Saturday, April 10, 2010

NAM After Cold War

Role of Indonesian foreign policy toward the developing countries after the cold war ended was to (once more) become a pioneer of the Nonaligned Movement (NAM). After the collapse of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989 which marked the end of the cold war, it meant that the world order has changed. There are no more blocks, neither right nor left.

Since the left block has fallen, NAM as an alliance which positioned itself between the two blocks should review its position after the incident. Indonesia as the initiator country of NAM was most concerned to maintain NAM in the context of the new world. In 1985 (30 years of KAA) Indonesia failed to be the host of NAM Summit because the Latin America and some African countries refused Suharto’s domestic politics such as, anti-communist, and discrimination against the Chinese ethnic. Suharto had to pay it dearly with 23-day visit to Latin America and Africa in an effort to lobby to make Indonesia as the host of NAM in 1992.

In 1992, Suharto became a chairman of the NAM Summit and successfully convinced the members of NAM to change the focus of cooperation from the traditional (political and security) into social and economic issues. This meeting resulted Jakarta Massage which was brought to the UN forum in the same year. The point is Indonesia would be a facilitator in providing technical assistance to the agricultural sector (since Indonesia has achieved self-sufficiency in rice) and population (Indonesia's success in carrying out family planning program).

In addition, in 1994, Indonesia also hosted the APEC Summit. In a forum that is voluntary, it resulted in Bogor Goal. The point is, achieving an agreement in an open and free trade and investment within the Asia Pacific regions.

For the developing countries in ASEAN, Indonesia had played an important role after the Asian financial crisis. From there, ASEAN realized that the ASEAN Economic Community should be created. To achieve that, there were several steps; one of them was Bali Concord 2003, towards the ASEAN Community.

Thus, after the cold war, Indonesian foreign policy toward the developing countries, especially in NAM, was to change the focus of security and politics to social and economic cooperation. At this point, Indonesian struggle was to keep retaining the NAM’s position despite global context has changed (been proposed to change the NAM to be G-77). It means that, with the persistence of NAM, Indonesia's position as the founder and pioneer of the voices of the people in developing countries would always be needed by the world.

In the field of security and politics, Indonesia had successfully become a mediator in dealing with the conflict of Vietnam and Cambodia. In 1988 and 1989 Indonesia took the initiative to organize Jakarta Informal Meeting (JIM) in the Bogor Palace. JIM was conducted two times in Indonesia whereas; Thailand itself was interested to become the mediator.

JIM was presented by the Cambodian leader Hun Sen, including Heng Samrin. Heng Samrin was Khmer Rouge figure who was pro-China and replaced by Hun Sen, Cambodia's communist figure who was pro-Vietnam and the Soviet Union. It was also presented by King Norodom Sihanouk and several Cambodian leaders. Their presence in JIM I and II gave an indication that the ruling regimes in Phnom Penh still felt more comfortable with Indonesia rather than Thailand.

It proved that Indonesia still kept retaining its free-and-active foreign policy principle after the cold war. However, ‘free’ in here was defined as ‘free’ to work with various parties and remain active in maintaining world peace.
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