Last Tuesday (3/1), Israel's newly appointed Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited the Al Aqsa Mosque complex. Despite being warned that his actions would cause an uproar and reap waves of condemnation from various countries around the world, he still visited the third holiest site in the world for Muslims.
Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement last Thursday called on Israel to respect the status quo that had been mutually agreed upon and to avoid actions and provocations that harm holy places in Jerusalem. The Indonesian government views the Israeli minister's visit as a provocation that could trigger tension and a new cycle of violence in Palestine.
Malaysia also strongly condemns the provocation by Itamar Ben-Gvir. Malaysia's foreign ministry on Thursday called the move a provocation and a clear violation of the political status quo of Jerusalem and Al-Haram Al-Sharif. The Malaysian government calls on the international community to hold Israel accountable for such actions and demands that it immediately stop any provocations for the sake of peace and stability.
Pakistan is one of the countries that strongly criticized Itamar's visit. This action is considered insensitive, and provocative. Pakistan's foreign ministry spokeswoman, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, said Thursday that Israel must stop its illegal acts and respect the sanctity of Muslim religious sites in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Meanwhile Qatar on Wednesday called on the international community to take "firm" action against Israeli provocations at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem. In a statement, Qatar's Cabinet reiterated its call to the international community "for decisive and urgent action". It is to compel Israel to stop the violations and provocations and to realize the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly.
Even the United States, Israel's closest ally, also expressed deep concern over this latest development. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was deeply concerned by any unilateral action that could potentially exacerbate tensions.
Itamar Ben-Gvir is a figure who adheres to right-wing views regarding Palestine. The politician also caused a wave of tension in the occupied city after he set up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood.
It is hoped that the provocative actions of Israeli officials that led to an increase in tensions will not occur again. Thus, the two countries, Palestine and Israel, can continue the peace process based on the principles of a Two State Solution and mutual respect, according to internationally agreed parameters.
The government's financial report at the beginning of this year is quite a relief. Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati stated that the state revenue and expenditure budget (APBN) has worked extraordinarily to stabilize prices so that inflation until the end of 2022 can be maintained at the level of 5.5 percent. While several ASEAN member countries, even developed countries such as European countries and the United States experienced higher inflation. He said this at the KiTA State Budget Press Conference in Jakarta on Tuesday (3/1).
Sri Mulyani said that one of the efforts to control inflation was through the provision of subsidies for commodities whose prices were soaring at the global level, such as oil.
Another comforting news is that the 2022 state budget deficit is only 2.85 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), or lower than the target in the revised state budget which is 4.50 percent of GDP. According to Sri Mulyani, this shows extraordinary fiscal consolidation.
Meanwhile the Minister of Finance also said that the performance of state revenues, both taxes, customs and PNBP, was outstanding in two consecutive years. When the economy recovers, all state revenues are also restored.
Sri Mulyani further said that state revenues which also grew due to rising commodity prices, including Indonesia's leading export commodities, were used to protect society and the economy.
According to Sri Mulyani, the maintenance of economic stability is due to the good cooperation between the government and Bank Indonesia in managing the fluctuations in commodity prices.
Indonesia as an open country certainly cannot be separated from the influence of the world economic situation. The negative impact of deteriorating world economic conditions must also be felt by Indonesia. However, due to the government's hard work, the negative impact did not create a major shock to the domestic economy. This is quite an achievement. Hopefully in 2023 Indonesia's economic situation will improve.
The development of a nation is largely determined by the quality of its human resources. If a country has high-quality human resources, the management of all existing natural resources will certainly be maximized to create prosperity for the people of that country. It is not surprising that improving the quality of human resources is one of the focuses of the Indonesian President Joko Widodo's program. One way to get quality human resources is to reduce stunting or failure to thrive in children. Based on data from the 2021 Indonesian Nutrition Status Study (SSGI), currently the stunting rate in Indonesia is still 24.4 percent.
The government has taken various methods to reduce the stunting rate in Indonesia. One of them is through information technology. As has been implemented in Sumedang Regency in West Java, which has succeeded in reducing the stunting rate from 32.27 percent in 2018 to 8.27 percent in 2022, the success in significantly reducing stunting is supported by an electronic-based government system (SPBE).
In a press statement at the Presidential Office in Jakarta, Monday (02/01), Regent of Sumedang, Dony Ahmad Munir said that Sumedang Regency uses a platform called Simpati (Integrated Stunting Management Information System). This platform connects various stakeholders, starting from posyandu (integrated health services post) cadres to record weight and height checks for children, regional leaders, health centers, villages to other related agencies to obtain reports related to stunting.
