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Jakarta Post

Pandemic reshapes Indonesia's UN diplomacy

  • Dian Septiari


Jakarta   /   Fri, September 25 2020   /  01:00 am
President Joko Widodo delivers his address at the United Nations General Assembly which was broadcasted virtually on Tuesday evening New York time or Wednesday morning Jakarta time. It is Jokowi's first speech and attendance at the largest annual multilateral summit during his tenure.(Antara/Foreign Ministry)

As evident from the empty hallways and chambers of the United Nations headquarters this week, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in major disruptions in diplomacy. With the virus still raging across the globe, countries like Indonesia have no other choice than to adapt and adjust. For the first time in the organization’s 75-year history, world leaders are not convening in New York as the UN General Assembly moves online. Instead of having delegates of 193 countries descend on the UN building for a week of what resembles high-level speed dating, only one or two envoys from each country will be allowed in, and once inside, they will sit spaced apart and wear masks. It is a far cry from the scenes of past Septembers at the multilateral mecca. Just last year, then-vice president Jusuf Kalla, who had been representing President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at the U...