Marsudi conducts "marathon diplomacy" for Indonesia`s UNSC bid

Marsudi has planned to hold 70 bilateral meetings with counterparts and envoys from other nations to gather support for Indonesia`s bid for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The recent intensive efforts undertaken by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi demonstrate that she is a strong and hardworking person.

Marsudi has just concluded a "marathon diplomacy for humanity" by extensively traveling to Myanmar and Bangladesh and conducting serious negotiations to help find solutions to the humanitarian crisis facing the Rohingya ethnic minority in Rakhine State, Myanmar, and some 400 thousand Rohingya refugees fleeing to the Bangladesh border.

Minister Marsudi has currently embarked on another marathon diplomacy initiative to secure Indonesias bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

Currently, the minister is at the UN Headquarters in New York, the US, for the 72nd UN General Assembly (UNGA) Session being held on September 18-29, 2017. Leaders and representatives from 193 UN member states are participating in the UNGA session.

Marsudi has planned to hold 70 bilateral meetings with counterparts and envoys from other nations to gather support for Indonesias bid for a non-permanent seat in the UNSC.

The bilateral meetings, called diplomatic marathons, will be held on the sidelines of the 72nd UNGA Session themed "Focusing on people: striving for peace and a decent life for all on a sustainable planet."

On Sept 18, the minister had held at least 10 bilateral meetings respectively with foreign ministers or representatives of Samoa, Croatia, Namibia, Niger, Liechtenstein, Ecuador, Georgia, Monaco, Tunisia, and Switzerland, among others.

"We request their support for our bid for a non-permanent seat of the UNSC," she noted at the UN Headquarters, on Sept 19.

During the bilateral meetings, Minister Marsudi also discussed efforts to strengthen ties with those countries.

The number of bilateral meetings is double as compared to some 35 meetings that the minister had held last year on the sidelines of the earlier UNGA session.

The UNSC has 15 member countries, comprising five permanent members -- Russia, China, the US, the UK, and France -- and 10 non-permanent members serving for a two-year period.

Since last year, Indonesia has been campaigning to win membership for the 2019-2020 period.

The country had been a non-permanent member of the UNSC for three periods: 1973-1974, 1995-1996, and 2007-2008.

Marsudi outlined several priorities that Indonesia would pursue if it were to be elected as the non-permanent member of the UNSC.

Indonesia intends to continually contribute to promoting world peace and stability, as the country has rich experience in this area at the regional level.

The minister emphasized the need for better synergy among organizations at the global and regional levels.

Secondly, Indonesia is also keen to strengthen synergy between peace and the sustainable development agenda.

Indonesia is looking to ensure that peace, security, and stability can support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The third priority is global cooperation to respond to cross-border challenges, such as terrorism, radicalism, and extremism, that can threaten world peace and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the minister explained.

The election of the UNSC non-permanent membership will be held in June 2018, and the threshold for Indonesia to be elected is to receive the support of at least 128 countries.

Earlier, the Indonesian Foreign Ministrys spokesman Armanatha Nasir had confirmed that Indonesia will use the opportunity during the UNGA Session to gather support.

"The UNGA will be the right platform for Indonesia to conduct a campaign in an effort to become a non-permanent member of the UNSC," he said in Jakarta on Sept 24.

Indonesia is competing with Maldives to win a seat at the UNSC to represent the Asia-Pacific region.

In fact, since the Indonesian government officially announced its bid for a UNSC seat in September 2016, the country has received support from several countries, such as Turkey, Chile, Sierra Leone, and Angola.

It was Vice President M. Jusuf Kalla who announced Indonesias bid to become a non-permanent member of the UNSC for the 2019-2020 period while addressing the UNGA in New York last year. This year, Kalla again leads Indonesias delegation at the UNGA.

In pursuing its bid for UNSCs non-permanent seat, Indonesia is promoting the theme "A True Partner for World Peace."

Peace is a prerequisite to development, Kalla once said, adding that Indonesia had learnt first-hand from the internal conflict and regional strife and diverted away from development during the 1950s and 1960s.

In line with its constitutional mandate, Indonesia is committed to fully participating in and contributing to the maintenance of world order based on freedom, lasting peace, and social justice. (*)

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