Indonesia Optimistic Will be Elected To UN Security Council
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi said she is optimistic that Indonesia will be elected to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as a non-permanent member for the 2019 to 2020 period. Indonesia would be included as a representative of the Asia-Pacific group but will be competing with the Maldives for the post.
Last Monday, Marsudi asked for Indonesians’ prayer and support so Indonesia will be re-elected on June 8, when the election of the UNSC non-permanent members will be held in New York.
“(God Willing) we are optimistic. Just pray for us. If we see the current track record, in such an election, we usually see our track record, what we have contributed to the world, for peace, for welfare, and so on,” Marsudi said during a gathering at the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Jakarta.
Marsudi is leaving for New York on June 3 where there will be a diplomatic reception on the next day.
Indonesia has been a UNSC non-permanent member three times (1973-1974, 1995-1996, and 2007-2008). UNSC non-permanent members consist of ten countries, with three representing Africa, three representing the Asia-Pacific group, two representing Eastern Europe, two representing Latin America and the Caribbean, and five from the Western Europe and others group.
To be elected, a country must be approved by two-thirds of UN member countries.
If re-elected, what are Indonesia’s priorities?
“There are several priorities. First, we continue our contributions to the world’s peace, in line with our tagline, a true partner for peace. Our contributions include the deployment of peacekeepers, peacekeeping operations, and many more,” Marsudi explained.
“Secondly, we want to strengthen regional organizations because we see that when there is a very dynamic development, then those who enter are regional organizations, therefore there needs to be a strengthening of regional organizational relations with the UN”, she continued.
Indonesia’s third priority is to link peace-related issues and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Marsudi stated any development agenda would not be achieved if there is no peace.
“The fourth priority is to step up a cooperation in combating transnational crimes. Those are Indonesia’s four priorities should we get elected as UNSC permanent member,” Marsudi said.
Indonesia’s Contributions to World Peace
Despite not having veto rights like the UNSC permanent members, which are the U.S, the U.K, France, Russia, and China, Indonesia and other non-permanent members are still involved in the UN policy-making process.
Indonesia has been active in sending peacekeeping troops to conflict-torn areas since 1957. Data from the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows that as of November 2015 Indonesia had deployed 2,840 active personnel to serve in ten peacekeeping missions, including UNIFIL (Lebanon), UNMIL (Liberia), UNAMID (Darfur, Sudan). That places Indonesia as the 12th largest Troops/Police-Contributing Countries (T/PCC) to the U.N
Indonesia is aiming to deploy 4,000 peacekeeping troops in 2019, which would place it in the top ten of contributing countries.
Iranian Vice President for Women and Family Affairs Massoumeh Ebtekar stated Tehran would support Indonesia’s candidacy for the UNSC bid, citing Indonesia’s role in conflict areas.
“Indonesia has been participating in humanitarian missions to provide aid and establish schools in conflict areas. We are ready to work together with Indonesia,” Ebtekar said.
Indonesian Ambassador to the UN Dian Triansyah Djani claimed many countries had conveyed their support for Indonesia’s bid, but he refused to name the countries or say how many had offered support.
“We are in good hands. Our campaign has gone well […] due to our track record in keeping the world’s peace,” said Triansyah.
Other Countries Vying for Membership
The 2018 security council elections held extra significance this year because it would have been the first time that Israel was a candidate for a seat. Controversy over Israel’s bid for the seat rose when Richard Grenell, U.S. ambassador to Germany, stated on Twitter that the U.S. and the U.N. Western European and Others Group (WEOG) arranged a deal in the 1990s to allow Israel to run uncontested for a Security Council seat in 2018.
Many pro-Israel organizations accused Germany of attempting to steal its seat at this years election. German diplomats dismissed the allegations that such an agreement was made. According to former German Ambassador to the U.N. Heinrich Schumacher, the U.S.’s claims were “absurd.”
Isreal ended up dropping its bid for a UNSC seat in early May. “After consulting with our partners, including our good friends, the state of Israel has decided to postpone its candidacy for a seat on the Security Council,” said a statement released by Israel. Many suspected Israel dropped its candidacy based on its low chances of winning.
The seats available are one for Africa, one for the Asia-Pacific group, one for Latin America and the Caribbean, and two for the Western European and others group.