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Editorial (922)

22
October

 

 Australia through Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Tuesday (18/10) said that her country was withdrawing the previous government's decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

During the 2018 government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia had decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, following in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump.

Australia's bold decision has received support and praise from various countries, including Palestine. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the decision was in accordance with international law. Australia's stance shows that the world does not accept Israel's annexation of the Palestinian territories. According to PM Mohammad Shtayyeh, it also proves Australia's respect and alignment with the values of truth, justice and freedom, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.

Support also came from Indonesia. On Tuesday (18/10), the  government  said it welcomed Australia's decision to revoke the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Indonesia also appreciates Australia's assertion that it supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with "internationally recognized boundaries."

The Israeli government is certainly disappointed with Canberra's decision. Political Director of Israeli Foreign Ministry, Aliza Bin-Noun when speaking with Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths, Tuesday (18/10) local time expressed her disappointment. She called the Anthony Albanese Government move a "bad decision". According to Aliza, the decision risks encouraging extremist elements in the West Bank to keep fueling violence and destabilizing the region. Disappointment also came from Israel's Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, who called the decision a "hasty response to false reports in the media".

What has been done by Australia  deserves appreciation. It is hoped that the United States under the Joe Biden administration will follow Australia's lead and change the policies taken by former president Donald Trump. The decision to support West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a unilateral move that comes out of the stance taken by the majority of the international community.

Hopefully, this Australian decision will be a step that "can contribute positively to efforts to peacefully resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" and support a "two-state solution", as stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.

17
October

 

The traditional relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which are known to be close and have been existing since the end of World War II, began to drift apart. On October 5, Saudi Arabia, Russia and other OPEC members agreed to reduce oil production by 2 million barrels per day, equivalent to 2 percent of current global oil production, effective as of  November.

Saudi Arabia's decision along with other oil producing countries, including Russia, known as OPEC+, is seen as hindering Washington's efforts to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. Related to  the domestic politics of the United States, the decision was announced ahead of the November mid-term elections. Meanwhile, Democrats are trying to maintain their control of the House of Representatives and the US Senate.

The OPEC+ decision has angered the United States. In an interview with CNN on Tuesday (11/10), President Joe Biden said that he  would retaliate against Saudi Arabia. The United States accuses Saudi Arabia of following Russia's will against Washington and Western plans to reduce Moscow's revenue.

In the US  Congress, voices calling for the severance of all cooperative relations with Saudi Arabia are also growing. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairperson, Bob Menendez said that he would reject arms sales to Saudi Arabia and all forms of cooperation with Riyadh. Meanwhile, Democratic Senator, Dick Durbin called Saudi Arabia a traitor. Durbin also asked the US Congress to immediately pass the Oil Production and Exports Anticartel Act (NOPEC) which authorizes the US Department of Justice to bring OPEC+ members to US courts on charges of unfair business competition. In addition, several members of the US House of Representatives from the Democratic camp also proposed a bill that would force the withdrawal of all US troops and weapons from Saudi Arabia.

In response to the anger of the United States, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan told Saudi Arabian television, Al Arabiya that the OPEC+ decision was based on economic considerations and was taken unanimously by its members.

OPEC in its monthly report issued last Wednesday (12/10) said that the world economy had entered a period of increasing uncertainty and challenges. Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund -IMF the day before had cut its global growth forecast for 2023 and warned of an increased risk of a global recession.

Hopefully, the estrangement of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia will not worsen the global economic conditions that have started becoming difficult lately.

12
October

 

The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) will carry out a Preliminary Data Collection for the 2022 Socio-Economic Registration (Regsosek) within one month, from October 15, to November 14, 2022. Regsosek is a system and database of the entire population consisting of profiles, social and economic conditions, and the level of welfare connected to the population master data and other databases up to the village/sub-district level.

Head of BPS, Margo Yuwono explained that Regsosek has three main objectives. First one is to capture the dynamics of welfare changes that occur in the society. Second one is to refer to integrated data of social protection programs and economic empowerment, and third objective is to improve the public service system.

The initial step taken to realize Regsosek is to provide basic population data that is integrated with population master data. The variables collected by the Preliminary Data Collection for 2022 Regsosek are addressed to the entire population of Indonesia. In this data collection, BPS will use a family approach by taking into account the domiciles of all family members listed on the Family Card (KK). In addition to data collection, BPS will also collect a number of variables in the 2022 Regsosek. These variables include information related to demographic socio-economic conditions, housing conditions and clean water sanitation, asset ownership, and conditions of vulnerability of special population groups. Furthermore, there is geospatial information, welfare levels, and information related to other economic conditions.

