonesia will officially take the seat on January 1, 2019, to join five permanent members – the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France – and nine other non-permanent members.

The General Chairman of the countrys second largest non-political Islamic organisation, Muhammadiyah, Haedar Nashir, said on Saturday that the election reflected world recognition for Indonesias international policy.

Haedar expressed appreciation for the President, Joko Widodo, the Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla, and the Foreign Minister, Retno L Marsudi, for the success.

Indonesia would now be able to use the United Nations forum to campaign more effectively for global peace and justice, he said. He also expressed the hope that Indonesia could use the position to deal more effectively with Middle East conflict.

Muhammadiyah expressed the hope that the Indonesian government would be more proactive as a peace maker to find a solution to a number of conflicts, including the Rohingya and Palestinian issues.

The Indonesian University Professor of international law, Hikmahanto Juwana, said Indonesia would have a number of benefits from being a non-permanent member of the Security Council. The position would enable the country to be more active in helping maintain world peace.

“In line with its Constitution, Indonesia could be more active and take part in preserving world peace,” Hikmahanto said.

Hikmahanto further stated, “Indonesia, which always spoke strongly for full independence for Palestine, could directly bring the issue up at the Security Council. If the United Nations and the Security Council are reformed, it is not impossible that Indonesia is seen by the world as deserving a seat among the permanent members of the Security Council”.

A lawmaker of Commission I of the House of Representative, Roy Suryo, said the Security Council seat would give Indonesia a strategic position to apply the countrys free and active foreign policy.

Indonesia should utilise the position to push harder for the establishment of a “global comprehensive approach” in the fight against terrorism, radicalism and extremism, he said.

Earlier, the Foreign Minister said there were four priorities for Indonesia during its two-year tenure, 2019-2020. One of the priorities was to continue contribution to world peace by strengthening the global peace ecosystem and stability, the minister said. Indonesia would continue to strengthen the habits of dialogue and peaceful settlement of conflicts, she added.

The second priority was to develop synergy between regional organisation and the United Nations to maintain regional peace and security. The Minister emphasised the importance of strengthening regional organisations, as they were closer to areas of conflicts and could take the necessary action faster.

The third priority was to promote cooperation in fighting terrorism, radicalism and extremism.

The fourth was to create synergy between the efforts to preserve peace and the efforts for sustainable development.

Meanwhile, Sukamta, a lawmaker from the opposition Prosperous and Justice Party (PKS), said with the election of Indonesia as a non-permanent member of the Security Council, it could have a bigger role in settling conflicts in the world.

“Indonesia could be involved in talks on security and peace in issues such as the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Rohingya and Kashmir conflicts, as well as threats of terrorism in the Middle East such as in Saudi Arabia,” he said here on Saturday.

“We say congratulations for the election of Indonesia as a non-permanent member of the Security Council. A long struggle with sweet fruit,” he remarked.

Source: ANTARA News