Indonesian Peace Mission in Africa and The World

BATAK CENTER FOR AFRICAN STUDIES -- As a country that diligently sends its troops abroad to join with UN peacekeepers, Indonesia has gained international acknowledgement for its contribution to world peace.

Indonesia ranks 19th in the 2016 Good Country Index’s measurement on contributions toward international peace and security. The index surveyed 163 countries in total. South Africa, Egypt and Uruguay top the peace index, whereas Brunei ( 11th ) and China ( 16th ) are the best performing among Asian countries.

The contribution is measured using several indicators including — among others — the number of peacekeeping troops sent overseas for UN missions relative to the size of the economy.

Sending troops to conflict areas has become a tradition in Indonesia since the country first deployed a group of peacekeepers — known as the Garuda Contingent — in 1956 as part of the UN Emergency Force in Sinai.

There are currently 2,643 Indonesian military personnel actively supporting UN peacekeeping missions, along with 167 police officers and 40 military experts, according to UN peacekeeping statistics.

“We are committed to guarding peace and maintaining world stability, as mandated by the law,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.

Indonesia will continue to maintain its reputation and is planning to send more troops, with a target of 4,000 peacekeepers to be deployed by 2019, Arrmanatha added.

But Indonesia does not solely rely on dispatching troops in its efforts to maintain international peace and stability, he said.

The country is also actively involved in a number of peace and conflict resolution discussions, the latest of which was Indonesia’s participation in preparatory talks ahead of France’s International Peace Conference to be held later this year.

The preparatory talks addressed and assessed feasible solutions to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

Other criteria that determine a country’s contribution toward peace and security include the export of weapons, casualties resulting from international conflicts and internet security.

The peace contribution ranking is part of the Good Country Index, an index that measures the contribution of the world’s nations toward humanity as a whole. In this index, Indonesia ranks 83rd.

The Good Country Index is compiled by Simon Anholt, a British independent policy advisor. The index is constructed based on data from the UN and other international organizations.

There are six other factors that determine how a nation contributes toward the greater good.
Indonesia’s overall position improved significantly from a previous index. In 2014, Indonesia ranked 102nd.

In the latest edition of the Index, Indonesia fared well in its contribution toward international prosperity and equality ( 35th ), world order ( 62nd ) and health and well being ( 70th ). The country, however, performs poorly in its contribution to culture ( 130th ) and the climate ( 138th ) and ranks nearly at the bottom of the list in the contribution toward science and technology ( 160th ).

The index, however, does not measure what countries do at home. It aims to start a global discussion about how countries can balance their duties to their own citizens with their responsibilities to the wider world.

Military expert Bambang Widodo Umar said this ranking should be used as a opportunity to acknowledge that Indonesia still had problems at home — including terrorism and criminality — and that the government and the military tended to solve issues in a repressive manner.

“The fact that we have been recognized abroad is good. Sending peacekeepers is part of our foreign policy, but we should be inward looking and balance what we do abroad with what we do at home,” he said.


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