The output of the Preliminary Data Collection for 2022 Regsosek is a socio-economic database of the population with complete and comprehensive information. The data can be used by ministries and agencies to design various programs that are appropriate for the community.

This 2022 Social and Economic Registration leads to a single and comprehensive data. The data is very important to make a policy concerning the welfare of the community. With correct and comprehensive data, the government can avoid making policies that are misdirected, especially when it comes to the provision of social assistance.

09
October

 

The United States hosted the Summit of the US and Pacific Island nations late last September. The two-day summit (September 28-29) resulted in a joint declaration between the United States and representatives from 14 Pacific Islands countries. Its contents cover various issues, including practicing sustainable development, tackling climate change, and maintaining the security of the Pacific region and its trade sector.

Solomon Islands, one of the Pacific Island countries despite previously showing refusal, finally signed the document.

The country's refusal was due to a point in the draft declaration which urged the Pacific Islands countries to take side with either the United States or China, which are in conflict in the region. Solomon Islands Foreign Minister, Jeremiah Manele on Tuesday (04/10) said he objected to the draft agreement with the United States-Pacific Partnership because he had to choose one side (the United States or China). In fact, according to Minister Manele, his country is neutral, not in a position to choose one side.

However, after going through a series of negotiations, the United States and the Pacific Island countries reached a point of agreement. Thus, the Solomon Islands finally signed the final declaration of the joint agreement last week.

Efforts to reach common ground are inseparable from the success of the Solomon Islands government's diplomatic strategies. It was successful in convincing the United States and the Western Allies that the Pacific was not an area of confrontation. Countries in the Pacific region including the Solomon Islands welcome the establishment of close relations not only with the United States, but also with other countries, including China.

The success of the Solomon Islands in negotiations regarding uneasy matters with the US needs to be appreciated. The Solomon Islands government has shown that as a sovereign state, Solomon Islands has the right to establish cooperation with any country it wishes. There should not be any country that suppresses and compels or restricts other countries. Pressure and coercion actually damage peace, especially in the Pacific Islands Region.

04
October

 

Indonesian football has received worldwide attention. Unfortunately, this time, it is not about achievement, but it is a tragedy that occurred after the match between Arema FC and Persebaya on Saturday (1/10). Even FIFA President, Gianni Infantino called the tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang, East Java a tragedy beyond reason and a dark day for all involved in football.

Chaos between football fans in Indonesia is not a new occurrence. Excessive fanaticism towards their favorite team sometimes makes them act out of bounds. Results that are beyond expectations, often make team supporters take anarchic actions.

But the tragedy at the Kanjuruhan Stadium in Malang cannot only be imposed on the supporters of the football team. Everyone involved in organizing a football match is responsible for the incident that caused the deaths of 131 people.

It's time for all parties to improve themselves to advance football in Indonesia. It’s not only to improve the performance of athletes and football teams, but it’s also to make the match an entertaining spectacle and increase pride in Indonesian football.

Hopefully, the Kanjuruhan Stadium tragedy does not leave deep trauma for athletes, referees and club management or football teams in Indonesia. For supporters, being a lesson, blind fanaticism to anarchic actions, will actually harm many parties.

The spirit of sportsmanship should not only be owned by those in the middle of the field. High sportsmanship actually must be owned by everyone who is on the sidelines. In a match, there are only lose and win or draw. Accepting the defeat of their favorite club or team by providing support can be a motivation for their favorite athletes to improve their performance.

Hopefully, there will be no more chaos between football fans anywhere. As President Joko Widodo hopes, the tragedy of the Kanjuruhan Stadium is the last tragedy of football in Indonesia. Sportsmanship, humanity, and the sense of brotherhood of the Indonesian nation must be maintained together.

Deep condolences to the victims and their bereaved families. Hopefully, the injured victims will get well sooner.

17
September

 

The Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict seems to be heading towards a bright solusion after both sides agreed to a ceasefire. Secretary of the Armenian Security Council, Armen Grigoryan said Thursday (15/9) that Armenia and Azerbaijan agreed to a ceasefire on Wednesday (14/9), after fighting took place in the past month.

