Current Issues in Indonesia's Foreign Policy
In the issue of terrorism, intensive measures has been done by Indonesia nationally and through regional cooperation. Indonesia has consistently supported the United Nations in its counter-terrorism programme and strategy, particularly the adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Crimes and its Protocols in 2000, to combat these complex issues that threaten our common well-being. In its efforts to strengthen its institutional and legal infrastructure, Indonesia has done the followings: 1. Implementing the decisions of the 20th UN General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) into a national plan of action to combat illicit drugs. This includes prevention, treatment, law enforcement, and legal reform. Indonesia established a central agency, the National Narcotics Board, in 2002 and continues to apply severe punishment to drug traffickers. 2. Implementing the outcomes of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime to counter persons trafficking. Meanwhile, Indonesia is also ratifying the Transnational Organized Crime Convention and its Protocols on Trafficking in Persons and on Smuggling of Migrants. 3. Enacted the Anti-Money Laundering Act no.15/2002 and its amendment Law no. 15/2003. Indonesian government established a financial intelligence unit, the Financial Transaction Report and Analysis Center (known as PPATK), and a ministerial-level coordination committee on money laundering. One of goals to fight against money laundering activities is to deny terrorists access to funding. Indonesia has ratified 4 of 12 international instruments and signed two (2) conventions concerning terrorism, and preparing ratification on "International Convention for the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (1999)" and preparing the accession on "International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombing (1997). To further strengthen the region's counter-terrorism effort, especially in the areas of law enforcement, intelligence, information sharing and legal frameworks, Indonesia, together with Australia initiated and co-hosted the Bali Ministerial Meeting on
Counter-Terrorism in 4-5 February 2004. The meeting, attended by Asia-Pacific ministers of foreign affairs and law enforcement, and their counterparts from other countries have agreed on a number of recommendations on counter terrorism actions, and their follow-up arrangements, particularly through the establishment of working groups on law enforcement practitioners and regional legal issues. The Ministerial Meeting also endorsed the decision by Indonesia and Australia to establish the Jakarta Center for Law Enforcement Cooperation (JCLEC). JCLEC was established in Semarang in July 2004 and was fully operated in December 2004. JCLEC functions as a forum for improving regional capacity to counter terrorism and other transnational crime. In the 25th ASEANAPOL conducted in Bali in Mei 2005, Police Agency from the ASEAN Countries has agreed to increase police professionalism and to strengthen cooperation among police agency to eridicate terrorism activity and other trans-national crime.
B. Border Diplomacy
National integrity is a concern of the Indonesia’s diplomacy therefore maintaining the existing country’s borders and negotiation in border related conflicts are premier concern. With Malaysia, Indonesia and Malaysia has set up a General Border Commmittee to discuss any border related problems. Indonesia will always pursue diplomacy in settling the border related conflicts as using force will not be beneficial for the conflcting countries. With the Phillippines, Indonesia has Joint permanent Working Group on Maritime and Ocean Concerns to discuss Indonesia-the Phillippines Maritime border and cooperation in fishery sector. With Singapore, extradiction and maratime border issue has been in preliminary discussion between the two governents. With the Timor Leste, Indonesia-Timor Leste signed land borders during the visit of the Timor Leste President on 8-9 April 2005. With this agreement, 96% of the land border between the two countries has been settled.
With the PNG, Indonesia and PNG continues to support border area development. This development reflects Indonesia’s commitment to bolster Indonesa’s relation with the Melanesian Brotherhood.
C. Iranian nuclear Issue
Indonesia concerns that the negotiation on the Iran nuclear issue will conclude in peaceful solution, as the consequence of bringing this issue to the UN Security Council will create new issues and conflict which is contradictive to the reasonable solution to the main issue. The failure to handle the Iranian nuclear issue will create another issue unbeneficial to the international community. Russia’s offer to Iran to do the nuclear enrichment in Russia seems to lead to the peaceful solution. Indonesia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs maintains that the Iran nuclear issue would be best solved through dialogue and negotiations. He insisted that the concerning parties not to take a rush action to bring the case to the Security Council. Indonesia is in support for Iran to cooperate with the IAEA to eliminate any doubts over Iran’s intention to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purpose. Furthermore, Iran openly response to Indonesia’s advice by maintaining its willingness to maximize the dialogue process with Russia, Britain, Germany and France. Indonesia urged the western countries not to bring the Iran nuclear issue to the UN Security Council in a rush. For such purpose, Indonesia’s President Soesilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday, 31 January 2005 called for the Ambassadors of China, Russia, the US, France, Britain and Germany to iterate Indonesia’s position on that regards. On the other hand, Indonesia urged Iran as the signatory to the NPT not to develop nuclear weapon. However Iran has the right under the NPT to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purpose. Indonesia gave advice to Iran to consider the option offered by Russia to do the nuclear enrichment in Russia.
D. Palestinian – Israeli Conflicts
HAMAS winning in the Palestinian election has brough a new challenge for the peace process in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, since HAMAS is well-known for the hardliner. The US and Europe halts its financial aids to the Palestinian Authority. For Indonesia, the materialization of free and independent Palestine is still the main concern of Indonesia’s foreign policy in the Middle East. However, Indonesia urges the Palestinian independent process should be through negotation and peaceful way.
E. Indonesia – Australia Relations
Indonesia-Australia relations is on its lowest point due to the issuance of Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) by the Australian Department of Immigration, Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) to the 42 out of 43 Assylum seekers from Papua Province of Indonesia. Indonesia’s government has protested to the DIMIA’s decision. The two countries is working together to settle the problem through diplomacy. Lack of understanding of the both-sides domestic politics has created diplomatic row. However, as neighbouring countries, Indonesia and Australia should maintain peaceful co-existance as the two countries had signed joint declaration on comprehensive partnership in April 2005.