IMO view: Youths show diplomatic power
Six elected Indonesian delegates and hundreds of other delegates from G20 member states attended the G8-G20 Youth Summit in Washington, DC earlier this month. The conference, held at George Washington University, was hosted by the organization, Young Americans for Diplomatic Leadership (YADL).
Each delegation was made up of a Head of State, Secretary of State, Economic Minister, Finance Minister and Development Minster. The summit has been organized since 2006, but for Indonesia, it was its third participation in the conference since 2010.
Pradita Astarina, who assumed the role of the Indonesian Head of State, said Indonesia’s negotiating power was not as strong as other members of the G20 in this youth summit. She said the situation was evinced by the fact that Indonesia was not affiliated with the two big lobby groups in the G20, which are BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and the European Union.
“These two groups already have their own agendas. Sometimes, the result of the communique [final platform] is likely to be more favorable to developed countries,” said Pradita.
Therefore, as the Head of State of Indonesia, she gave priority to the needs of developing countries.
“When we were talking about the future of the G20, Indonesia recalled the floor to make the G20 the bridge to connect developing nations with developed countries,” said Pradita.
Ghufron Mustaqim, who represented Indonesia as its Development Minister, said Indonesia’s position in the G8-G20 Youth Forum was very unique, especially in the Development Committee.
“From the 20 member countries, Indonesia is the only one which does not systematically have a specific body that maintains international development issues. For example, the US has USAID to assist other countries with foreign aid,” Ghufron said.
The absence of such an agency had rendered Indonesia as less confident when debating international issues such as food security, youth empowerment or humanitarian problems, he added.
“Some other delegates indirectly popped a question about Indonesia’s contribution to international development, but so far we have not really done many things,” said Ghufron.
Katherine Rut Nastiti