With confidence, amid heightened political and social tension at home due to corruption and a proposed fuel-price hike, Indonesia has begun its mission at the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, targeting to promote peace by rejecting nuclear proliferation and establishing an ASEAN nuclear-free zone.
“The world sees Indonesia as an important nation. We are the largest country in ASEAN and are deemed a worthy representative of the region. Our voice will be considered significant,” presidential spokesman Julian Aldrin Pasha said on Monday.
President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono, who arrived on Sunday, was among 53 state leaders attending a working dinner on Monday evening where they reviewed the progress made since the first summit was held in Washington, DC, in 2010.
Other leaders included US President Barack Obama, Chinese President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Yudhoyono is expected to deliver a speech during a plenary session on Tuesday. According to Julian, rejecting nuclear proliferation is Indonesia’s top priority at the summit. “To talk about nuclear means not only talking about security or weaponry. We need to ensure the safety of nuclear plants in the future, especially in the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011,” he said.
The summit is part of a greater international process, initiated by Obama in 2010, which aims to promote international cooperation on combating the threat of nuclear terrorism and better-securing nuclear material.
The summit is the largest-ever diplomatic event in Korean history, bringing together around 5,000 delegates. The key event is expected to take place on Tuesday afternoon, when participating countries are to announce the Seoul Communiqué aimed at minimizing stocks of highly enriched uranium.
The summit is supposed to be an opportunity for leaders to find ways to keep nuclear material away from terrorists. So far, North Korea has upstaged that agenda, which may be just what Pyongyang intended.
Hu indicated to Obama on Monday that he was taking the North Korean nuclear standoff very seriously and had registered his concern with Pyongyang, a senior White House aide said. “The Chinese have indicated to us that they take this very seriously and they’re registering their concern with the North Korean authorities.”
The Sydney Morning Herald quoted US Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell as he briefed Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr on Friday as saying that a North Korean rocket launched next month would potentially impact an area between Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.