President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo called for unity in fighting terrorism during the Group of 20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on Friday (07/07). (Reuters Photo/Kai Pfaffenbach)

At G-20 Summit, Jokowi Calls for Unity in Fighting Terrorism


JULY 09, 2017

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo called for unity in fighting terrorism during the Group of 20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany on Friday (07/07).

"Are we going to surrender to terror? Are we going to keep quiet? We must not give up, nor can we afford to do nothing – we must unite to fight against the threats of terrorism," Jokowi said, as quoted in a press release by the Cabinet Secretariat.

During his speech, Jokowi said that a balanced approach of soft power and hard power is an effective solution in counterterrorism efforts, citing deradicalization programs in Indonesia as an example.

"History teaches us that weapons and military power alone cannot eradicate terrorism. Waywardness can only be corrected by showing better ways and ideas," Jokowi said.

The president also touched on the deadly siege of Marawi City in Southern Philippines, where more than 400 people have been killed and around 260,000 displaced as fighting continues between the Philippine military and Islamic militants affiliated with the Islamic State.

Jokowi said that the situation in Marawi should be a reminder to the rest of the world that the militant group continues to spread its destructive ideology and influences local terrorists.

Indonesia has lately experienced a series of terrorist attacks – targeting mainly policemen – the suicide attack at the Kampung Melayu bus station in East Jakarta in May, which killed three officers, and knife assaults in Medan and Jakarta last month.

In the face of the attacks, the House of Representatives is speeding up the revisions to the existing antiterrorism laws. The government has also joined hands with other countries in counterterrorism efforts. A trilateral partnership with neighboring Malaysia and the Philippines has been established in response to the situation in Marawi.

"In the future, Asean [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations] will also work with Australia to counter terrorism in the region," Jokowi said.

Jokowi urged fellow G-20 countries to increase their surveillance of money flows financing radical and terrorist groups, adding that G-20 must utilize information technology to offer a counternarratives to radical ideologies and promote peacebuilding.

The president also said that G-20 countries should cooperate in intelligence sharing, addressing the issue of foreign terrorist fighters (FTF) and developing capacity-building programs.

He added that G-20 countries need to address the roots of terrorism, which include social inequality and injustice, by strengthening inclusive economic empowerment.

The Group of 20

As leaders convene and bilateral meetings are held between heads of states, what can be achieved by the Group of 20 is multifold and far-reaching.

The summit poses a great opportunity for leaders of the world's biggest economies to discuss and enact concrete strategic steps to improve security and well-being of people across the globe.

This year, however, the summit has been seen as the most complex G-20 meeting in years, with the recent United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, President Donald Trump's stance on free trade and his "America First" approach, which might hinder cooperation with other participants.

Protests against the summit have also been brewing in Hamburg — a city famous for its lively street politics.