JAKARTA: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi appealed to the UN General Assembly on Saturday to uphold the principle of sovereignty, as she pledged continued support for Palestinian statehood.
Addressing the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, Marsudi referred to its theme of “Rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity” by highlighting a deep trust deficit in the world today.
“The problem is that we do differently than what we say, we say differently about what we did. We don’t walk the talk,” she said.
“The fate of the world can’t be defined by the mighty few. A peaceful, stable and prosperous world is a collective right and responsibility of all countries — big and small, north and south, developed and developing.”
To achieve this goal, she urged all leaders to “adhere to the same rules of the game” and invoked the spirit of the 1955 Asian-African Conference held in the Indonesian city of Bandung, which was a defining moment in postcolonial history and led to the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement.
The “Bandung Spirit,” or the core principles adopted during the meeting, were political self-determination, mutual respect for sovereignty, non-aggression, non-interference in internal affairs, and equality.
Palestine is the only country participating in the 1955 Asian-African Conference that has not yet become independent.
“We must uphold respect for international law, particularly the principle of sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Marsudi said.
“For far too long, we’ve allowed our Palestinian brothers and sisters to suffer. Indonesia won’t back an inch in our support for Palestinian statehood.”
Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, has long been a staunch supporter of the Palestinian cause.
Indonesian people and authorities see Palestinian statehood as mandated by their own constitution, which calls for the abolition of colonialism.
In its preamble, the Indonesian constitution says that “independence is the inalienable right of every nation.”
The Southeast Asian nation has no diplomatic relations with Israel, and the Indonesian government has repeatedly called for an end to the occupation of Palestinian territories and for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders.
Jakarta has also repeatedly called on the UN Security Council to implement all its resolutions related to Palestine.
As world leaders this week made a political declaration to accelerate action to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty and hunger, empower women and girls, and drive economic prosperity and well-being for all people while protecting the environment by 2030, Marsudi called for equal chances for all to do so.
“Every country has the same right to develop and grow, but the global architecture of today only benefits the selected few,” she said.
“Many developing countries may not meet the SDGs by 2030. They also struggle with foreign debt and development financing. All of this will contribute to eroding trust and solidarity.”
Marsudi also called for global solidarity with Afghans, especially women and girls, whose lives have been significantly restricted since the Taliban came to power in 2021 and barred them, among other things, from secondary and higher education.
“Indonesia will do its utmost to help the Afghan people and ensure the rights of women and girls are respected, including their right to education,” she said.