Sumedang regency's efforts to reduce stunting rates by utilizing information technology should be supported and emulated by the regional governments in Indonesia. President Joko Widodo has instructed Regent Dony Ahmad to be able to directly assist areas that still have a high number of stunting cases and ask the regional governments to be able to apply digital technology in handling stunting cases by using an electronic-based government system.
Through the use of information technology, it is hoped that it can reduce the stunting rate in Indonesia. In the end, this can improve the quality of Indonesian human resources.
One more type of instant coffee,Good Day coffee from Indonesia starts being sold in the Uzbekistan market.
After Torabika coffee has succeeded in attracting instant coffee lovers in Uzbekistan, now Good Day coffee starts entering the markets and shopping centers in Uzbekistan.
Indonesian Ambassador to Uzbekistan, in Tashkent, H.E. Sunaryo Katadinato had the opportunity to visit the Good Day Coffee warehouse in Tashkent City, andwitnessed the unloading process of one of the containers with the importer.
According to Ambassador Sunaryo, Indonesian instant coffee with a sweet taste has quite a big chance in Uzbekistan because it suits the tastes of Uzbeks who generally like sweet-tastedesserts and drinks.
The entry of Good Day coffee adds to the list of Indonesian food and beverage products that have been sold in Uzbekistan, including Torabika coffee, ABC coffee, Kapal Api Luwak Easy Drip coffee, and Mie Sedaap.
Even though there are already quite a lot of instant coffee brands in Uzbekistan from various other countries, the market share is still wide open as demand increases and people's purchasing powerincreasesas a result of good economic growth.
In 2022, Uzbekistan's imports of food and beverage products increasedby 40% compared to the previous year. Uzbekistan imports food and beverage products from around 100 countries where Indonesia is one of the top suppliers.
The Indonesian Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy said that the target for foreign tourists in 2022 had been achieved. Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno at the Year-End Press Conference, Monday (26/12) said according to the Central Statistics Agency, 3.92 million foreign tourists had visited Indonesia. This achievement exceeded the target of 3.6 million visits.
Minister Sandiaga Uno also said that for 2023, the target for foreign tourist arrivals was set at 3.5 to 7.4 million visits. The hope is that this target will again be exceeded, even though there is a threat of a 2023 recession.
It is no exaggeration that Indonesia is optimistic that this target can be realized again. After successfully holding the G20 Presidency, in 2023 a number of international events will be held by Indonesia. There will be around 300 meetings during Indonesia's Chairmanship in ASEAN in 2023. If the Covid-19 situation is getting under control, it is hoped that these meetings can be held face to face.
Apart from the Mandalika Moto GP which will be held in October 2023, several international sports events will also be held in Indonesia, such as the U20 FIFA World Cup, the FIBA basketball world championship, the 2023 World Beach Games and also the F1H20 world speed boat race.
Confidence in achieving the target of foreign tourists is also based on the potential that Indonesia has. Five Super Priority Destinations, namely Lake Toba in North Sumatra, Borobudur in Central Java, Mandalika in West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), Labuan Bajo in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT), and Likupang in North Sulawesi are also strong attractions to attract foreign tourists to enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of Indonesia. Another potential that Indonesia has is tourism villages. Around 1200 villages out of 75 thousand villages have the potential to become tourism villages to offer a complete experience that combines cultural, natural and unique components.
Indonesia has also launched the Proud National Movement for Traveling in Indonesia. This program not only can boost the number of domestic tourists, but also can become a program for the Indonesian Diaspora. According to data from the Indonesia Diaspora Network, around 8 million diaspora are spread across the world.
Optimism to reach the target, of course, must be realized with maximal work. The support of all parties is one of the keys. With maximal work from stakeholders to promote all of Indonesia's tourism potential and support from all parties, the 2023 tourist target can be achieved.
Recently, there has been concern over the increase in Covid-19 cases in China. Several leading scientists and advisers to the World Health Organization (WHO) think a new wave of coronavirus will emerge in China. So,it is too early to declare the end of the emergency phase of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Experts' views on the Covid-19 pandemic have changed since Chinastartedeasing its Zero-Covid policy last week. The Chinese government finally relaxed the policy following an unprecedented public outcry.
Expert projections show that China may face an explosion of Coronavirus cases. Next year, China is predicted to record more than one million deaths from Covid-19.