Earlier, the Azerbaijani army opened fire intensely from artillery systems and machine guns at settlements in Goris, Sotk and Jemruk in Armenian territory. As reported by the Russian news agency, TASS, the Armenian Security Council held an extraordinary meeting after the attack, and decided to seek assistance from Russia.

As usual in every conflict, the warring parties always blame the other side. Armenian Prime Minister, Nikol Pashinyan said that 105 Armenian soldiers had been killed since Monday night in attacks he blamed on Azerbaijan. He also accused Azerbaijani troops of occupying 10 square-kilometers of Armenian territory this week. Meanwhile, Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev blamed the escalation on the military and political leadership of Armenia. He claimed that it was his neighbor that started the conflict by firing at military targets in Kalbacar. According to President Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani armed forces took retaliatory measures and revealed that 50 Azerbaijani soldiers had died in the fighting.

This clash is the latest in a long series of conflicts between the two former Soviet republics over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

A military operation has been carried out by Azerbaijan to Nagorno-Karabakh since last August after three Azerbaijani soldiers were killed in Baku, by suspected Armenians. Nagorno-Karabakh itself is a disputed area that has been contested by both countries since they were separated from the Soviet Union. Even in 2020, both of them were also at war in the region for six weeks.

Hopefully, the truce agreed upon by both parties can be maintained, and become a bright solusion towards real peace. In every conflict, let alone war, no party wins as a whole. In this era of globalization, its impact will be felt in other countries. Learning from the conflicts between Ukraine and Russia, the impact that occurred was felt by not only the two conflicting countries, but also the international community.

02
September

 

Heavy rains that caused floods have submerged a third of Pakistan. At least 22 million people or about 10 percent of the country's population are estimated to be affected by the floods. The United Nations Satellite Center Map (UNOSAT) illustrates that cumulative water detected by satellites in Pakistan on August 1-29 shows a total of about 75,000 km2 of land affected by flooding.

 

According to Pakistan's National Disaster Mitigation Authority, nearly 1,200 people have died from flooding since mid-June. While more than a million homes were destroyed or damaged since high-intensity rains triggered flash floods across almost the entire country. The catastrophic floods have destroyed some infrastructure, including roads, bridges and farmlandsand also washed away nearly a million animals.

The magnitude of the impact caused by floods in Pakistan has received the attention of United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres. In a video message, he urged the international community to help Pakistan. He also called for the world's citizens to stop sleepwalking towards the destruction of the planet inhabited by humanity due to climate change. He said that at this time, a disaster befell Pakistan, but the next time a disaster could befall other countries.

The United Nations has disbursed aid worth US$ 160 million and  asked its members to help Pakistan meet the basic needs of the 5.2 million people displaced by this disaster, including the 33 million Pakistanis who were affected.

Pakistan's Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman described the situation in Pakistan as a humanitarian disaster caused by climate. Pakistan produces less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions but ranks in the top 10 countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. This year, Pakistan has almost 200 percent more rain than the average monsoon. According to Sherry Rehman, many factors cause flooding, but the warming of the atmosphere caused by climate change makes extreme rainfall more likely. The world has warmed by around 1.2 degrees Celsius since the industrial era began and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world make sharp cuts to carbon emissions.

The United Nations plans to hold a Climate Change Conference (COP27) or the 27th meeting of the parties concerned in Sharm El Sheikh, Egyptin November. This meeting is expected to be a place to discipline the world's citizens in avoiding and protecting the planet where humanity lives from natural disasters.

30
August

 

The Indonesian government announced that it would distribute a number of social assistance to the community. The social assistance aims to increase purchasing power due to the tendency of various price increases amid the threat of a global crisis. Minister of Finance, Sri Mulyani said that the government would provide additional social support as a form of diversion of fuel subsidies amounting to 24.17 trillion rupiah. This was conveyed by her after attending a Limited Meeting chaired by President Joko Widodo at the State Palace in Jakarta, Monday (29/8).

More than half of the assistance will be addressed to 20.65 million poor beneficiary families. Each family will receive 600,000 rupiah. In addition, President Joko Widodo also instructed to provide assistance to 16 million workers who have a maximum salary of 3.5 million rupiah per month with assistance of 600,000 rupiah.

Will this social assistance increase people's purchasing power?

