Jakarta | Wed, 03/21/2012 10:05 AM
The current visit of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Indonesia is undoubtedly a sign of his close personal relations with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
This has developed through intensive communications between the two leaders. They share a deep concern and personal engagement to contribute to efforts to address global issues. With this in mind, they focused on UN Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) by visiting the Indonesian Peace and Security Center (IPSC) in Sentul in the West Java regency of Bogor, on Tuesday.
Indonesia has an impressive track record in peacekeeping missions under the UN, such as contributing troops to the Congo in the 1960s, Vietnam in the 1970s, Cambodia and Bosnia in the 1990s, and currently in Lebanon.
In addition, Indonesian troops also joined the United Nations Emergency Force I (UNEF) in 1957 and UNEF II (1974) in Sinai, so they were well-prepared when deployed to the borders of Egypt-Israel, Iran-Iraq and Iraq-Kuwait.
At present, there are 1,972 Indonesians — including 19 women — in PKOs around the world, consisting of both military and police personnel. In terms of troop numbers Indonesia ranks 15th among all the countries contributing to UN peacekeeping missions.
Indonesian peacekeepers are currently spread across several missions: UNIFIL in Lebanon (1,455 personnel); eight with UNMISS in Southern Sudan; 146 with UNAMID in Darfur; 192 with MONUSCO in the Congo; 70 with MINUSTAH in Haiti; and one with UNMIL in Liberia.
At the IPSC, the UN secretary-general met the Indonesian PKO alumni. Many of them have held top posts in the Indonesian Military, the police force and the government.
The roll call includes Ishak Rabin, Kemal Idris, Solichin GP, Rudini, Himawan Sutanto, Wiyogo Atmodarminto, Endriartono Sutarto, Ryamizard Ryacudu, Timur Pradopo and President Yudhoyono. Their experiences in facing battle and armed conflict proved a worthy training ground in developing professional and mature personalities.
Indonesian peacekeepers have been recognized as good mediators, being able when needed to encourage warring parties to come together to engage in reconciliatory dialogue, without allowing themselves to be co-opted by either side.
At the same time, they managed to build cooperation with peacekeeping forces from other countries. During the joint missions, Indonesian peacekeepers nurtured their leadership, putting their own different cultural backgrounds and challenges to one side.
Certainly, a PKO can be an ideal environment to groom future world leaders. And, indeed, the world needs leaders with superior qualities, simply because global issues are becoming increasingly complicated.
We have been witnessing changes in civilization, democratization in the Middle East, threats of a nuclear arms race, economic discrepancies, financial crises, food crises and energy crises, environmental degradation, climate change, natural disasters, as well as nontraditional threats such as human trafficking, people smuggling and acts of terrorism.
Recognizing the complexity of these global issues, the IPSC, which officially opened on Dec. 19, 2011, is designed to prepare personnel not only for peacekeeping operations or for reserve forces, but also for counterterrorism and natural disaster mitigation duties. They are trained in order to improve their capacities, horizons and professionalism.
So, when they are deployed in PKOs, they are ready to play a number of diverse roles with increased responsibility.
The visit to the IPSC is a clear message from the UN secretary-general that Indonesia is able to organize and run a modern center to prepare personnel for future PKOs.
Indeed, PKO duties are growing much heavier, since modern-day PKOs are multidimensional in scope and include many entities (not only military), such as humanitarian agencies, civil affairs, political affairs and international nongovernmental organizations.
Of course, Indonesian personnel should meet the necessary requirements if they wish to secure key positions within PKOs, including the commander-in-chief post.
Therefore, at the IPSC there should be a doctrine for personnel to promote their leadership mentality. In the end, surely, we will reap the benefits, since some among them may prove to be the future leaders of this country.
The writer is a diplomat. The opinions expressed are his own.
