Editorial: UN Speech a Golden Chance for Indonesia
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will address the United Nations in New York after a General Debate Session on Tuesday. He will be doing so during a turbulent time for global affairs, a time in which Western economic hardship coupled with social and political upheavals in the Middle East point to a strenuous future for the international community.
Southeast Asia, though, has been thriving despite such global tremors. Strong growth over the past five years has enabled Indonesia and other nations in the region to prosper while lifting millions of their people out of poverty.
The president will speak on the Millenium Development Goals agenda, set to expire in 2015. He has been asked to lead a UN Panel on Post-2015 Global Development together with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
This is a great honor for both the president and the nation, and will enable Indonesia to help set the pace of growth and progress for the rest of the developing world.
It is critical that all nations come together to recommit to economic cooperation. In order to do so, however, tensions among nations like the ones triggered by an anti-Islamic film and cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhummad must be quelled.
Indonesia has proposed that an international protocol be adopted by the UNGA to guide conduct of nations over such sensitive issues
Our nation is seen as a role model for religious tolerance and racial harmony. It must continue to enshrine these social norms within society and educate its people that freedom of speech also comes with great responsibility. We must not allow hate speech to divide us and show respect for all religions and all races that make up Indonesia.