Speech of the President of the Republic of Indonesia on General Debate of the 75th Session United Nations General Assembly (Virtually) Wednesday, 23 September 2020 at the Merdeka Palace, Jakarta
Date 23 September 2020
Your Excellency President of the UN General Assembly,
Your Excellency Secretary General of the United Nations,
Your Excellency Leaders of Member States of the United Nations.
This year marks 75 years of the United Nations. 75 years ago, the UN was established so that the great war, the second World War would not happen again. 75 years ago, the United Nations was established so that the world could become more peaceful, stable and prosperous. Because war will benefit no one. It is pointless to celebrate victory amidst destruction. It is pointless to become the largest economic power in the midst of a sinking world.
At the age of 75, we should ask whether the world we aspire to be has been achieved? I think our answer is alike, not yet. Conflicts still persist in various parts of the world. Poverty and even hunger continue to occur. The principles of the UN Charter and international law are often ignored, including respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty. We are all concerned about this situation. Our concern is growing in this time of COVID-19 pandemic. During the time when we should be united to work together to fight the pandemic, disunity and increasingly sharp rivalry still persist. We should be united, always promoting a win-win approach to increase mutually beneficial relations between countries.
We are aware that the impact of this pandemic has been tremendous, both in terms of health and social economy. We also understand that this virus does not recognize national borders, no one is safe until everyone is. If disunity and rivalry still persist, then I am concerned that the stability and peace will loose or even disappear. A world that is peaceful, stable, and prosperous will be more difficult to be realized.
This year Indonesia is also celebrating its 75th anniversary of independence. Our determination is, Indonesia will continue to contribute to world peace, as mandated by our constitution. Indonesia will continue to play a role as a bridgebuilder, as part of the solution. Indonesia has consistently carried out this commitment, including when Indonesia was a member of the UN Security Council. Indonesia will always put forward the spirit of cooperation, a spirit that benefits all parties without leaving any country. No one, no country should be left behind.
This equality of degrees was emphasized by the Founding Father of the Indonesian Nation, Soekarno, Bung Karno, during the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung in 1955 that gave birth to the Ten Principles of Bandung. Until now, the principles of the Ten Principles of Bandung are still very relevant, including the peaceful settlement of disputes, the promotion of cooperation, and respect for international law.
Palestine is the one and only country attending the Bandung Conference, that has not enjoyed its independence. Indonesia consistently supports Palestine to gain its rights.
In our own region, along with other ASEAN member countries, Indonesia continues to safeguard the Southeast Asia so the region is peaceful, stable and prosperous. On its 53rd Anniversary on 8 August 2020, ASEAN once again reaffirmed commitment to maintaining peace and stability in the region. The spirit of cooperation and peace was then promoted by Indonesia to a wider region, the Indo-Pacific, through ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.
Amidst current global situation, I would like to convey several ideas. First, the UN should continue to improve its role, carry out reforms, revitalization and efficiency. The UN should be able to prove that multilateralism delivers, including in times of crisis. The UN should be more responsive and effective in solving various global challenges. And we all bear a responsibility to continue to strengthen the UN so that the UN remains relevant and increasingly contributive, in line with the challenges of the times. The United Nations is not just a building in New York City but a common goal and commitment of all nations to achieve world peace and prosperity for future generations. Indonesia has an unshakable faith in the UN and multilateralism. Multilateralism is the only way that can provide equality.
Second, collective global leadership must be strengthened. We understand that in relations between countries, in international relations, every country always prioritizes its national interests. However, we should not forget, we all have a responsibility to contribute to be part of the solution for world peace, stability and prosperity. The UN’s role is required to strengthen the collective global leadership. The world needs a stronger spirit of collaboration and global leadership to create a better world.
Third, we must strengthen cooperation in handling COVID-19 impacts, both in terms of health and social economy. Vaccine will be a game changer against the pandemic. We must work together to ensure that all countries have equal access to safe and affordable vaccines. In the long term, the governance of global health resilience must be further strengthened. Global health resilience based on national health resilience will determine the future of the world. From an economic point of view, the gradual reactivation of economic activities must be started by making improvement to the current weaknesses in the global supply chain. Economic activation must prioritize the health of the world citizens. A healthy world, a productive world should be our priority. All of this can be achieved if all of us work, work, and work. Let us strengthen our commitment and consistently carry out our commitment to always work together.
I thank you.
Translated by Estu Widyamurti
Reviewed by Mia Medyana B