The Zero-Covid approach in China has indeed kept the infection and death rates relatively low. But,the WHO says the approach is not "sustainable" due to concerns about the impact on people's lives and the country's economy. Experts say President Xi Jinping's move to ease Zero-Covid policies has changed the global picture.
Marion Koopmans, a WHO committee official and advisor on the emergency status of Covid-19 told Reutersthatthe world was in a very different phase of the pandemic. In his opinion, the pending surge in China was like a wild card. Something that is hard to predict.
Meanwhile,the Chinese government said last Wednesday (21/12) that not a single person had died of Covid-19 the previous day. The criteria for recording deaths from the virus have been changed. According to Beijing,only those who died directly from respiratory failure caused by the virus, will statistically count as deaths from Covid-19. Previously, people who died from any illness while infected with the virus, were counted as deaths from Covid. This way of recording causes high death rates in many countries.
Starting this weekend until next week, the world community will enjoy the year-end holidays. Many people will use it to meet and hang out with friends and relatives. Therefore, caution and the application of health protocols must continue to be carried out to reduce the rate of increase in cases and prevent a new wave of Covid-19.
United Nations officially revokes Iran's membership of the UN Commission on the Status of Women. The decision was taken in a voting meeting related to the resolution submitted by the United States on Wednesday (14/12). In that vote, 29 countries voted in favor of the resolution to remove Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women for the remainder of its 2022-2026 term. There were 8 countries voting against the resolution,and16 countries abstained. This result only applies to the remaining term of Iran's membership in the UN Commission on the Status of Women today, namely from 2022 to 2026.
The resolution, as quoted by France 24, Thursday (12/15/2022) states, the Iranian leadership continues to undermine and further suppress the human rights of women and girls. This includes the rightsto freedom of expression and opinion, and often involves the use of excessive force. The Iranian government is said to have pursued policies that flagrantly contradict the human rights of women and girls.
Meanwhile, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield after the vote saidthatremoving Iran from the UN Commission on the Status of Women is a very important matter for Iranian women. According toLinda, the decision sends a message to Iranian women that the international community supports them.
Iran said it was disappointed with the decision. Iranian Ambassador and permanent representative to the UN, Amir Saeed Irvani, as quoted fromcnn.com(15/12) said that the resolution to remove Iran from the UN Commission was baseless or illegal.
Iran's disappointment is understandable, because even if the revocation of membership is valid for only a few years, the Iranian side will suffer losses because of it. At the very least, over the next few years, Iran will lose financial support. So far, the implementation of policies related to gender and women's empowerment has received financial support from the UN Commission on the Status of Women. Iran has also lost the opportunity to cooperate with various government agencies in addressing issues of gender status.
However, if one looks closely, in the end, it is the Iranian women who suffer the most. With the expulsion of Iran from the UN Commission, all efforts for gender equality to women's empowerment will become increasingly difficult over the next few years.
It is hoped that the Iranian government will not dissolve in disappointment and will show more respect for the human rights of women and girls, including the rightsto freedom of expression and opinion to avoid other international sanctions.
At last, Indonesia has its own Criminal Code -KUHP. The Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) passed the Criminal Code Law draft (RUU KUHP) into law on Tuesday (6/12/2022).
Previously, the Criminal Code in force in Indonesia was a Dutch product which had taken effect since 1918. Quoting the official website of the National Law Development Agency, Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna H. Laoly said that this ratification is a historic moment in the implementation of criminal law in Indonesia. After years of using the Dutch-made Criminal Code, now Indonesia has its own Criminal Code.
The ratification of the Criminal Code Bill took a long way. As stated by Minister Yasonna Laoly, Indonesia has been formulating criminal law reforms since 1963. Before and after the ratification, the pros and cons of the newly passed Criminal Code emerged. Not only from within the country, but also several foreign parties also issued their opinions. One of them is the UN Representative in Indonesia. In a press release published on the official website of the UN Representative in Indonesia, the UN expressed its concern over a number of articles that have the potential to violate freedoms and human rights.
Something new is not necessarily able to satisfy all parties, likewise with the Criminal Code. Minister Yasonna Laoly appealed to those who disagree with or protest against the newly passed Criminal Code to convey it through the correct mechanism. The public are allowed to submit a lawsuit to the Constitutional Court -MK.