Quoting tempo.co (5/8), Head of the Central Statistics Agency, Margo Yuwono said that the policy of subsidies and social assistance, as well as curbing interest rates, was quite effective in controlling domestic inflation, maintaining people's purchasing power and ensuring conducive business conditions. Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo in his Twitter account @jokowi on Monday (29/8) expressed his hope that this social assistance can ease the burden on people who are faced with pressure from various price increases.

Of course, everyone also hopes to face pressure from various price increases, especially when the price of subsidized fuel oil rises. All community groups will be affected. The social assistance may not necessarily be provided permanently. This should also be realized by the beneficiary. Thus, they should not be too dependent on the assistance forever.

Directions not to use aid for consumptive activities must also be carried out. The beneficiary community needs to be directed to use the assistance for productive purposes. Thereby, it can be better prepared in the event of an increase in prices due to an increase in fuels.

Hopefully, all the policies and efforts taken by the government of Indonesia can immediately make Indonesia recover faster, rise up stronger.

26
August

 

After 16 months of grueling negotiations, Iran and the United States are closing in to restore the 2015-nuclear deal. The U.S. has responded to a proposal from Iran to revive the nuclear deal agreed in 2015.

The 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was signed by Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. Under this deal, Iran promised to limit its nuclear program to a certain level. As compensation, the U.S. and Western countries are willing to stop various economic sanctions against Iran.

But later on, the U.S. under Donald Trump's administration declared its withdrawal from the JCPOA on May 8, 2018 and threatened to impose tougher economic sanctions on Iran.

The exit from the JCPOA actually does not benefit  the international community, including the U.S. itself. On one hand, with the collapse of the JCPOA, the Iranian people are increasingly suffering from sanctions from the U.S. and the West. On the other hand, Iran seems to have room to violate nuclear restrictions.

Realizing the benefits of the JCPOA, the European Union took the initiative to negotiate with related parties. The negotiations to restore the JCPOA deal have been ongoing for months. One thing that has become a tough point is the issue of lifting sanctions that has been reimposed on Iran since the collapse of the JCPOA, due to the unilateral withdrawal by the U.S. in 2018.

Earlier this August, the European Union submitted a proposal to revive the 2015-nuclear deal which has been   responded by the U.S. Spokesperson for the U.S. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ned Price, as quoted by Media Indonesia (25/08) said that the U.S. had reviewed the proposals submitted by the European Union, including the request to lift sanctions.

Iran said it had received the U.S. response to the European Union's draft proposal to restore the 2015-nuclear deal, and would discuss it with the European bloc after a review.

Indeed, there is still no certainty about success so far. But at the very least, the positive response from the U.S. to the European Union's proposal creates confidence that the great power appears to be getting closer to signing a new nuclear deal with Iran.

It is hoped that the nuclear deal with Iran can be restored sooner. The 2015-nuclear deal is very beneficial for world peace. One of them is significantly limiting Iran's nuclear program which is seen as a threat if not limited.

23
August

 

Indonesian President Joko Widodo accompanied by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo launched a mango-based food estate during his working visit to Gresik Regency, East Java on Monday (22/8).


On the same occasion, President Joko Widodo also launched the Alsintan Taxi Program, which is the Ministry of Agriculture's program to help provide agricultural tools and machinery (alsintan) independently by business actors in the agricultural sector through the facilitation of People's Business Credit (KUR). The President hopes that the program can replace patterns and approaches that are considered less productive.Director-General of Agricultural Infrastructure and Facilities at the Ministry of Agriculture, Ali Jamil explained, the Alsintan Taxi Program is an innovation from the Ministry of Agriculture to reduce the burden on the state budget and train farmers' independence. Previously, President Joko Idodo had given directions to Minister of Agriculture, Syahrul Yasin Limpo regarding the independence of farmers in the context of developing national agriculture.


Ali Jamil added, the use of Alsintan can also be leased through a cooperative scheme or an Alsintan taxi business unit. Rentals can even be done hourly or even per day and can be used through planting, harvesting and post-harvesting. This provides benefits for increasing farm productivity and efficiency, and solving the problem of agricultural labor and farming time more efficiently.


The availability of land for agriculture, and the use of modern agricultural tools and machinery are the main factors in agricultural development. The current global situation shows that it is not industrialization, but food security that can make a country able to face any crisis. Food resilience can be achieved if agriculture advances. The government support through its programs is certainly needed by farmers to increase their productivity independently.

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