Subject: Laks.Net: Indonesia Seeks Seat in UN Security Council

Received from Joyo Indonesia News

Laksamana.Net July 30, 2002

Indonesia Seeks Seat in UN Security Council

Laksamana.Net - President Megawati Sukarnoputri says Indonesia will run for membership in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to represent Asia for the 2007-2008 term.

The President made the statement Monday (29/7/02) during a joint press conference with visiting Namibian President Sam Nujoma.

She reportedly asked Nujoma to encourage African nations to support Indonesia's bid for UNSC membership.

"The spirit of non-alignment is still relevant although the situation has changed," said Megawati, referring to the Non-Aligned Movement, which was founded in 1955 by her father, the late founding president Sukarno, bringing together 29 Asian and African nations.

The UN Security Council was formed in 1945 for the maintenance of international peace and security. Its resolutions are binding on all member states.

The council consists of 15 members, including five permanent members: Britain, China, France, Russia and the US. Each of these five have the power to veto any UNSC decisions.

The 10 non-permanent members are elected for two-year terms by the UN General Assembly, taking geographical representation into account. Generally there are five non-permanent members from African and Asian states, one from Eastern Europe, two from Latin America, and two from Western Europe and elsewhere.

Proposals over recent years to increase the membership of the council and remove the five permanent members' power of veto are yet to become a reality.

Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia will stand for election when the UN General Assembly convenes in 2006.

He said Nujoma expressed support for Indonesia to join the UNSC and had praised the nation's past role in fighting colonialism.

Nujoma said Indonesia's struggle had inspired other nations, such as India, the Philippines and African countries, to fight for independence.

The UNSC in September 1999 approved a resolution authorizing a multinational force to restore peace in East Timor, much to the chagrin of senior Indonesian military officers, whose militia proxies were attempting to destroy the territory after it voted to secede from Indonesian rule.

In December 1999 the UNSC demanded that those responsible for the carnage be put on trial. Some UN members threatened to form an international tribunal to bring the perpetrators to justice, but Indonesia said it could rely on China to veto the proposal.

Indonesia subsequently established a special human rights court to try civilian, military and militia officials implicated in the violence. Rights groups say the trials that are now taking place in Jakarta are a sham.

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