Indonesia Claims a Permanent Seat on the Security Council
Amid the debate on the enlargement of membership of the UN Security Council, Indonesia claims a permanent seat on the Council. “As the world’s third largest pluralistic democracy, the fourth most populous country, the world’s largest Muslim nation, a country of tremendous cultural diversity and a member with a track record of serving in various peace initiatives of the UN, Indonesia has an important global constituency on the Council,” said Dr. Hassan Wirajuda, the Indonesian Foreign Minister, before the 59th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Monday morning, 27 September 2004.
Dr. Wirajuda continued by adding the reasons why Indonesia deserves a seat on the Council. Indonesia has served in more than 30 peacekeeping missions, starting in 1957 in the Middle East. And today, Indonesian troops and military observers are deployed in peacekeeping missions in Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Georgia. Indonesia is well known as a founding member and active player of the Non-aligned Movement, G-77, G-15, D-8 and the Organization of the Islamic Conference. In the Southeast Asian region, Indonesia has made key contributions to the peaceful solution of conflicts—notably in Cambodia and southern Philippines. It continues to build peace and stability in the region, with its ASEAN partners and beyond.
Reform of the United Nations including the Security Council must be done comprehensively, by making it more democratic in terms of procedure and representation in order to reflect today’s geopolitical realities. Indonesia would represent the voice of a developing world striving not only for economic development but also for democratization. Indonesia would also represent the voice of moderate Islam.
Indonesia’s claim was made only one week after the country held its first ever direct presidential election on 20 September, involving some 125 million voters and 575,000 polling stations spreading across some 6,000 inhabited islands. It was the third national political exercise that Indonesia carried out in a period of six months, the previous two being the parliamentary election and the first round of the presidential election. International observers hailed them as peaceful, fair, and democratic.
Indonesia’s success in holding those elections is the climax of a transition from authoritarian rule to a full-fledged democracy. And it put to rest the debate on whether Islam and democracy can ever mix.
On terrorism, despite the latest attack in Jakarta on 9 September, Indonesia remains firm in its commitment to fight against it. Indonesia also remains firm in its faith that the fight against terror can be won. “But the global coalition to defeat terrorism must be inclusive; it must be multilateral and democratic; it must empower the moderates of the world; and it must address the root causes of terrorism,” said the Indonesian Foreign Minister.
Dr. Wirajuda also maintained that no democracy is safe without assurance of a democratic environment at the global level. That environment cannot be created by unilateral action. On the contrary, democracy at the global level can only be promoted by democratic means—through multilateral institutions like the United Nations. Hence, there is an urgent need to empower the United Nations to serve as the effective tool of multilateralism.
The UN itself needs support at the regional level. In this regard, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is striving to develop a robust partnership with the UN. This partnership will prosper as ASEAN evolves into a true Community by 2020. As a Security Community, ASEAN will assume full responsibility for its security and political stability. As an Economic and Sociocultural Community, ASEAN will be a stronger force for development and social integration of the Asia-Pacific region.
ASEAN is networking in all directions: with its counterparts in the rest of the Asia-Pacific, in Latin America, and in Europe. Also, a new strategic partnership between Asia and Africa is in the making—as Indonesia will host a Summit of Asia and African nations in April 2005. The Summit will pay tribute to a watershed event in the cause of equitable international relations—the 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung.Indonesia does envision that this network of regional organizations, in partnership with the UN, will be the ultimate form of multilateralism.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations