Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Indonesia deploys its diplomatic resources to ensure G20 Summit success

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Gusty da Costa





Indonesia has mobilized its diplomatic resources to ensure that all member countries, including Russia, and guests, including Ukraine, will attend the G20 Summit despite boycott threat from the West. The outcome of the diplomacy cannot be predicted at this time, despite the efforts.

Co-sherpa for Indonesia at the G20, Dian Triansyah Djani, said Indonesia sought to engage with Western nations and communicate with them. The approach was taken at all levels, he said.

“We mobilize the entire diplomatic apparatus, from the level of staff to the level of foreign ministers, finance ministers and presidents,” he explained to Indonesia Business Post on May 12, 2022.

Russia vs Ukraine conflict

Indonesia Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited several European countries, including France, the United Kingdom, and Turkey, and met with her counterparts from April 19 to April 22, 2022. During the visit, Marsudi also spoke on the phone with foreign ministers of the European Union and Ukraine.

According to Djani, there were several points resulted from the meeting but the highlight was that Russia’s invasion to Ukraine must be resolved as soon as possible. All countries must create a conducive environment for peace negotiations to succeed. The global effects of the war include increasing energy costs, rising food prices and high inflation rates.

“As a member of the G20, the impact on the economy must be taken into account, and we must work together to overcome the difficulties,” Djani said.

Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has also communicated by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In a press conference April 29, 2022, Widodo announced that he had invited Zelensky and Putin to attend the G20 Summit in November in Bali. During the call, he reiterated the urgency of bringing an end to the war and prioritizing a peaceful resolution through negotiation.

“The world economic recovery is influenced by two major issues: The COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukrainian conflict,” Widodo said. He added that he wanted to unite all the G20 countries and avoid fragmentation, as peace and stability are crucial to the world economic recovery.

Widodo also met with US President Joe Biden during the ASEAN-US Special Summit on May 12 and May 13, 2022, in Washington DC. On his meeting with Biden, Widodo reiterated his call on the urgency of immediately ending the conflict in Ukraine.

“The war in Ukraine has negatively impacted the world economy, resulting in higher food prices, energy costs, and inflation,” Widodo said.

A source said Biden gave a signal for his attendance at the G20 Summit.

President Widodo also spoke over the phone with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emanuel Macron, the Netherlands’ Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa. 

Dave Laksono, a member of the House of Representatives Committee I overseeing foreign affairs, said that all government agencies have been performing optimally to prevent the G20 Summit boycott.

“Communication with several heads of state is continuing, and I am confident that the G20 Summit will be successful and attended by all heads of state and guests from member states,” he said.

Despite the optimism, it was still too early to say the G20 Summit would be a success, according to Aleksius Jemadu, a lecturer at Pelita Harapan University in Tangerang, west of Jakarta. He said there would be many developments on the Russia-Ukraine war between now and the November summit.

“We appreciate the unending efforts from President Widodo and Foreign Minister [Marsudi]. However, we don’t know exactly how the process will end because the outcome depends on what happens on the battlefield,” he said.


The consultations have resulted in feedback and responses from the countries.

All G20 members agree that the world faces a significant challenge at present. There is considerable trust among members of Indonesia’s presidency and show their appreciation. Foreign affairs ministers have also discussed preparations for the G20 foreign ministerial summit in early July 2022.

“Upon returning from New York, Geneva, and Washington, I received positive feedback, not only from G20 nations but also from the UN. They appreciated Indonesia’s wise presidency, transparent leadership, and open dialogue with all participants,” Djani said.

Jemadu said the conflict between the United States and their allies versus Russia needed to be solved first. A two-level conflict resolution should be done before Indonesia can move forward with the G20 agenda. First, how to reorganize regional and global order due to the war. Second, how to save Putin’s reputation as this will allow him to leave Ukraine in peace.

“In the current political climate, Putin is seeking victory. If he is seeking victory, it means violence will continue. If violence continues, many civilians will be killed. If civilians are killed, Western nations will continue protesting,” he added.

In this situation, Indonesia can only wait and see while seeking for a peaceful resolution to the situation in Ukraine. In order to resolve the conflict, all parties should work together to determine the regional order in Europe and resolve Putin’s concern over NATO’s expansion into Europe.

The success of the G20 Summit will depend on Indonesia’s bargaining and negotiating power. Therefore, Jemadu believed the G20 Summit success did not solely depend on Indonesia. Instead, Indonesia needs other members to help revive the G20 agenda.

Indonesia should coordinate and consolidate its efforts with the 20 member countries and 12 guest countries including China, India, Brazil, and South Africa to emphasize that there are more important issues than the war, including the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The war kills people, but the summit is an attempt to find a way out of the crisis,” Jemadu said. 

Gusty da Costa






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