Take for example, the foreign parties, such as UN Representatives. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the UN Representative on Monday (12/12). Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Teuku Faizasyah in a press conference, Monday said that the etiquette that applies is the interaction of foreign or UN representatives in one country through communication channels to discuss various issues, not to use the mass media as a tool to convey something that has not been verified. He added that it is appropriate for foreign representatives, including the United Nations, not to rush into issuing opinions before obtaining clearer information.
The Law on Criminal Procedure Code will only come into effect in 2025. There is enough time to socialize the Criminal Code Law which is considered the starting point for criminal administration reform in Indonesia. Its implementation is, of course, the joint responsibility of the Indonesian nation.This can be understood not only by the Indonesian people, but also foreigners. Thus, fears of unwanted impacts from the implementation of the Criminal Code Law can vanish.
As of last Wednesday(7/12), Dina Ercilia Boluarte Zegarra officially took office as the new President of Peru after former president Pedro Castillo was impeached hours after he tried to dissolve parliament. Dina Boluarte who previously served as vice president was sworn in as President after a dramatic day in Lima, Peru's capital. Boluarte became the first female president in the country's history.
Prior to his impeachment, former President Castillo saidthathe would replace congress with an "extraordinary emergency government" which he said was aimed at re-establishing the rule of law and democracy. According to Castillo, a new congress with constituent powers to draft a new constitution would be formed in no more than nine months. However, the congress controlled by parties opposed to Castillo held an emergency session followed by an impeachment vote that Castillo tried to prevent.The congress accused Castillo of mutiny and then arrestedhim. According to local media,Castillo was arrested while he was heading to the Mexican embassy in the capital Lima.
Peru has gone through a difficult political period, with many presidents ousted from office in recent years. Castillo, a former left-wing school teacher, was elected in June 2021 in a polarizing election in which he defeated his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori.Recently, he has been fighting corruption charges, which he says are part of a plot to overthrow him. Castillo became the third president since 2018 to be removed under the "morally incapacitated" provision in the constitution.
Meanwhile, President Dina Boluarte stated she would rule until July 2026, when Castillo's presidency should end. In her oath,Dina Boluarte saidthatshe would faithfully assume the office of president, in accordance with Peru's Political Constitution. After taking the oath of office, Boluarte called for a political ceasefire to address the crisis gripping the country.
Hopefully,the new Peruvian government, led by a female president, will be able to overcome the political crisis that has been going on in the country since 2016.In addition,the economic crisis and rising prices caused by the war between Russia and Ukrainecan also be solved.
The Indonesian nation is currently in mourning. On November 21, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.6 hit the Cianjur area, West Java Province. 334 people died and more than 100 thousand people were displaced by the earthquake.
Having not finished yet facing the impact of the Cianjur earthquake, Mount Semeru in East Java Province on December 4 spewed hot clouds as high as more than 5 thousand meters. Volcanic hot clouds and ash spread in the surrounding area, causing thousands of people to flee. There are even 3 hamlets buried in volcanic ash. So far, no fatalities have been reported.
The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation (PVMBG) raised the status of Mount Semeru from 'Alert' to 'Caution' or from Level III to Level IV. The public are advised not to carry out activities within a 13-kilometer radius of the eruption center, because there are fears that the hot clouds will spread more widely.
Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are not strange to the people of Indonesia. Geographically, Indonesia is an archipelagic country located at the confluence of four tectonic plates, namely the Eurasian plate, the Indo-Australian Continent, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. In addition, Indonesia is located in the Ring of Fire zone where there are many active volcanoes. This geographical aspect causes Indonesia to be prone to earthquakes and tsunamis. Indonesia is said to have an earthquake rate 10 times compared with the United States. In fact, Indonesia is ranked first in the threat of a tsunami according to data from the United Nations Disaster Risk Reduction.
The Indonesian people are still learning from the various natural disasters that have occurred, how to prepare themselves for the impact of disasters. Maybe, the government is more prepared regarding disaster mitigation. This can be seen from the speed with which the logistical aid was distributed and the preparation of the evacuation sites. Meanwhile, the number of fatalities can also be minimized. This can be seen from the absence of reports of deaths due to the eruption of Mount Semeru. The local government, assisted by officers from the central government, the Indonesian Armed Forces –TNI, and the National Police -Polri, was swiftly able to evacuate residents from the disaster area.
But actually, the most important thing is preparing residents for disaster mitigation. They must be given knowledge that they live in an area with the potential for natural disasters. They should also be given knowledge of what to do if a disaster occurs or if there are signs that a natural phenomenon is about to occur. In this way, casualties can be avoided.