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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - Indonesia pledges to triple UNRWA contributions, strengthen global solidarity with Palestine
JAKARTA: Indonesia has pledged to triple its contributions to the UN relief agency for Palestine and strengthen global solidarity with the Palestinians, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday.
The Southeast Asian nation has been a staunch supporter of Palestine for decades, with its people and government seeing Palestinian statehood as mandated by its own constitution, which calls for the abolition of colonialism.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi reiterated that support at an event marking 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Geneva on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said in a statement.
“Indonesia reaffirms its support to strengthen political solidarity and humanitarian support for Palestine, including by increasing (our) contribution to UNRWA threefold,” Marsudi said.
Marsudi will also speak on the issue of Palestine at a UN high-level event on human rights on Tuesday, the foreign ministry said.
Indonesia was among the 102 countries that co-sponsored a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza. The resolution was vetoed by the US at a meeting in New York City last week.
“The global community cannot continue to be at the mercy of a few countries and watch helplessly the atrocities and killings of women and children in Gaza,” Marsudi said in a statement issued after the UN vote.
More than 18,000 Palestinians, including over 7,700 children, have been killed since Israel began its deadly onslaught on Gaza in retaliation for an Oct. 7 attack by the militant group Hamas based in the enclave.
The proportion of the civilian death toll in Gaza, at around 61 percent in the first three weeks of Tel Aviv’s onslaught, is significantly higher compared to the average in all conflicts around the world during the 20th century, according to a study published last week by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The ongoing and widespread violence in Gaza and the UN’s inability to stop it so far have revealed an urgency to reform the intergovernmental organization, said Teuku Rezasyah, an international relations expert from Padjajaran University in West Java. He added that as part of its support for Palestine, Indonesia should work toward achieving such a goal.
“The issue of Palestine is part of our constitutional mandate, that independence is the right of all nations and we must abolish colonialism. These are the keywords we have always used, and Indonesia has proven its stance. Next, Indonesia must build a coalition with like-minded countries,” Rezasyah told Arab News.
Indonesia, which has been working closely with seven member countries under the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Arab League to rally international support for an immediate end to Israel’s war on Gaza, can use this grouping to drive reforms at the UN, he said. The countries include Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Nigeria and Palestine.
“These eight countries under the OIC must be united, and increase their synergies and coverage to highlight Palestine,” he said.
“The UN is no longer able to function as a driving force for world peace and security … The US, as the only country that vetoed the resolution calling for a ceasefire, has made itself part of the problem, not part of the solution. So, Indonesia must have the courage to make a move.”
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