Indonesia has set its top priorities and one special item that it wants to achieve during its two-year term as a nonpermanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), which ends in December 2020. As the frontline executor of policy, the Foreign Ministry is expected to stick to achievable targets, like a UN resolution to save the lives of millions of Rohingya in Myamar and at the Bangladeshi border.
Indonesia tends to speak and act on behalf of developing countries in the face of much richer and more advanced nations. These efforts have often been effective and workable, but they have not resulted in changes on many occasions.
For example, Indonesia has for almost four decades pushed in vain for UNSC reform. On this international platform, reforming the UNSC means questioning the veto power of the five permanent members and expanding the big five by giving veto power to a representative country of developing nations, which form the majority in the UN.
“Our position is basically that the membership of the UN Security Council must be adjusted to the situation and the number of countries in the world today,” said Febrian Ruddyard, the Foreign Ministry’s director general for multilateral cooperation.
Indonesia apparently hopes its UNSC nonpermanent member status will amplify its voice on the reform issue and elicit a response from the UN’s powerful members. Experience has shown, however, that such antiestablishment calls fall on deaf ears.
Indonesia therefore needs to set more realistic targets and fight it out, especially the four priority issues — promoting world peace, engendering synergy between regional groupings and the UN to maintain peace and stability, encouraging cooperation in the fight against terrorism, extremism and radicalism, and pushing for concerted efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) — as well as pay special attention to the Palestine issue.
Its consistent participation in UN peacekeeping missions, experience in counterterrorism and democratic credentials will surely help Indonesia convince the UN to support its priority agenda while contributing to world peace and order, for which the UN was founded.
As a regular provider of Blue Helmet troops, Indonesia is committed to boosting peacekeeping and peacebuilding and to improving the quality and effectiveness of peacekeeping missions.
In the area of terrorism, extremism and radicalism eradication, Indonesia is considered a role model for championing law enforcement, unlike other countries that have pursued extrajudicial measures.
While the four priorities and the Palestine issue may not be realized anytime soon, or even by the time Indonesia completes its term on the UNSC next year, the country’s two-year tenure would be more relevant if the impacts are felt at home and in Southeast Asia.
Indonesia’s push for a resolution on the Rohingya crisis will be meaningful, given the many years that the minority Muslim people have endured their ordeal. It will be a Herculean task, because a resolution requires the support of at least nine member countries — and veto powers apply. If Indonesia realizes a resolution, it will be a landmark diplomatic achievement for the country in advancing humanity for the world.