Living the Dream

Last week, Facebook shown a picture from the past that intrigued me to tag one of my colleagues since it has no caption at all. It was the picture when my friend and I went to the Model United Nations Conference in Singapore, 2011, particularly during the social event called the ASEAN Night. A few times later, Kris, the one I tagged before, commented that I’m currently living the dream.

His comment was so unique and it left me wondering. I was on my way to the Airport, to catch my flight to New York for an official mission when I read his comment. Suddenly I felt the tingle of goosebumps up my arms, for I have realized that what he said was partly true, or almost true, and the memory of the good old days of my adolescent came to my mind.

I still clearly remember that during the English lesson, our teacher asked us about our dreams. Back then, I haven’t really decided about my dream, or at least, what I want to be in the future.

Born in the Asian and Indonesian family, it is quite common that your parents want you to be the doctor and that is how they raised me to be. However, I have other goals in my mind, that I want to pursue the career in diplomacy. This decision was influenced by, among others, the story of my grandfather (actually the brother of my grandmother) when he was part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Congo and the excitement that I had in Debate Club.

After listening to his story on UN Mission in Congo, I kept thinking why did the country fall into conflict? What makes people kill each other? What is the UN mission doing in Congo to help the people find peace? The history and social science class in high school did not provide an adequate explanation of such questions that left me wondering. But when I read the newspaper, I saw that there was a greater force, which continuously working to create a peace through diplomacy, the multilateral platform called the United Nations.

Then I went to read the International Relations in Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM) to find the answer. In UGM, my interest in international politics continues to grow and it gave me the broader perspective to understand the war and conflicts through the framework of diplomacy. This is the time when I firmly decided to be a diplomat.

I even wrote the paper entitled “Indonesia’s contribution to the World Peace: case study of UNIFIL and UNSC election”

But of course, I was so naive and yet improperly equipped with decent research skills. My main idea was Indonesia’s contribution to the UN Peacekeeping mission, particularly UNIFIL, was the main factor that influences the successful bid as Non-Permanent Member of UN Security Council for the term 2007-2008. However, I did not provide any appropriate background about the mechanism of the election of the UNSC members.  Consequently, the analysis was quite shallow, with some flaws in linking the facts and thesis and I was so lucky that I still obtained the score of “B” for such horrible paper.

Once I set my career goal in diplomacy, I joined activities that will help me achieve my goal by joining the Debate Club, Model United Nations Club, and an exchange program abroad. After graduation, while waiting for the Foreign Service Examination, I spent almost a year working at the ASEAN Secretariat that gave me the experience regarding the multilateral cooperation. Then I participated in the Examination and managed to pass it with flying colors. At this point, I guess I have partly reached my dream of being a diplomat. However, I’m still curious about what can I do to contribute to the world peace through diplomacy.

I’m currently assigned to the candidature desk under the Secretariat of the Directorate General for Multilateral Cooperation. My main purview is assisting the formulation of Indonesia’s Foreign Policy in the field of candidature and elections to the IOs.

As the member of hundreds IOs, Indonesia has the privileges to assume certain management/important positions within the IOs through the election process. My job revolves around the maintaining the database of the commitment of supports from Indonesia’s partners, assisting the formulation of campaign strategy, as well as providing the analysis of whether we can support certain countries in particular positions.

As of now, Indonesia is running for the Non-permanent members of the United Nations Security Council for the period of 2019-2020, where the elections are just 7 hours away in New York. As part of the strategy, I had the opportunity to visit the UNIFIL Mission in Lebanon.

At this point, I’m enlightened and can’t help the thrill in my veins. I just realized that my involvement in Indonesia’s campaign team in the UNSC bid, regardless the gravity of the contribution, is the answer to my childhood questions. By helping Indonesia’s election in UNSC, I believe I will help in paving the way for Indonesia to elevate its contribution to maintaining the global peace and security through the framework of UNSC. I also just realized that I’m currently doing what I wrote in my term paper topics, both on UNIFIL and UNSC elections. What a fate.

All in all, this is how living the dream really feels. While it feels surreal, it also serves as the reminder for me to consistently work hard to make it long lasting. And of course, I wouldn’t be here without the blessing of Allah and endless help and supports from my family and friends. And for that, I’m forever grateful.

New York, 8 June 2018

p.s. let’s pray for the best result for Indonesia’s election in UNSC.

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