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Jakarta Post

Free and active foreign policy in a globalizing world

  • Hadianto Wirajuda

London   /   Mon, April 19 2010   /  08:58 am

The “free and active” foreign policy term was coined by Indonesia’s first vice president Mohammad Hatta in 1948 as a response to the polarism of the Cold War. In 1953, he wrote an article in the Foreign Affairs Journal where he underlined that “free” meant Indonesia should act independently in international affairs and “active” stipulated the need for Indonesia to partake in the creation of world peace. The global environment then was problematic in a sense that a small and weak country, like Indonesia, either had to ally with the east or west bloc. Indonesia’s foreign policy is unique in the sense that it has always been influenced by historical factors. The Asian-African Conference in Bandung in 1955 was one significant example. The world has changed. The end of the Cold War led leaders to adapt to the new world order championing, inter alia, democracy and global free t...