Defense exhibition: Visitors browse military equipment displayed at the Jakarta Defense Dialogue at the Jakarta Convention Center on Wednesday. The dialogue, themed “Military Operations Other Than War”, is aimed at promoting government-to-government cooperation in tackling defense and security threats at the regional and international level in 2012. (JP/ Jerry Adiguna)
Searching for evidence: Police officers work at the site of a bomb explosion near the Indonesian Embassy, in Paris. A package bomb exploded at the Indonesian Embassy in Paris on Wednesday, causing minor damage but no injuries, police said. (AP/Thibault Camus)
Welcome home, champs!: Fans throng Tontowi Ahmad Yahya and Liliyana Natsir (in red) after their arrival at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International Airport on Tuesday evening. The Indonesian mixed-doubles pair became All England champions after defeating the defending title holders in Birmingham, England, earlier this month. (Antara/Ismar Patrizki)
Baby don't cry!: A woman comforts her crying children outside a school in the Roma neighborhood after a earthquake was felt in Mexico City. A strong, long earthquake with epicenter in Guerrero state shook central southern Mexico on Tuesday, swaying buildings in Mexico City and sending frightened workers and residents into the streets. (AP/Alexandre Meneghini)
Peacekeepers: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (right) dons a UN peacekeeping helmet presented to him by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (left) as a token of appreciation on the sidelines of a ceremony at the Indonesia Peace and Security Center (IPSC) in Sentul, Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday. In his speech, Ban lauded Yudhoyono as the only head of state in the world to have been sent on a UN peacekeeping mission. (JP/ Jerry Adiguna)
Unearthing history: Workers restore parts of Perwara Plaosan Temple in Prambanan, Klaten, Central Java, on Tuesday. The excavation team has temporarily suspended work on the third ring of an area suspected to be covering parts of the temple in order to focus more on restoration work on the unearthed part of the temple. (JP/Kusumasari Ayuningtyas)
No to fuel price hike: A student protester wears a mask depicting the face of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono reading Penindas Rakyat (oppressor of the people) on the sidelines of a rally to protest the government's plan to increase fuel prices on Jl. Dr. Djunjunan, Bandung, West Java, on Tuesday. The students called on the government to cancel the planned hike. (JP/Arya Dipa)
A Paris police official says that a package bomb has exploded at the Indonesian Embassy, causing minor damage but no injuries.
Wed, 03/21/2012 11:55 PM
An expert and a lawmaker have questioned the Bureaucratic Reform Ministry’s plan to dismiss civil servants who fail the competency test by granting them early retirement packages.
Wed, 03/21/2012 11:52 PM
The House of Representatives’ lawmaker Rieke Diah Pitaloka, who sits on the House’s Commission IX on demographic affairs, health, manpower and transmigration, and worker activist Imam Sukarsa, have criticized Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar’s statement that there ...
Wed, 03/21/2012 10:23 PM
Kraft Foods Inc. says its new global snacks company will be named Mondelez International Inc.
Wed, 03/21/2012 9:25 PM
The government forecasts that the country’s economic growth in 2013 may reach between 6.7 and 7.4 percent, mainly driven by growing investment and an expanding budget for infrastructure.
Wed, 03/21/2012 9:29 PM
Three police officers were injured and 37 students arrested following a clash that broke during a protest against a planned hike in gas in Medan, North Sumatra, on Wednesday.
Wed, 03/21/2012 5:33 PM
A clash between Christian residents and Public Order (Satpol PP) officers at Suka Maju village in Riau broke out after the officers tore down signage at the construction site of a Catholic church on Wednesday.
Wed, 03/21/2012 4:11 PM
Celebrity couple Tora Sudiro and Mieke Amalia are on cloud nine over the birth of their daughter, Jenaka Mahila Sudiro on Wednesday morning.
Wed, 03/21/2012 11:00 AM
Miss Indonesia 2004 Artika Sari Devi said that she is taking care of her 16-month-old daughter without the help of nannies or babysitters.